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Monday, February 1, 2010

'Ivy Cole and the Moon' by Gina FARAGO

From the BLURB:

Ivy Cole has come home to the South, and her first order of business upon arriving in her new mountain town is to eliminate the unsavory folks who reside there. Proud of what she can accomplish under the spell of the full moon, Ivy leaves the consequences of her actions lying about Doe Springs (in pieces) as a reminder that evil happens to those who deserve it.
But something else has taken up residence in the land, something violent and cruel, with an unconscionable appetite that eventually targets the ones Ivy loves. While she hunts and is hunted by the other, Sheriff Hubbard doggedly works to solve the mystery behind the savage killings and mutilations.

Gina Farago’s 2005 book is a very different werewolf story. The prologue details the last harrowing moments of a man’s life as a giant beast falls upon him. A murder investigation follows into the man, Clifford Hughes’, death – but the ‘whodunnit’ is solved very quickly as the book’s main protagonist, Ivy Cole, calmly narrates that she is the murderer.

Ivy is a vigilante werewolf. Clifford was a mean drunk and wife-beater who Ivy saw fit to be rid of. And he isn’t her first victim – as local Sheriff Gloria Hubbard also narrates, there have been several other grisly murders. Ivy is responsible for all of them.

Ivy is the best kind of narrator – because she is without a doubt bat-shit crazy and therefore unreliable. She actually believes that she has every right to murderously dispose of her town’s undesirable citizens, and honestly sees nothing wrong with her killing streak. It is fascinating and chilling to read Ivy’s narration; the flip personality she shows and hides to the town who alternately call her an ‘Angel’ while on every full moon she turns werewolf and gruesomely slaughters local womanizers and drunks.

Things heat up for Ivy when the local Sheriff orders a closer investigation into her and a possible connection to Clifford’s death. It puts readers into a tricky position – alternately wanting Ivy to be found out, and increasingly interested in how she keeps getting away with the murders. Ivy Cole is the literary werewolf equivalent to ‘Dexter’ – the villain you can’t help but root for simply because they’re so darn fascinating;

“How is the wolf the victim here? Looks like to me the folks in these pictures are in a heap of trouble.” Melvin flipped to another page where a wolf hunkered behind a rock awaiting to spring on a maiden gathering water by a stream.
“What you’re seeing is art based on stereotype. The wolf has worn the cloak of villain for centuries. Easy to see how that might happen – there weren’t many biologists running around in the Middle Ages. In reality, Deputy Sanders, wolves are nothing like myth and folklore would have us believe.”

Things heat up for Ivy when she realizes another ‘creature’ has invaded her territory and is attacking her nearest and dearest.

‘Ivy Cole and the Moon’ is a very different werewolf story. Different from the recent crop of Urban Fantasies that have cast werewolves as glamorous heroes, instead harking back to the original folklore in which lycanthropes were perverted villains.

If you are a die-hard Urban Fantasy fan you may turn your nose up at a story that casts beloved werewolves in a negative light. But there is a lot to appreciate in ‘Ivy Cole and the Moon’, mainly in the perverse narration of protagonist Ivy Cole and the position Farago puts readers in of being both disgusted and intrigued by this twisted heroine.



  1. I'm glad you liked this one. I've had it on my shelf forever. A like the idea of a different werewolf story. Thanks!

  2. Danielle,

    This one was a DNF for me. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.


  3. great review! I had never heard of this one! it does look interesting.... need to take a look at it later on =)


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