Leaders Of The Pack: Various
Reviewed By Steve Stred
A WEREWOLF ANTHOLOGY! Featuring Garton, Janz, Rolfe and more!!
If you read any of my reviews, you’ll know my love for all things lycanthrope – so this was an easy choice when it was offered for review.
We get a number of fun tales; Matt Serafini and Graeme Reynolds delivered some gorey times and Jeff Strand rounded up the tail end of the release with a Wolf Hunt prequel story, but I’m going to go through my fav’s from the batch.
The anthology opens with Glenn Rolfe’s fantastic ‘The Dead Brother Situation.’ From what I gather, this story is tied into his release ‘Blood and Rain,’ which I still haven’t read yet. After reading this story, I can’t wait to get to it, but I will say – I didn’t feel lost or confused by having not read the prior novel at all. We follow a man who needs to feast, as he heads to a remote cabin. He’s expecting it to be uninhabited but finds the owners brother and acquaintance there instead. Things get fangy shortly after. Great time.
‘The Original’ by David Watkins was a superb wolf tale, from a plot point I haven’t read much from previously. We read about Marcus, a soldier in ancient Roman times who is scouting. He comes across a group of people and from there, Watkins lets things unravel.
‘Outside of Nowhere’ by Ray Garton was a pretty extreme story, which worked really well. We are immediately introduced to Leo and Emily, two strangers who’ve come across each other while on a walk near midnight. They decide to chat and we learn some horrible things about Emily’s past. Then Garton lets the hair grow and the claws fly.
‘Hunters Moon’ by David Wellington was an unexpected surprise. I’m not sure if our main character has appeared in other works from Wellington, but we are introduced to a renowned vampire hunter who is tracking her nemesis far north into the North West Territories. I loved ‘The Last Astronaut’ by Wellington and seeing how this story plays out, I’ll definitely need to look into more releases. Such a great story and the setting was superb.
For me personally, the highlight was Jonathan Janz’s ‘The Kiss of Divna Antonov.’ This is a prequel, back story for his werewolf novel ‘Wolf Land’ and I ate it up. We follow the disgraced professor who wrote the book featured in ‘Wolf Land’ as he contemplates ending his life. A knock on the door and a visit by a beautiful stranger helps to unravel both the rest of his evening but also the set up for ‘Wolf Land.’ Loved it!
Overall, outstanding stuff. If I had one minor criticism, it would be that I believe all of the stories are directly or indirectly related to prior releases, (KR: This is the case) which may turn some folks off. I know there were a few stories that I didn’t connect as deeply with and once I was finished reading there was a note saying it was related to such and such book.
That’s a minor thing though, and for me, it was a superb journey through a moonlit blood bath.
Leaders Of The Pack
Since the dawn of time, across almost every culture, there have been legends of shapeshifters.
Men who turn into beasts and prey upon anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path.
Of the shapeshifter tales, none invokes as much terror as the legend of the werewolf.
The stories of men who become wolves persisted through the centuries from campfire folk tales to the modern age, where we are still thrilled and horrified by tales of bloodthirsty predators in our midst.
Twelve of the most successful authors of werewolf fiction in the 21st Century have returned to their worlds and characters, to bring you a truly blood-soaked collection of werewolf horror.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here