Season of the Wolf

By Jeffrey J. Mariotte

Dark Fuse

ISBN:  978-1937771614

February, 2013; Paperback $15.99, eBook $4.99 

Reviewed by Kat Yares

What do you get when you combine a flawed, guilt ridden protagonist, global warming and wolves?  Don’t know?  Okay, let’s throw in a small, isolated town, a strong woman and a wannabe serial killer.  I see, now you’ve got it.  You’ve got horror, mind blowing horror that will keep you reading from page one to the very last word.

Now, I will admit that I really was expecting a werewolf story of some kind.  And, I’ll admit also that I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn’t.  Instead, Mr. Mariotte weaves a tale so full of possibilities that the horror creeps up on you and just stays there in your mind, making you cringe on every page.

First off, we meet Alex Converse, heir to a coal mining fortune, who because of past guilt now wants to use his money for good.  We meet him, along with two companions, high in the Colorado Mountains on a trip to make a documentary about the effects of Global Warming.  Settling in a small community called Silver Gap, the crew attempts to make friends with the locals, without much success at first.  Much of this is due to his cinematographer’s devil-may-care hot temper.  Because of that, we meet many of the locals – some good, some not so good.

We are then introduced to Robbie Driscoll, a young woman who has been recommended to be his guide into the mountains.  Alex is immediately attracted to her, but she isn’t so sure of the rich man who has invaded her town.  Yet, she agrees to be his guide in Alex’s efforts to prove that the dying of the pine trees is the effect of Global Warming.

From this point forward, the story is heart-pounding.  Wolves are coming into town, women are missing and Alex, Robbie and his documentary team are right in the middle of it all.  From here on out it is page turning action.  Each scenario presented is explained and is absolutely believable.  As the attacks continue and the number of missing women escalates, no one, especially Alex and Robbie, know what to do.  The wannabe serial killer is enjoying the diversion of the wolves, but not for long.

The wolves are the real stars of this story, although they are savage and lust for the meat of mankind.  Each attack is brutal and Mr. Mariotte doesn’t mince words on the descriptions.  You will feel every sting each time flesh is ripped or bones are cracked.

The ending of this book is satisfying, even if slightly predictable.  Then again, it could end no other way.  Alex, having overcome his own demons somewhat, and Robbie do what they must to survive and to begin life anew – with the full knowledge that Global Warming is real and brings catastrophe with it  .

It’s a journey the reader will enjoy, from the socio-political standpoints and also the horror story it is wrapped in.

In Season of the Wolf, Jeffrey J. Mariotte creates a world so real that when you hear a wolf howl a shiver will go up your spine.  Highly recommended read.

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