There is one book that I keep coming back to.
One book that I can read time and time again in the suspense-fantasy or Urban fantasy crossover genre. It’s old and worn in places. But it still manages to captivate me. I guess in hindsight, it was also an example of what and how I wanted to write, even then.
The book is “The Wolf’s Hour” by Robert R. McCammon.
It’s marketed as a horror story, and in 1989, when it was published it definitely fell into that category.
In that era no one had heard of the term Urban Fantasy.
You had Thrillers, Romantic novels, Horror and maybe a few more types. Just a few genres that were basically extremely comprehensive in their definition.
In the blurb on the cover the description of the book reads: “Mr McCammon blends a riveting tale of World War II suspense with a beautifully crafted werewolf story, to create one of the most intriguing heroes in contemporary fiction.
In my opinion he was way ahead of his time. Making the old classic horror figure into a hero. Someone the reader can empathise with, some one with real human-like feelings, values and emotions.
Sound familiar? In the past ten years we have seen a big shift in the fantasy books and films.
The scary fantasy character, be it a vampire or a werewolf, or even Frankenstein, is no longer the monster under the bed.
Oh sure he, or she, can still revert to the terrifying creature that makes them so different from us “normal” people.
But that is not what keeps us going to the cinema, or makes us watch the reruns on TV.
We feel for the “creature.”We want him or her to “win,” to be happy, to have a good life, or death, whatever is appropriate.
And secretly, we are maybe just a little bit jealous.
Jealous of the things they can do that we can’t. Jealous sometimes of how good they look and continue to because they are frozen in time in the best shape of their life. Jealous maybe even of the monster within: that they can let out of its cage every now and then.
The book may be old, but it’s still a definite must-read for Urban Fantasy fans.