[701]: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

Weird, gory, and not of the teen wolf variety.


The Last Werewolf
by Glen Duncan

I’m not new to this rodeo. I’ve had my fair share of lycanthrope stories. And while vampires and zombies are my typical go-to whenever I get a hankering for the supernatural, I must admit that I’ve been missing them lately.

Now, I will be the first one to say that I’m prejudiced when it comes to werewolves. I always assume that there will be super alpha males drumming their chest as soon as they find their “mates”. I know that instant-love is almost always a key ingredient; and that most will go through the angst of accepting the monsters inside themselves. This book is certainly all of that.  Jake goes through the self-hating phase soon after killing his first human. He’ll feel the pull of his intended once he finds her. But while most of the novels in this variety are littered with the emotional dramatics of the main character, Jake Marlowe, however, will disappoint the most ardent readers of paranormal romance.

This is not your usual werewolf story that’s for damn sure.

The Last Werewolf, as the title implies, is the story about the last remaining werewolf in the world. Jake will find out that there’s nothing remotely glamorous or even reverent about the distinction, however. Enemies left and right will be coming out of the woodwork to rid the world of this last abomination. He wouldn’t know whom to trust, and anybody close to him faces certain death. He’s not going to enjoy being the hunted this time.

He’s not a teen heartthrob who stalks the halls of his school in all his emo glory. Nope. Jake Marlowe is a 200-year-old cynic who’s seen everything, done everything, and ready to peace out of this world. But…he wants to do it in his own terms.

Jake’s type of werewolf is the kind that needs to eat people in order to survive. The cycle of the moon also plays a pivotal role in prolonging their lives. While waiting for the full moon, they can live by gratuitously imbibing on alcohol and smoking like a chimney. They also need sex – and plenty of it! In a way, this brand of werewolves is like the vampires. They thrive on the indulgence of flesh and excessive vice. The author certainly doesn’t pull any punches. Violence, sex, gore are described in explicit details. But for the amount of sex included in this book, not a single scene was written with sexual arousal in mind. There’s a distinct dismissive casualty and banality to the act. He didn’t loiter in the scenes and didn’t dawdle. You wouldn’t feel any warm fuzzies or the need to smoke afterward.

Glen Duncan will probably annoy some of you. He comes across as a pretentious jerk for name-dropping some literary greats in his book. But I do see his point. Jake Marlowe is 200 years old, after all. How else would he occupy his immortal life but read?

He will make you feel as exhausted as Jake feels; as tired of life as he was. In that respect, Duncan is a very convincing writer. He spent most of his time ruminating about the life he led, the loves he lost, and the people he ate. But nowhere did he try to get the reader’s empathy. Duncan’s writing is very “male” for lack of a better word.

I am, however, sorry that I felt no emotion whatsoever while reading this book. That doesn’t mean, however, that I didn’t enjoy it. It’s not a bad quality, per se. But sometimes, you just got to take what you’re reading with a grain of salt. It’s a change of pace and it’s great to read something that doesn’t put me through the wringer for once.

  • Lovely review Joy 😀 Yay for enjoying this one. <3 But aw, I'm sorry you didn't feel as much as you wanted to. That sucks. Ugh. I don't really think this one would be for me.. but I sort of like werewolves; sometimes 😀 Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts about this one. <3

  • Yes, this does sound very different than the usual. Especially the eating of humans. I’ve read The Last Vampire by J.T. Gessinger and while its more a longer short story, it’s very different as well and it also makes you think. And it’s definitely not all hearts and flowers. Glad this ended up being a four star read for you!

  • This sounds fascinating, despite the fact that you couldn’t connect with it! Think I’ll be giving it a go!

  • Haaa, Your description of what you expected is so spot on SPOT ON! I am pleasantly surprised by what this book is about and how different it is! Great review!

  • Lack of emotions is one of the reasons I usually struggle to finish a book and often put it down. I hope your next read will be better. Thanks for sharing this one. 🙂

  • “I always assume that there will be super alpha males drumming their chest as soon as they find their ‘mates'” Hahahaha oh my god, this is awesome. I love a good werewolf story but you’re not exactly wrong about them. 😂

    Personally I don’t think this story is for me — I don’t mind gore and violence, but Duncan’s writing sounds like it would leave me cold.

  • I usually want to feel some emotion when I read, but this does sound different from the average werewolf book. Glad to hear you enjoyed this original take on werewolves. 🙂

  • Hm, interesting concept! I tend to be a very emotional reader and need to connect, so I may skip this one. Thanks for the great review!

  • Very interesting. I haven’t seen this book before. I’ve read a few werewolf books – I love The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Stiefvater – those are great. Great review!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for sharing. A bit of a bummer to hear you didn’t really feel much emotion toward the book. But then again, it almost seems like that’s the point. It’s NOT an emotional read. I’ve seen this one around but I don’t think it’s quite for me.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

  • Greg Hill

    Hmm, this sounds like a mixed bag. On the one hand the whole world- weary, let’s get it over with mindset might be kinda realistic, but at the same time I’m not sure I would like the character. Not that that’s necessary if it’s a good book, but… I don’t know. Will have to think about this one. Great review, thanks for sharing!

  • Great review, I think I’ll steer clear of this for now as I’m still feeling pretty exhausted from the last few books I read.

  • I’ve seen this around and have been curious. It sounds like it puts it all out there with not much holding back and definitely like you mentioned, not your teen wolf variety! Too bad it connect with you better but rather a change of pace. 🙂

  • This one just sounds like it is quite different… and I am not sure how I feel about it. Although it does have the werewolf elements that most werewolf stories do, I’m not sure how I would feel about handling the entirety of this storyline without that much emotion to it? I mean, it sounds like there is a lot going on for it all to be told so plainly…

  • Karen

    Have you read Frostbite by David Wellington? It’s about werewolves but not necessarily the romanticized version. From what you said about this book – it’s a cross of traditional weres – with more character connection – and savage like here.

    And my husband has enjoyed his vampire books as well.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • Hmmm this one sounds pretty interesting. I like it when books have a different take on something that has been done many times before.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    This sounds like a completely dud for you, that is a bummer!

  • RO

    Whew! This sounds interesting. I have to admit that I used to be into the alpha male werewolf romance stories back in the day, but now not so much. You depict what this all about well, which I enjoy.

  • Hmmm … I’m not sure how I would like this since I generally like to feel a lot when I read.

  • Jasprit

    When you initially started your review I thought that this book would be your typical werewolf read, so I’m glad to see that this one is quite different. I don’t think that this would be my sort of read though, but its always great to change your reading up once in a while! Great review Joy!

  • Hmmmm, I am not sure, it seems good, but no emotions while reading, I do wonder

  • This sounds completely different than most werewolf books that I’ve read. I”m sorry it didn’t have the emotional connection you were looking for. It is nice to change things up every now and then. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  • Oh it’s nice to have a different werewolves story like that!

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    Huh, this seems to be quite blunt in its portrayal of its werewolf protagonist and I don’t think I’d enjoy it much either in terms of emotionally connecting with it. I hadn’t heard of this one before but thanks for the honest review, Joy–I’ll definitely be skipping this one!