Review: Who’s Afraid?

Who's Afraid 1By Maria Lewis

Piatkus, out now…

Meet Tommi Grayson – not your average lycanthrope…

Tommi Grayson, despite her mysterious past and crazy hair, leads a relatively normal life in Dundee, flat-sharing with her friend Mari and working in an art gallery. Following the tragic death of her mother, she travels halfway across the world to New Zealand, determined to track down her estranged father. However, a promising lead soon catapults her into an insane world of monsters, murder and shadowy organisations that she had no idea even existed. She breaks free, scarred and irrevocably altered, desperate to return to her peaceful existence in Scotland. But the supernatural realm won’t let her escape that easily…

I like the “inherited gene” approach to werewolves in Who’s Afraid?, as the bitten-by-a-weird-dog back story is incredibly overused at the moment. The characters are also a breath of fresh air, as Tommi isn’t just a tame flat-pack Young Adult heroine: she doesn’t spend half the story mooning over a surly bad-boy hero, and she really embodies the feminist undercurrents of story.

Although the pacing is at times uneven, and the plot sometimes felt like it was dragging (in the middle especially), Lewis handles the change in tone from serious horror to light-hearted sassy friendship beautifully, and I think that makes up for it.

Verdict: An intriguing take on a classic monster with vibrant, modern characters. 7/10

Sophie Simpson

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Who's Afraid

 

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