CURSE OF THE WOLF GIRL, by Martin Millar: Review (and Interview To Come)

unless you live under a rock (or have never read my blog before), you know i’m a big Martin Millar fan. i love “urban” fantasy (i.e. fantasies set in real/realistic urban locations) and no one does it quite like Millar (except for maybe Mieville, but that’s a different review). his characters are another draw for me: his books are populated entirely with outcasts and misfits, human and otherwise, with a nice dose of absurdity.

LONELY WEREWOLF GIRL introduced us to Kalix, a werewolf for whom being a werewolf is the least worrisome part of life. addicted to laudanum, suffering from depression, on the run from family and foes alike, she assembles a bizarre clan of allies (including two perfectly normal, rather Goth university students and a flighty if enthusiastic fire spirit nicknamed Vex) and survives crazy political, magical, and just plain violent attacks. CURSE OF THE WOLF GIRL, the sequel, on the surface looks to be Kalix: The College Years, but takes off in new and unexpected (and immensely entertaining) directions, and is possibly even funnier than the first — an immense accomplishment. i am continually surprised at the balance Millar manages to strike between comedy and pathos, reality and fantasy, gore and hijinks.

to celebrate the release of WOLF GIRL, i asked Martin if he’d answer some questions from fellow readers here on the blog … and he said yes! the questions some LOVELY INTELLIGENT AND ATTRACTIVE fellow fans asked are below — keep your eyes peeled for the answers later this week! congrats to Lucy, Lydia & Mia, who won copies of WOLF GIRL in thanks for their questions.

from Mia: “I loved The Good Fairies of New York. Reading it, I was taken by the warm and vivid peripheral characters and terrain like the city itself is a character… the voices of the phone sex TV commercials, the way the fairies traveled by hitching rides on bicycles wheeling through Manhattan, the ever present homeless people and the way the fairies tried to help. It actually made me feel more benevolent towards NYC (where I live) when I was done reading it.

Where does this attitude of compassion come from, and how do you manage to weave it into your narrative without it sounding sentimental or saccharin? How do you inject such gravity into playful beings like fairies?”
from Lydia: “I found myself wondering, during Good Fairies, if Mr. Millar played an instrument himself.”
from Rich:Dreams of Sex & Stage Diving: was Martin Millar ever a self-destructive stage diver like Elfish? Did/Does he frequent the mosh pit, or prop up the bar at gigs?
When (and why) did he start adding out-and-out magical fantasy into his books (as opposed to just the everyday fantasies about wealth & success that people always entertain)?
Curse of the Wolf Girl appears to be marketed as YA in the US. (Am I mis-interpreting the imprint/publisher, or is this a deliberate strategy?) If so, did Millar approach the writing of Wolf Girl any differently?
Will there ever be a direct-sequel (or prequel) to Good Fairies? (please, please…)”

from Lucy: “Your heroine in “Good Fairies of New York” has Crohn’s disease, and “The Lonely Werewolf Girl” is plagued with many issues – depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse, to name a few. What made you take your characters in this direction?”

CURSE OF THE WOLF GIRL, by Martin Millar: Review (and Interview To Come)

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