25 Ways to Kill A Werewolf by Jo Thomas
Cover Art by Sarah Anne Langton
‘My name is Elkie Bernstein. I live in North Wales and I kill werewolves.’
When Elkie finds herself fighting for her life against something that shouldn’t exist she is faced with the grim reality that werewolves are real and she just killed one. Part diary, part instruction manual Elkie guides the reader through 25 ways you can kill a werewolf, without any super powers, and how she did it.
I’m always picking up Fox Spirit Books because I know Adele has great taste and this is no exception. 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf takes on a difficult task: offering us a monster hunter in a an age when our popular culture is rife with them. Thomas is up to the task, however, in part by setting the tales in the very vivid Welsh countryside. Elkie’s village of Llados is on the road to Dylan Thomas’ Llareggub, so not as isolated as life Under Milk Wood but definitely off the beaten track which helps offer breaks between the on-going series of attacks after her teen crush begins playing a deadly game with her. The sheer novelty of the killing methods is amusing in itself (who doesn’t love a good nail gun death?) and since I started the book mid-semester it made it less jarring to only be able to sneak a chapter now and then, yet not feel lost when I had to let days lapse before devouring another chapter.
The best part has to be Elkie’s transformation as she survives one attack after another; some by sheer luck, some by her cleverness and over time by her learning and courage. I surmised how the story would go and before long everything changed and I had no idea where the tale would lead. That’s the best kind of story to me, one that I can’t predict. Fun, engaging and open-ended enough that we could have further adventures of Elkie, but we don’t have to rely on them to feel satisfied. Just curious 😉