Please note, this review includes spoilers if you haven’t read the first book…
Talulla Rising is the second book in Glen Duncan’s excellent Last Werewolf series; the first being, not surprisingly, The Last Werewolf. We pick up where The Last Werewolf left off, without our hero Jake, who sadly died in the first novel, leaving his girlfriend, Talulla Demetriou, pregnant and alone.
Now, as you might imagine, if you haven’t read the first book, this one will make just about no sense, and you won’t fully appreciate how good the series is. There are a few months missing between where the first book ended and the second begins, so you might want to refresh your memory with how The Last Werewolf finished off.
With the absence of Jake, the storyline seems to start a little flat; I found it hard to warm up to Talulla as our new heroine straight away (however I did warm up to her a few chapters in). Having said that, the presence of Jake is not forgotten; Talulla often reads extracts from his journals, and recounts memories that she had with him, and in a way this is enough. He left his mark on the series, in more ways than one. Talulla is pregnant with his child (which we learn early on is actually twins) and being one of few werewolves in existence, this is no small matter. Of course, there are a lot of people that would love to get their hands on the children, if not Talulla herself.
As with the first book, Duncan’s writing never holds back, in both strong language and brutal honesty. Rather than deterring some readers, I think the audience appreciates things being told as they are, and not romanticized or sugarcoated in any way. The fact that this realism occurs in such an obviously unrealistic and fictional story makes it all the more believable and readable.
There are a few new characters introduced, some much more intriguing than others. Judging by the ending of this installment in the trilogy, we’ll have to wait for book three to get our questions answered. An amazing second book in the Last Werewolf trilogy, an easily consumable book, and more of a supernatural horror than some of the half-hearted attempts currently on the market; if you want a good horror to get your teeth stuck into, this is the series for you.
A strong 4/5 overall.