In 1996, a unique horror movie came out about a single mother and her son who had taken in the mother’s brother, who was secretly a werewolf. The movie, Bad Moon, was intriguing because of its hero, the family German Shepherd. Though the movie, starring Mariel Hemingway and Michael Paré, was a box office flop and critical failure, I really enjoyed it. Granted, the gratuitous nudity at the beginning was a little overdone, but the plot was solid.
Years later, I found out that the movie was based off of a book. Thor is actually out of print in hardcopy form, but you can still get in on Amazon as a Kindle book for under three bucks. And the book is worth it.
The story is told (mostly) from the point of view of the titular character. Thor sees his family as a pack, with the mated heads of the pack (Mom and Dad), the three children and, yes, even a kitten. Thor sees himself as the guardian of his pack whose job it is to defend them (even little kitty) against all threats. We see how devoted he is to this role when he is willing to make himself a “bad dog” in their eyes to protect them. You see, Mom’s brother, Uncle Ted, has come to stay with them and his clothes have the smell of the “Bad Thing,” an unnatural predator, on them. This, and the fact that Uncle Ted is an extended member of the pack, causes confusion in Thor.
Ted is a werewolf.
Smith skillfully made Thor a well-rounded character, not an easy task for a non-anthropomorphic dog. The scenes where Thor fights the werewolf had me fighting to keep from cheering out loud (not a good thing when I read at work). The emotion was perfectly placed and I was in tears when the story reached its heart-warming conclusion.
The story did have a large number of typos. Actually, I lost count of them. Considering the fact that this was NOT an indie novel, I was rather shocked. And, to be frank, this story is NOT for children. Language and sexual content keep it well in the realm of grown-up reading. But the plot was good and the storytelling was really ejoyable. For an adult reader who likes horror, I’d give it five stars.