Review: Inhuman by Anna Dusk

inhuman.jpg    Anna Dusk
Transit Lounge Publishing, 286 pp.
Source: review copy
Review by Bernadette Gooden

Sally Hunter is a young teenager growing up in a small country town in Tasmania where everyone knows everyone else's business. She is part of a dysfunctional family that is being raised by a single mother. Her father is dead, and she has 2 brothers. She seems to be at odds with everyone from the start, feeling physically and mentally different from others. This starts to manifest itself in feelings of illness and heightened sensual perception.

This is a rite of passage story with a big difference. Not only is she struggling with teenage angst, but also the growing awareness that she is turning into a werewolf.

The story, told through Sally's eyes, becomes increasingly disturbing as the beast within her emerges and she embraces her true nature. Written in a powerful style that ranges from exhilarating flights of the almost interdimensional joy she feels in her animal body, to confronting descriptions of her compulsion towards killing and eating, to the physical aftermath that has on the human part of her existence.

As people start being murdered in the town, the realistically observed characters that inhabit it collide head on with horror in the way of all good stories of this genre. This is a gore fest, with plenty of hot, teenage, animal sex going on to lure potential victims. Soon other questions are raised. Is Sally the only killer, or are there others like her? What will happen when her family confront what they already suspect?

This is not a story about evil, but about difference, and how we embrace our true nature, our faults and the beast within all of us. Sally and all her friends speak in the spare, expletive-based, Aussie teenage slang we are all familiar with, and it reinforces how savage teenagers can be to those around them, even when they are not turning into werewolves!

This is definitely a book for older teens and adults. There are a lot of sex, violence and drug references. It is, however, well written and very creatively crafted. A cracking good read that builds to an exciting climax, apparently there is a sequel coming up. I'll be looking out for that.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 20, 2010 3:36 PM.

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