“A person is there, one day, and the next he doesn’t exist. Even if he’s your dad. Because nobody is safe. Ever.”
Cheyenne Clark is the front woman in a hunt for the werewolf who killed her father when she was a child. Unfortunately, her wish to come face to face with Monty Powell comes at a severe price . . . her humanity.
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FROSTBITE: A WEREWOLF TALE
by David Wellington
The Frostbite Series #1
When Cheyenne “Chey” Clark was a child, her father ran into a wolf on the road by accident as they were returning from a camping trip. The wolf, however, was a not-so-easily killed werewolf. It attacked and ate her father in front of her eyes. She barely escaped as it came after her.
Years later, Chey is hunting the werewolf in the wilds of Northern Canada when it finds her.
She manages to avoid becoming the huge wolf’s lunch but not before it bites her leg. In the morning, Chey staggers on and encounters a mysterious man called Dzo who eventually notices her enough to take her to the only other person who could help — Montgomery “Monty” Powell.
Monty barely meets Chey before she suspects he is the werewolf that she and Bobby have been hunting. And, she is certain, he is the werewolf who killed her father years before. So while Monty welcomes her into his home, she sends a signal to Bobby.
Unfortunately, complications arise. Monty realizes she was bitten by a werewolf — him — and is going to turn into a wolf as soon as the sun goes down unless he kills her first. The idea of someone to share his exile with may be tempting but the chance that another monster may savage the human population because of him is the stuff of his nightmares.
Unknown to Monty, Bobby is flying in by helicopter in response to Chey’s signal.
Unknown to Chey, Bobby is bringing in armed help — expert wolf killers — because the hunt was never just Chey’s . . . she was just the bait.
And if she survives past the first evening — through her first transformation into wolf — if she does become a werewolf — how will Bobby Fenech, her lover, her boss and her companion in werewolf hating, take that?
Come to think of it . . . how will she?
WHY I LIKED IT:
This story starts up with Chey in the middle of tracking down a werewolf and it continues straight through, pausing only for a couple of flashbacks to tell Monty’s story and Chey’s story.
The pacing alternates between breakneck speed and catch your breath slower speed. Wellington does an excellent job of heightening the suspense even in the slower moments — such as when Chey quietly goes through Monty’s cabin noticing first one then another and finally seeing the large clues in the kitchen that point to Monty being a werewolf.
Oddly enough (because I usually love strong female characters) Chey’s character was slow to grow on me. Dzo and Monty caught me immediately but Chey took time. She came alive when we got her back story — the trip home where she lost her father and her life derailed after that.
From that point on, Chey had me hooked. Her character took on more layers when this careful, almost solitary woman realizes she does need human company when trapped in Bobby’s cabin. You could feel her imprisonment almost becoming claustrophobic.
Northern Canada serves as the setting for most of the story. I was particularly interested in the trees that are growing in different directions, giving it the name of the Drunken Forest. Then the action moves to the abandoned town called Port Radium.
When Chey is a wolf, the narrator slips into her wolf mind and uses a lot a repetitive words. Words like cursed, man and silver, are very meaningful to the wolf. And Wellington folds the repetition echoing in the wolf’s head into a very short sentence explaining why the word is so important to the reader. These are very short terse passages because the wolves do not think great thoughts.
In Frostbite, there are a couple of coincidences which other reviewers have held up at flaws in the story. I know that Frostbite, is part of a series and I suspect that what seems like coincident now may prove to be far different when the full story is revealed. The story is told from Chey’s point of view and what she doesn’t find out until later, we can’t find out until later.
I listened to Frostbite from the CLEVNET eMedia Collection and found it difficult to put down.
Tai Sammons read the book and did a great job with the story. Her voice became Chey for me. She handled the word repetition very well, making it sound more like poetry through changes in pitch and tone. Especially the passages about silver that could have been deadly dull but Tai punched them up with her voice, until they were like heartbeats.
Not surprisingly the male voices weren’t her best but I tend to cut a lot of slack when a reader makes a serious attempt to differentiate opposite-sex voices. Monty and Dzo’s were the best male voices. And Dzo’s voice had the sense of alienness appropriate to the character.
If you like David Wellington’s Frostbite: A Werewolf Tale, you might want to pick up the next book in the series: Overwinter: A Werewolf Tale.
David Wellington has also written a couple of other horror series. His first published series was about zombies: Monster Island: A Zombie Novel, Monster Nation: A Zombie Novel, and Monster Planet: A Zombie Novel.
His vampire series with State Trooper Laura Caxton is also very popular. It starts with 13 Bullets, 99 Coffins: A Historical Vampire Tale, Vampire Zero: A Gruesome Vampire Tale, 23 Hours: A Vengeful Vampire Tale and 32 Fangs: A Final Vampire Tale. Mr. Wellington got started on the Internet and you can still read some of his books for free — albeit in a rough draft form.