S.C.'s Reviews > Talulla Rising

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan
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's review
May 25, 2012

really liked it

A werewolf story brimming with strictly adult material, "Talulla Rising" follows a mission to recover a stolen child, one of globetrotting and unexpected alliances. Do not read this novel without first reading “The Last Werewolf”, as this is a continuation of that story and it consistently references it. Do not read this novel for story alone – its kidnap-and-rescue formula is tired. Instead, let Glen Duncan's sumptuous and stylish passages be your primary reason for picking up this book, as they make up for the lack of substance time and time again.

The birth scene was the most riveting part of the book for me; much thereafter seemed a downward coast. The rescue mission that follows is more out of obligation than maternal love but Talulla’s propensity to remain detached from people is only natural – both predator and prey, death looms around every corner for her. The book’s suspense, which could easily have fallen through the cracks in the hands of a lesser writer, remains intact due to Duncan's mesmeric and lyrical narrative. He is both eloquent and blunt in his delivery, and his strangely addictive amalgam of animalism and humanism, murder, carnage, sex (lots of it – beware!), tension, and meditation makes for a luscious word orgy for lovers of literary fiction.

TR has more spirit than its predecessor though there is still an undercurrent of melancholy to the proceedings. Like Jake Marlowe before her (the narrator in “The Last Werewolf”), Duncan humanizes Talulla by tingeing her monstrous acts with sadness and regret, making her worthy of readers' sympathies. But unlike Jake, Talulla has purpose from the get-go. She also has not endured centuries of death and loneliness. These are the major differences in narrative approach from one book to the next. A happier ending manages despite the sluggish momentum to create anticipation for the next book.

If you’ve grown tired of the redundant and undemanding narratives that YA novels offer for paranormal subject matter (or if they simply aren’t your thing), give Glen Duncan a try. Your right brain will be assuredly stimulated, its synapses crackling with pleasure.

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