Review by The Bone Breaker
First of all, for those who may be unaware, Bestial is a sequel to last year's Ravenous - a sequel that I have been counting down the days for! [Bestial just came out, this past Tuesday]
Until I read Ravenous, Animals [written by John Skipp & Craig Spector] had been my favorite werewolf novel - that quickly changed though - in fact, Ravenous pretty much changed my opinion of werewolves in general. [I had always been a fan of werewolves, however my tastes leaned more towards the vampires written by Lumley, Wellington, and Garton himself. . .]
Ravenous changed all of that - I began to long for Garton's werewolves to take on any of the above vampires [except for perhaps Lumley's, as his could no doubt hold their own, yet I digress]
Anyhow, it looks like I may soon be getting my wish!
You see, Garton has also written two excellent vampire novels [Live Girls & Night Life] and in Night Life, Garton introduced two private investigators [Karen Moffet & Gavin Keoph] who were hired by an eccentric horror novelist [think Garton himself - in fact, Garton even alludes to this by mentioning one of the author's previous books about alien women with fanged vaginas - for those who have read Garton's 1st novel, 'Seductions', this is all too familiar!] Anyhow, the author [Martin Burgess] hired Moffet & Keoph to look into the subject matter that he writes about - to see if perhaps any of it actually exists.
Well, it just so happens that in Bestial, Burgess has once again hired Moffet & Keoph and sent them to Big Rock, California to look into the rumors of 'werewolves' [that came about in Ravenous] So, do you see where this is heading?!? I definitely sense a cross-over in the works! [especially given the way Bestial ended]
Enough about all of that though - I am hear to review Bestial - I just figured that a little background information would benefit those who have never read any of the other books mentioned - in fact, it may just be best to give a little background on Ravenous - you see, Garton's werewolves are created by a disease/wolf virus [Lupus Venerus] the catch is that it is sexually transmitted, which makes it all the more interesting! Like traditional werewolves though, silver is their weakness [a huge weakness, in my opinion, as silver only has to be introduced into their system for it to be fatal]
So, there you have it - now on to Bestial:
For anyone who knows or who has researched Garton, then you are aware that he was raised a Seventh Day Adventist. This plays a huge role in Bestial. Whether Garton was using this novel as a means of catharsis remains to be seen, however it sure felt as if Garton was exorcising his Adventist upbringing, while writing this novel. [there just seemed to be a lot of "personal bashing" towards the church and one of its founders - Ellen G. White]
There is more to it than the author's past though, as all of it is integral to the plot of the story. [without giving too much away, the head werewolf, before he was turned, was also raised an Adventist, and he plans to use his knowledge of the church to exploit them - he plans to infiltrate the church, using it as a base of operations - he and his pack will then take over the businesses owned by the church members, their outreach programs, schools, hospitals, etc, spreading out into the surrounding communities - actually a very impressive and well thought out idea!]
Not only this, but a "new breed" has been born [with only a 3-month gestation period] which strengthens the werewolves' ideals that they are evolving and destined to become the dominant race!
I do not want to say anything more, in case I end up saying too much - if you doubt that this is an amazing read, then I encourage you to run out to your local bookstore and just read Garton's phenomenal prologue to this book - best 16 pages ever! :-)
If you have yet to read Ravenous, then I suggest that you read that one first [though you don't necessarily have to] I also suggest that you read Live Girls [which has nothing to do with Ravenous or Bestial] and its sequel Night Life [with the above mentioned investigators] as I feel that all of these books are heading towards an explosive cross-over event. I just know that we are going to see the werewolves from Ravenous & Bestial crossing paths with the vampires from Live Girls & Night Life. . .