As promised a week or two back (on the voting page for Best Series) I believe here is the Review of @joshmightbe's Hungry Volume One. Hopefully this will become a monthly thing with me throwing my two cents (or whatever the conversion to your preferred currency is) about the hidden gems located on the Fan Fic board.
Want to Check out Hungry Yourself? Follow the Link to the Horror Inc Library
Hungry is part of the Horror Inc group and is 18 issues long. There is a Volume Two but out of respect it should have a separate review and will get one at a later date. The main character (Chris) is a high-school senior whose life gets changed that a pack of wild dogs (yeah you can see where this is going) kill his friends and attack him outside an abandoned prison. Those wild dogs (suprise suprise) are the town’s werewolves out for the prowl who 'adopt' him into their pack. With his world now turned upside down Chris must deal with a cadre of hunters specialising in killing werewolves, vampires who have a taste for wolf blood, a dark warlock named Corkin not to mention the wolf inside whose very nature is to hunt. With his families blood (quite literally) on his hands Chris must learn what it means to be a werewolf before his new enemies can find him and make his transformation into a brutal predator the second worst thing to happen to him.
Joshmightbe's work is unquestionably good, there is no doubt about that (it is at the time of writing) nominated for best series as mentioned above. For me the dynamic within the character grouping was essential, it had the feeling that the pack of wolves were really friends and family looking out for each other. The dynamic between the group was there and (while not a werewolfologist) seemed genuine and at times stole the show from the characters themselves.
In addition the temptation of writing a werewolf as a dumb predatory brute was mercifully resisted by the writer. True when the pack transforms they are feral hunters but it begins and ends only when the transformation begins, when human the characters behave like humans, they have rules, they eat human food etc. It is a nice change to see humanity retained rather then the main character devolving into a monster even when he/she's human.
Something else made clear by Josh is the concept of an expanded universe; he mentions treaties between factions, the relationships between creatures and the history of some of the pack members. As such he has avoided the trap of writing himself into a corner and having to rely on clichés and stereotypes borrowed from horror movies.
Lastly and in some aspects most essentially is the length of the story. I'll admit seeing 19 tabs (one for the library and eighteen for the issues) open on my screen was daunting at first but after chapter/issue 1 it was clear that Josh was aiming for something short and sweet that could be read easily and quickly. That in itself is good planning, it is easy for writers (<cough> myself) to get into a groove and keep writing and writing until its longer then your dissertation and twice as wordy.
The Things That Could be Improved:
I'd be lying if I said this (or any) Fan Fic was perfect (hell even published books aren't perfect) and there were one or two things that worked against Hungry and Joshmightbe but not to an extent that should put a reader off reading the next chapter. The first is Josh's obsession with cloths, the word is often spelt wrong and has obviously gone unnoticed (probably because it's tricked the F7/Spell Check button into thinking it's still a correctly spelt word). As such it's nothing that a little formatting couldn't solve.
My next grievance (if it could be called that) is that we simply don't get enough description to put the imagery we require in our heads. I'll admit I wouldn't want Josh to go into intricate detail of cattle mutilations but I would like more details on the characters descriptions. Again this is a personal thing (I have Aspersers Syndrome so my powers of imagination are limited) and one woman's desire for detail may be too much for the next reader.
Finally we come to the content, the level of thought about relationships and factions was brilliant but at time I felt I didn't know who was on whose side, especially the werewolf hunter and the vampires. Again this is just my opinion; for all I know Volume Two may hold all the answers; only a long read and review session will tell.
Pros and Cons
For all you people who simply skipped to the bottom of the piece
+ Short Chapters make for Easy Reading
+ An expansive and interesting mythos
+ Avoided Clichéd Stereotypes of the Creatures featured in the Story
+ Strong Character Dynamic and Interactions portrayed throughout all eighteen issues
- Sometimes Hard to keep track of characters
- At times a lack of description works against the Story
- The Thing with the Clothes (or is that Cloths?)
Final Judgment: 8/10 (An enjoyable read with only a few minor problems)
Want something reviewed yourself? Drop me a PM and a link to the piece of work or library and it might be your work shown here next month.