Fiction Review: Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

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TITLE & AUTHOR: Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
EDITION: Kindle
RELEASE DATE: 10 May 2016
PAGES: 384 pages

AUTHOR WEBSITE

AMAZON.UK

AMAZON.COM

NET

I got this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

A spellbinding and darkly humorous coming-of-age story about an unusual boy, whose family lives on the fringe of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.

He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and Uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixed blood, neither this nor that. The boy at the centre of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks.

For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and narrow escapes—always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will finally know if their nephew is like them or not. And the close calls they’ve been running from for so long are catching up fast now. Everything is about to change.

A compelling and fascinating journey, Mongrels alternates between past and present to create an unforgettable portrait of a boy trying to understand his family and his place in a complex and unforgiving world. A smart and innovative story— funny, bloody, raw, and real—told in a rhythmic voice full of heart, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, novel that illuminates the challenges and tender joys of a life beyond the ordinary in a bold and imaginative new way.

OPENING 

My grandfather used to tell me he was a werewolf.

WHAT I THOUGHT 

Mongrels is a fantastic book. I thought there was nothing about werewolves that hadn’t already been covered in fiction. This author has proven me wrong. This is truly unique werewolf novel. I like the fact this is a coming of age story with a unique twist – the hapless teenager in question just happens to be a werewolf. The Skin Trade by George R.R. Martin is a novella and the best damn piece of werewolf fiction ever written. I read it years ago in an old horror anthology and it blew my mind. Mongrels is almost as good. The really great thing about this book is the whole werewolf thing is not the sum of the novels parts. This is only a small part of the story. The novel deals with the importance of family ties, life as an outsider which is something most people can relate to and trying to survive in a world that will never completely accept you. It would have been easy to write another run-of-the-mill werewolf novel but Mongrels is much, much deeper. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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