It’s 1986 and the town is gripped in terror after the mutilated corpse of a young boy is found in the woods. When Sergeant Steven Wilkinson begins an investigation, with the help of a specialist hunter, he soon realises that this is no ordinary animal attack. Werewolves are real, and the trail of bodies is just beginning, with young John and his friends smack in the middle of it…
With a trilogy of books already released, it seemed to make sense to review all three in one go, because the fact is, I found after experiencing the first, you’ll be dying to get stuck into the rest. I could leave the review at that, and maybe you’ll take my word for it. But what if you don’t?
Let’s talk werewolves. When done right, the embodiment of pure, carnal beast is a formidable horror staple. Reynolds nails the lore from the first bite to the last bullet.
High Moor is thrill ride from start to finish, harking back to 80’s action horror classics whilst maintaining a firm sense of much loved nostalgia. With a group of friends facing off against a seemingly invincible terror, there’s a definite sense of a childhood betrayed, a trope Stephen King has used successfully in several of his Kids vs Monsters stories, and in this, Reynolds brilliantly portrays a struggling northern town to perfection.
Another point I loved is that Reynolds could’ve quite easily ended the novel at several points, and as a reader, I would have been happy. But the action keeps coming, taking the story much further than I ever expected.
Humorous and at times utterly shocking, High Moor sets the scene, with a group of characters you’ll come to love, and love to hate.
Moon Struck takes the story to the next level and introduces a larger pack of werewolves, delving into group politics and further into their history, which makes fascinating reading as we head deeper into Reynolds’ universe. Whilst Moonstruck moves at a slower pace, it soon picks up, especially with the inclusion of a psychopathic werewolf called Connie, who steals the show, literally chewing the scenery (and quite often, characters) with maniacal, blood squirting glee.
Blood Moon completes the saga (for the time being) with an all-out war of werewolves vs werewolves vs humans as species eradication and infighting is rife. This werewolf holocaust is touching at times, as Reynolds succeeds in humanising the monster, creating more than just a community, but families as well, struggling as their lives are turned upside down
But with a story about tooth and claws, it can only end one way; blood, and lots of it. Graeme Reynolds delivers it by the bucket load, satisfying even the sickest of gore lovers. My one gripe is the woefully underused idea of a werewolf super soldier, but there’s always room for another sequel.
Also, hats off again to Chris Barnes for his flawless performance, bringing depths to characters by creating individual voices for each. His ear for accents is uncanny, and hearing him flit between West Country lilt and thick Russian is a joy to behold, keeping me gripped for many a long and lonely drive.
All in all, High Moor is an exhilarating thrill ride of action horror that never threatens to give up the pace, and the entire trilogy is thoroughly recommended, whether it’s in book form or audiobook.