Winter’s Blood: A Werewolf Novella by Zachary Richardson

Michael McGavin is haunted by his past. Six years after the loss of his beloved, Abigail, he is still grieving. He reluctantly accepts a Christmas invitation to his family home in Ashburg, Washington. A clash with his father on Christmas Eve, the anniversary of Abigail’s death, sends him running into the untamed woods that surround the area. A shot from a hunting rifle rings out and Michael’s life is changed forever.

This is a good story with a reasonable premise. It is also a fine attempt to fuse werewolf mythology with 21st Century sensibilities. Overall I enjoyed the story and felt sympathy with, and for, the characters. I was satisfied with the resolution of the tale which clearly provides scope for an excellent series of books.

I did, however, feel that the structure of the novella would have been helped by a little extra tightening. The first half of the book seemed a little tortuous and the author seemed to have forgotten that basic tenet of writing, ‘show don’t tell’. Because the title includes the words “A Werewolf Novella”, the reader already has some idea of what to expect. The author, therefore, need not have spent quite so long laying the groundwork. The reader may find themself thinking, “come on let’s get on with it.” (This reader did at any rate.)

Once the action does get going it is well written. This means that the second half of the story is more fluid and well-paced thus, making it much more enjoyable to read.

Ultimately, I feel that the book would benefit greatly from a re-edit and, or, a re-structure. Losing the ‘Werewolf Novella’ part of the title may help in creating some mystery and suspense from the beginning.

This being said, I enjoyed the book and would definitely read a sequel.

****

A worthy addition to the genre and potentially a great series.

Winters Blood

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