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Wolf Hunter

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In the waning days of WWII, the Nazis succeeded in creating the ultimate fighters, werewolves. Viktor Huelen escaped capture and made his way to America, where he lived for years undetected...until now.

In present day Detroit, Huelen is being blackmailed into sharing his dark gift with a group of college kids. Jack is an Ojibwa shapeshifter...

...and the only thing that stands between the werewolves and world domination.

200 pages, Paperback

First published November 30, 2012

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About the author

J.L. Benet

2 books9 followers
J.L. Benét was born and raised in a small, northern Michigan town where John Bellairs and Stephen King were devoured alongside Doyle, Poe, and Asimov. He attended the University of Michigan, majoring in English. While at U of M, he also discovered a natural talent for teaching and became a certified teacher, which lead to his teaching high school for a decade gave him great insights into both education and the minds of his young students.

J.L. earned a Master’s degree in Writing of Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University while finishing his first novel. He also has numerous shorter fiction and non-fiction pieces published in various magazine and anthologies.

He currently lives in Denver, CO, with his cat, dog and partner in crime. He spends his days shepherding area college students through the sometimes daunting task of learning to write college-level essays. When not teaching or writing, he plays rugby for the Denver Harlequins.

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5 stars
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10 (45%)
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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Clayton Bye.
Author 14 books89 followers
October 14, 2014

Wolf Hunter
J.L. Benét
Belfire Press
ISBN: 978-1-927580-03-5
Trade Paperback
200 pages

As a final, desperate effort to turn around World War II the Third Reich, via Himmler, decides to create a group of super soldiers by turning them into werewolves. However, the experiment goes horribly wrong and only one lone wolf escapes. Viktor Huelen makes it through the rest of the war and eventually ends up living in Michigan in the good old US of A.

Steve Williams is a University of Michigan student obsessed with the idea of becoming a werewolf. And now his research into the werewolf myth is paying great dividends. Not only has he found the machine used by the Nazi’s in WWII, he has gathered the herbal elements required for the “ceremony” of becoming a wolf. All he needs are a few missing pieces and he’ll be there. Of course, he finds Huelen and blackmails him into helping.

As all this is going on, an Ojibwa shapeshifter named Jack is hunting down these evil werewolves and killing them. His elders have told him about Huelen and Steve. His assignment? Kill them.

What you have for the rest of the novel is a fairly predictable urban fantasy. Yes it’s fast-paced. Thought provoking, as one reviewer claims? I don’t think so. Is the end a surprise we couldn't possibly see coming? I don’t think so. Is the ending a good one? You guessed. I don’t think so.

You must forgive me for the sarcasm. It’s just that here we have a book that apparently has no bad reviews and, conversely, has received nothing but 5 star reviews. And the old alarm bell is going off in my head. Especially considering I finished the novel feeling unsatisfied and that I had just experienced a bumpy ride, rather than the smooth one I would expect from an author of such apparent skill.

In all fairness, the book touches everything it should have touched. But Jack’s character, for instance, was such an obvious chance to do some superlative writing, to create a fine story within a story. What do we get? We get the story, but it’s bare bones, lacking the richness such a character deserves. Jack’s not even treated like the main character. No, that goes to obnoxious Steve. Why, for God’s sake? The title of the book is Wolf Hunter!

And that last bit probably sums up my thoughts with respect to Wolf Hunter: It has a fine skeleton, but the flesh that is a great story is missing. This is a honed down, tough and unforgiving novel that does not serve the reader. One critic compared J.L. Benét to Robert McCammon in his early days. Well let me say this clearly–Benét’s book is nothing like McCammon’s own werewolf story. The Wolf’s Hour is brilliant. Its main character is so rich and interesting, one cannot get enough. And McCammon recognizes this by spending at least 80% of the novel on the werewolf’s story. In contrast, Benet’s own main character is unlikeable and not much more than a caricature.

My final comments? Wolf Hunter left me feeling cranky. Revisiting it for this review has not changed that feeling.

Copyright © 2013 Clayton Clifford Bye
Profile Image for Nathan Robinson.
Author 46 books68 followers
August 18, 2013
Wolf Hunter by J. L. Benét

“In the waning days of WWII, the Nazis succeeded in creating the ultimate fighters, werewolves. Viktor Huelen escaped capture and made his way to America, where he lived for years undetected...until now.”
Another day, another super soldier themed horror, Wolf Hunter starts during the final days of WWII, setting up the interesting premise that the Nazi’s may have tinkered with the occult to produce super werewolves that would effectively reign furred terror upon the battle field. But the experiment is cut short and the war ends with several of the wolf tainted soldiers escaping. Fast forward to modern America and we meet thoroughly unlikable student Steve who’s pretty much infatuated with all things werewolfy and has his heart set on become a midnight howler after discovering that the Germans may have built a machine to allow him to complete his dreams. Thrown into the mix is a shape-shifting Native American, Jack, who is tasked by tribe elders to vanquish this fresh attempt at werewolfedom at any cost. Jack is the Chuck Norris of shape-shifting Native Americans and his tortured soul provides the novel with a flawed, complex hero who is forced into bloodshed because his tribe demands it.
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the ethos of Wolf Hunter, I felt the plot lacking in parts, becoming bogged down midway as the students seek to source parts and materials for their experiment. Also the use of the Nazi’s is underused as their sinister experiment is never truly realised. It would have been fun to see a pack of werewolves on the battlefield tearing soldiers open and being bad dogs. However, what interested most about this novel wasn’t the action or even the scenes of gore, but the belief system of the Native Americans which is explored and nicely interwoven with the mythos of werewolves.
“When man first lit a fire, he separated himself from the animal world. He gained civilisation but lost his place in the animal world. It was man’s relationships to other humans that set him apart.”
They’re many gorgeous little thoughts like this sprinkled throughout the story. Fans of shape-shifters or werewolves will lap up this thoughtful little novel, but gore fiends wanting blood soaked fur fest might be a little disappointed as the amount of wolf action on offer.

Profile Image for Keith Gouveia.
Author 32 books12 followers
March 12, 2013
Honestly, for this reader, the rating is closer to a 3.5 than a 4, but I know my gripe is my own prejudice and probably won’t be shared by the majority, so I rounded up rather than down.

Wolf Hunter is written in a blistering pace. Fast and enjoyable. However, there were times I wanted the pace to slow in order for the tension to mount naturally. After reading Wolf Hunter I feel as though the Nazi aspect was over-sold. There should have been more than 4-5 chapters worth of the Nazi’s fascination with the occult and more detail about the transformation itself, and outside of the impossible-to-pronounce surnames, there is only a swear word uttered in the German language. A little more dialect would have gone a long way to add flavor.

That said, Wolf Hunter is a wild ride using lesser known tropes. The phase of the moon is irrelevant as these werewolves are skin walkers able to change when the need or desire arises, making them unpredictable. Copious amounts of blood is spilled, the plot twists keeping the reader on his or her toes, and the pages fly with the same voraciousness as the aforementioned beast.

If you’re already a fan of the werewolf genre, you really have no reason not to buy this book right now. As for the rest of you, you just might find yourself a fan after devouring this book.
Profile Image for John.
Author 72 books72 followers
December 3, 2015
In the dying days of World War II Hitler Youth member Viktor Huelen is summoned to Schloss Huelchrath to take part in an experiment intended to create a group of fanatical young devotees of the Reich who would be able to transform themselves into werewolves. Decades later, two are still alive in the United States; but when one of them is killed it becomes clear that someone else knows of their existence – and possesses the power to find and destroy them. Two university students are fascinated by werewolf lore and the possibility of using occult means to turn into the creatures they desire to be. Joining forces and stalked by the mysterious killer, the paths of all three cross in the pursuit, for their own differing ends, of the aging survivor.

When considering Wolf Hunter is it difficult not to recall Darker Than You Think, Jack Williamson’s celebrated novel of lycanthropy first published in book form in 1948. Like its elder pack sibling, Benét’s novel is no great work of literature, but an honest and straightforward piece of pulp fiction horror mixing legend and folklore with a pseudoscience overlay to produce a vigorous and often gory story owing much to its genre ancestry. Wolf Hunter also invokes the perennial appeal (if not desire) of the despised and commonplace for transformation into the glamorous, powerful – and deadly.
Profile Image for Angela Crawford.
381 reviews20 followers
April 29, 2014
In the waning days of WWII, the Nazis succeeded in creating the ultimate fighters, werewolves. Viktor Huelen escaped capture and made his way to America, where he lived for years undetected…until now.

In present day Detroit, Huelen is being blackmailed into sharing his dark gift with a group of college kids. Jack is an Ojibwa shapeshifter…

…and the only thing that stands between the werewolves and world domination.

Wolf Hunter started off great. I loved the first two thirds of the book but the end just kind of left me cold. The hero of the book, Jack, apparently forgot most of the things he had learned about the werewolves, and his own shapeshifting for that matter. Unfortunately, I hadn't. The ending leaves it open for a sequel.

I think that the author, J.L. Benet is worth reading. His descriptions were very well done, some were laugh out loud funny (" The bum had seen Jack's truck and was running toward him with the jerking gate of a crackhead with Parkinson's." ). So good writer, not such a great book. It had an imaginative, interesting plot. I wish it had lived up to it's potential.
Profile Image for Lee Howard.
Author 28 books128 followers
August 29, 2013
I haven't read any werewolf fiction in a long time. But I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of Benét's debut novel. The Nazi history and Native American folklore were well-researched and made for a deeper read than I expected.

Benét skillfully weaves the Nazi thread from the past into the fabric of the present, where obsessed student Steve and his college friends desire to become werewolves for their own selfish and destructive ends. The only one who can stop them is Jack, an Ojibwa shapeshifter who seeks to keep the world safe from their kind of evil.

With dark and interesting characters, this story keeps you guessing. The quick pace will keep you reading until the end. There's plenty of gore and some vicious sex. The book should be a hit with anyone who likes were-creatures and the meaty-red trail of death they leave in their wake. And Benét gives shapeshifting lore a refreshing twist. Recommended.
Profile Image for Daniel.
132 reviews8 followers
March 18, 2013
Jack is a bear walker. a native shapeshifter with one goal, eradicate the remaining European werewolves, remnants of Hitlers Werewolf SS. When a college student and his friends discover how to make the device responsible for the transformation, Jack must protect his tribe's secret.

Mr. Benet's werewolf tale is entertaining. gory, and fast paced. I was expecting a bit more story bout the Nazi's and their experiments, but maybe that would have slowed the pace of the story too much.

In the version I read, there were a few typographical errors, but none were that bothersome.

Overall "Wolf Hunter" is a brutal werewolf story with a historic twist.
731 reviews33 followers
August 8, 2013
its a good book i loved it i liked the bloody parts best
i didnt want to put it down the werewolfs i loved
thanks for the book
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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