L’Année du loup-garou/The Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

lannee-du-loupgarou

Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Horror, supernatural, mystery

Medium: French paperback

Synopsis: In the town of Tarker Mills, Maine, a werewolf is running rampant.  Killing people, killing livestock, and destroying property.  Each month’s full moon casts a darker shadow on this small town.  But who is the werewolf, and who will stop him?

Review: I feel so privileged to be able to read a novella written by my favorite author in French!  And, it’s been a while since I’ve read some of his older work.  So, that being said, this review is likely going to be a little bit biased.

First things first: the structure.  The structure (12 chapters for 12 months of the year) made this novella so nice and easy to read.  By breaking it down in an evident way, we didn’t need to spend part of the chapter wondering where we were in the year, or who was killed when.  However, King does take liberties with the moon’s cycle, as some full moons in this novella happen at key points of the year such as Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July and Halloween, but he’s already written a note acknowledging this liberty and his reasoning behind it.

Next, the illustrations.  My copy has illustrations, which only make the aesthetic of this novella even more incredible!  It’s the perfect style, and while it can be gory, it never gets outrageously so.  Here’s my favorite illustration, done for Valentine’s Day:

nice

Thirdly–and this is why Stephen King is my favorite author–is that Stephen King is just so dang inclusive.  We have a variety of characters.  We have characters of various sizes, beliefs, and ability.  And, SPOILER ALERT, the person who makes the biggest difference in this story is Marty, a teenage boy in a wheelchair.  You’d think that the person to eventually figure out who the werewolf is and then kill him would be able-bodied, right?  Wrong!  And boy, am I glad.  Making Marty the town’s hero gave him much more agency than I feel like you’d normally see in a paraplegic boy in fictional media.  And you know what?  He wasn’t a martyr either–he lived to tell the tale.  END SPOILER ALERT.

Honestly, all of these things together–the well-structured story-line, the illustrations, and the inclusiveness are all what make Stephen King’s works such a pleasure to read.  So, if you’ve never read Stephen King, but you’re thinking about it, this would be a good place to start.

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