The Damned

SFX - - Books -

All’s Bad On The Were­wolf Front

Re­lease Date: 28 May

352 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: Tarn Richard­son Pub­lisher: Duck­worth Over­loo

Were­wolves in World

War One? Given the ac­tual hor­rors of the time, the idea sug­gests plenty of ac­tion and gore, and there is a rea­son­able amount of both here. How­ever, The Damned fails to achieve its po­ten­tial.

At first, Tarn Richard­son does a nice job of work­ing mon­sters into the re­al­ity of World War One, with gen­uinely at­mo­spheric scenes of Tom­mies in the trenches en­coun­ter­ing the re­sults of a were­wolf attack for the first time. How­ever, it doesn’t last. En­ter Poldek Tacit, the al­co­holic, vi­o­lent, were­wolf- hunt­ing In­quisi­tor ( who’s sup­posed to be the hero of the piece, de­spite be­ing a deeply un­pleas­ant per­son), and some ridicu­lous con­niv­ing Car­di­nals. There are only two sub­stan­tial fe­male char­ac­ters in the book: one a good- time girl who we first en­counter air­ing her foof at the win­dow, the other a sexy nun with seem­ingly ir­re­sistible cleav­age. It would be un­fair to sug­gest the male char­ac­ters are any less clichéd, but they are less ob­jec­ti­fied.

There are too many back­sto­ries: one for Tacit and one for the car­di­nals. This, on top of see­ing the present through the eyes of sev­eral char­ac­ters, makes the story stutter rather than flow. The whole en­ter­prise feels hor­ri­bly dated, and at least ’ 80s writ­ers like Shaun Hut­son and Robert McCam­mon seemed to be hav­ing fun in their writ­ing, whereas The Damned feels leaden as well as old- fash­ioned. Miriam McDon­ald The me­dieval tun­nels un­der Ar­ras de­picted in the book do ex­ist, and were ex­panded by troops from Bri­tain and New Zealand.

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