Author: Hal Johnson
Publication Date: September 4th 2012
Publisher: Clarion Books
Synopsis:“A shameful fact about humanity is that some people can be so ugly that no one will be friends with them. It is shameful that humans can be so cruel, and it is shameful that humans can be so ugly.” So begins the incredible story of Myron Horowitz, a disfigured thirteen-year-old just trying to fit in at his Pennsylvania school. When a fight with a bully leaves him unconscious and naked in the wreckage of the cafeteria, Myron discovers that he is an immortal lycanthrope—a were-mammal who can transform from human to animal. He also discovers that there are others like him, and many of them want Myron dead. “People will turn into animals,” says the razor-witted narrator of this tour-de-force, “and here come ancient secrets and rivers of blood.”
My Thoughts: Immortal Lycanthropes. Just from the title I knew I had to give this book a try. From the synopsis, the story sounded even more interested. The cover is gorgeous and after I received my review copy from the publisher, I was in love with all of the beautiful illustrations inside. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy the story, I wasn't in love with it.
Our narrator is named Arthur. He himself is actually involved very little in the story, other than the telling of it. The story follows Myron Horowitz, who is a very disfigured little boy. He is 13 but he looks about 8. He doesn't age and never will. Why? Because Myron is an Immortal Lycanthrope. Which means he is an animal who can take human form and live with people if he wants to, plus he's immortal and thousands of years old. The only thing is, he has no recollection of his past, he woke up hurt and can't remember anything, before Arthur shows up he just thinks he's a boy. So of course he has no idea what type of animal he is. He does learn that his scars are from the Lion and that this Lion would like nothing better than to hunt Myron down and kill him. The only thing that can kill him is another Immortal Lycanthrope. So Myron's adventures begin.
There is quite a large cast of characters throughout the book, I actually found it somewhat confusing to keep up. Then the story was hoping about all over the place since our narrators train of thought isn't always straight to the point. That was the one thing I found annoying. He would be going on about something, then all of a sudden he would talk about something else and then go back to the first topic. I have a hard time following along when I'm constantly putting my book down to chase my daughter, so that might not be an issue for someone else. Another thing I wasn't really a fan of was how at one point, Myron gets it into his head that he's the "Chosen One". Chosen One of what, I wasn't really ever sure, nobody else was either, they just kind of went along with it.
One thing I did like was that Myron's animal form isn't known until the very last chapter, therefore I was trying to figure it out the whole time. There is only one Immortal Lycanthrope for each species. So basically I was just eliminating the ones I knew he wasn't. I can say that I was not at all expecting what he was. It was a huge surprise and it wasn't even on my list of maybes. Another thing is that even though Arthur's narration is a bit all over the place, he has a great sense of humour, so there are quite a few laughs throughout.
Overall, it's a good story, if a little confusing at some parts. Sometimes there is too much description for what's going on and others there is just a bit missing. If you like stories with a narrator with a sense of humour, you should definitely give this one a try. It's very original, especially for a paranormal-ish story. Hal Johnson has a very unique writing style and if you're looking for something different than normal, this would be a good place to start!