Anna's Reviews > Queer Wolf

Queer Wolf by James E.M. Rasmussen
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Apr 04, 2009

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bookshelves: anthology
Read in March, 2009

Yes, that's right. Gay werewolf stories. 17 of them. I was sold before I even got past that one phrase. Now if only I could get CCR's "Bad Moon Rising" out of my head.

Since there are 17 stories here, I'm not going to do a rundown of each one. That kind of review would take a week to write and all night to read. So instead you get my thoughts on the collection as a whole.

Like any anthology, some of the stories appealed more than others, but almost all of them had surprising depth, and I wished several had been longer, not because I felt I was missing pieces, but because I wanted to spend more time with the characters and the world.

Because the stories deal with both homosexuality and werewolves, being accepted and finding a place to belong are huge themes in almost all of the stories, creating a thread to tie all the very different stories together. All the usual elements of urban fantasy are here: a little mystery, a touch of romance, plenty of action, and nifty worldbuilding. Anyone who's been hearing that urban fantasy is a tired genre, all the stories are the same, and it's all been done before needs to take a look at this anthology and how incredibly different each tale here is.

One minor quibble is that for a couple of the stories, being included in the anthology took away the "reveal" where the main character discovers they're faced with someone who is gay or a werewolf. It didn't ruin any of the stories for me, but lessened the impact of the "aha!" moment I would have had if I'd been reading the story from another source. Of course, this is a common issue with themed anthologies, and I can't say any of the stories should have been left out for that reason.

As a collection, Queer Wolf works nicely together. There's a nice mix of all things werewolf/lgbt in here: manlove, woman-on-woman, hereditary werewolves, werewolf bites, the occasional vampire or demon, cross-dressers, sweet romance, erotic sex scenes, and all manner of taboo-breaking, supernatural or otherwise. A number of stories had an entire pack of LGBT wolves, a safe haven for werewolves of a "different" sexuality, which is an interesting idea. The broad variety ensures pretty much everyone will find at least a couple stories they'll enjoy, and werewolf fanatics should consider the collection a must-read. (And is it too much to hope a few of the stories get expanded so I can read more?)
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