The werewolf myth is one of history’s most ubiquitous narratives, with nearly every culture offering some variant of the theme: Leopard Men, Jackal Men, Shark Men–wherever there’s a predatory beast that man might fear, there’s some human (or stories about a human) who claims to be able to transform into it. In some cases, these myths might be remnants of magical traditions long forgotten to society: A ritual invocation of the spirit of the predator as a “power animal” in an attempt to gain its physical prowess in combat or hunting. In others, these… Wait… Do you want a lesson in comparative religion or… Yeah, I thought so. Grab your silver bullets and meet me in the bunker in five minute.
Werewolves: They’re out there. For thousands of years, these monsters have haunted the periphery of human society, occasionally leaping out of the shadows to reap the devil’s share of flesh and fear. It’s time you strike back, and with Graeme Davis’s new book Werewolves: A Hunters Guide, you’ll know everything you’ll need to send our lycanthropic foes fleeing into the darkness, tail between their legs.
Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide is part of Osprey Publishing’s “Osprey Adventures” line: an ongoing series of books that bring readers out of the daylight and into the shadowy world of covert battles against supernatural foes once thought pure fiction–but now revealed to be terrifying truth.
Clearly, any neophyte lycanthrope hunter will want to know the history of their prey, and in this regard as with so many others, Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide succeeds admirably. A short introduction to the topic of werewolves and their place in history expands into a chapter-by-chapter identification of various sub-species of these rapacious moonlight predators, their habits, and their weaknesses: Viral werewolves (today’s leading source of werewolf infection, as you know), sorcerous werewolves, shamanic werewolves, and–presuming you’re naive enough to believe that werewolves are simply delusional human beings–“obsessive werewolves”- all receive the kind of serious detail that Osprey Publishing is known for. Case studies, including anti-werewolf actions taken against these various forms of the wolf-man menace, are all well-documented here.
While it’s hard to pinpoint a particular aspect of this altogether superior book as deserving of your attention, the section on werewolf factions currently active around the world could be a very strong contender, as is the section on the anti-werewolf organizations who have been bringing the good fight to the werewolf menace for many decades. The situation reports regarding their current activities and inter-faction conflicts could be of extreme value to werewolf hunters ready to join the fight.
Maybe you don’t want to go toe to wicked, curving claw with the werewolf menace: That’s okay, because you’re still going to love this book. The original art is above and beyond anything that you might expect. I’m especially fond of Hauke Kock’s evocative grayscale illustrations, but the color digital paintings are fantastic, too. Then there are fantastic vintage etches and much more.
I can’t imagine anyone with even a passing interest in horror and werewolves passing on this particular book, but if you’re considering doing so, then well…. just think very, very carefully before the next full moon.