Mongrels follows a family of werewolves – grandfather, grandson and his auntie and uncle – as they exist nomadically, roaming like a literal pack across the southern states of North America, so as to avoid leaving tell-tale tracks in the snow at winter time.
The grandson, who is deliberately unnamed, acts as our guide and storyteller as we follow this family from one event to another as they try to stay one step ahead of hunters and the law. Although the events within the story are never totally bombastic, it’s understandable due to the fact that the main characters are doing their best to stay under the radar and survive.
There are plenty of humorous moments throughout, especially as our narrator doesn’t know whether he will actually end up turning into a lycanthrope at any point in his life, and the story cracks along at a great pace. The grandson is told tales from the family’s past, even though the proceedings seem to change each time he is told them, but this helps the reader as a little bit more information is offered to you due to this.
It’s nice to have an understated tale in this sub-genre that highlights just how difficult it must be to try and live your life day to day, cent to cent as you keep your ravenous and naturalistic tendencies out of the peeping eye of others, even when they suspect the truth.
It is a tale with family at its very core as the outcasts do everything they can to protect each other, even as events escalate and hiding doesn’t seem such a viable option anymore. There is a real Near Dark vibe to it and it is interesting to see that the author has chosen to write the novel in the way that he has, alternating chapters being told in first person and then third person to break up the narrative.
We suggest that you stop prowling your local bookstore and just buy this already.
You’d be howling mad not to!
MONGRELS / AUTHOR: STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES / PUBLISHER: HARPER VOYAGER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW