||May 31, 2010
A journey into the sinister world of the werewolf through the eyes of a man who has become their predator, and their prey.
Barnes & Noble.com
Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter Series
It takes more than silver bullets to kill a werewolf. Sylvester James knows what it is to be haunted. His mother died giving birth to him and his father never let him forget it; until the night he was butchered by a werewolf--the night a full moon ruined his life. Alone in the world, Sylvester is taken in by Michael Winterfox, a Cheyenne mystic. Winterfox, once a werewolf hunter, trains the boy to be a warrior--teaching him how to block out pain, stalk, fight, and kill. Bit by bit all that makes Sylvester human is sacrificed to the hunt. Now, Sylvester's hatred has become a monster all its own, robbing him of conscience and conviction as surely as the Beast's bite. As he follows his vendetta into the outlands of the occult, options become scarce. And he learns it takes more than silver bullets to kill a werewolf... To kill a werewolf, it takes a hunter with a perfect willingness to die.
"What are we running from Logan?”
Samantha shouted through her tears.
“I’ll tell you everything later—I swear I will! But please don’t ask me now! Just hang on to Josh.”
The road to the cottage was patched with ice, and despite the truck’s four-wheel capability, I could feel the wheels slipping. I slowed down as much as I dared.
A single peal of metallic thunder rumbled from the roof of the cab as it buckled inward. Samantha screamed as the truck fishtailed side to side, narrowly missing the embankments. I furiously fought with the wheel, handicapped by the Colt, which I refused to release.
The windshield had split into a “V,” and the maddening screech of talons against painted steel made my blood run cold. I recovered control of the truck and smashed the .45’s barrel into the overhead bulge. The report exploded in the cab and shattered the back glass, but it didn’t stop a demon’s claw from bursting through the roof!
As it fished for prey through ruptured steel, the truck careened out of control. Sam huddled with Josh against the passenger door. Her eyes were ablaze in terror at the sight of the Wolf’s groping limb. I fired in repetition at the hand and the more vital areas at the other end of it, covering the upholstery in a steaming blood bath.
The road ahead curved, but the truck continued its broadside slide. There was neither time nor opportunity to react as the earth dropped off beneath the wheels. The last thing I saw was upside-down trees. The last thing I heard was Samantha crying out my name."
When the Autumn Moon is Bright
OVERVIEW: A first person fictional account of one man’s ongoing struggle to single- handedly rid the world of a terrible evil.
DETAILS: I tell you what, if I had a dime for every werewolf novel I’ve ever read… Well, I’d probably have about forty cents. Because, you see, I haven’t read all that many. There was Robert McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour, of course, and Skipp and Spector’s Animals... And I know there were probably one or two others that I can’t think of right now. Ah, well, not that it’s all that important. I guess my point is that there just aren’t that many werewolf novels floating around out there. Certainly not as many as have been written about vampires or serial killers or that other popular horror monster, the zombie. And that’s too bad, really, for it would seem that there are still plenty of stories waiting to be told about the somewhat underappreciated changeling. Apparently Brian Easton thought so and it’s a good thing too for his book When the Autumn Moon Is Bright proves this theory beyond any shadow of a doubt.
The book is told in the first person by a man named Sylvester James Logan who we first meet as a boy being raised by his father. The mother died while giving birth to Sylvester. The father is a woodsman who teaches his son the ways of the forest and tells him early and often that real men don’t cry, that they turn their tears into something else, like anger. It is a philosophy that will mold his life. One day Sylvester’s father brings him into the mountains to visit an old Indian friend named Michael Winterfox. Night falls while father and son are traveling through the woods and Sylvester watches in horror as his father is attacked and killed by some monstrous beast. Michael Winterfox takes Sylvester in and explains to him that it was a werewolf that killed his father. Now Sylvester has a calling in life: he will dedicate himself to eradicating the world of these terrible creatures. Winterfox teaches him the fighting skills of the legendary Reydosnin Indians, training him for the path he has chosen for himself. The training is brutal, bordering on the abusive, but Sylvester accepts it all, willing to do whatever it takes to prepare himself for the formidable task ahead. Unfortunately, it would seem to be his destiny to discover that no one can ever be truly prepared for such an undertaking.
Sylvester’s search for "the Beast" -- as he refers to his powerful adversary -- takes him to places far from his native Canada and on many a dark and perilous adventure. His journeys lead him throughout the US -- as far south as New Orleans on the trail of a particularly powerful wolf -- into the heart of the Vietnam conflict where he discovers new levels of pain and torment as a POW, and into the frozen wasteland of Siberia where he has been hired to hunt a monster that has been terrorizing a local train route. Along the way he faces a variety of enemies including the Noble Wolven -- powerful wolves directly descended from the original Beast princes -- and the Darkest Wolven -- the worst of them all, crazy beasts that never bother to wear a human face. Along the way Sylvester manages to spend time in a hellish maximum security prison, to make enemies with the Mob, to nearly get himself killed on any number of occasions, and to fall in love -- much to Michael Winterfox’s chagrin. With each battle Sylvester loses a little bit more of his soul and becomes more and more like the Beast he is so obsessed with destroying. Inevitably he begins to wonder if it has all been worth it and whether or not this is a war he can ever hope to truly win.
When the Autumn Moon Is Bright is a must read for any fan of dark fiction. It serves as a kind of travelogue through one man’s personal hell. Sylvester is one of the toughest SOB’s to be found in a work of fiction anywhere. Even as he falls further and further into that abyss Nietzsche once warned about we cannot help but continue to sympathize with him for we understand what drives him and where he has come from. And how can we not respect a person who has given so much of himself to a cause even after he has apparently lost his way? The writing is smooth and perfectly paced and the victories and defeats experienced by Sylvester are heartfelt and believable. And let’s not forget about the werewolves which are some of the most relentless and fearsome adversaries around. So if you’re looking for that perfect book to read when the world is dark and the moon is full pick up Brian Easton’s When the Autumn Moon Is Bright. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
BOTTOM LINE: Great action and adventure in this dark page turner. Breathes new life into the werewolf myth. Highly recommended.
The Autobiography of a Hunter uses the life story of a werewolf-hunter to probe the human depths of Nietzche's abyss. It is less a werewolf story than a novel of psychological horror. Despite plenty of crunchy transformations and blood-spattered combat, the novel is primarily concerned with the protagonist's transformation into a beast, himself. Not the normal werewolf kind of beast – the novel avoids the hunter-is-bitten cliche – but the human kind, who sacrifices kindness and conscience on the altar of efficiency.
Sylvester Logan James lost his mother at birth and is raised by an emotionally unavailable father who teaches him to turn fear into hatred. When James is 14, a werewolf attacks him in the Canadian forest, killing his father. With no family left, James is taken in by his father's friend, an elderly Cheyenne trapper, Michael Winterfox.
Winterfox was once a Beast hunter, and James' hatred for the creature that killed his father sets him along the same path. Winterfox begins the boy's training in the tradition of the Reydosnin warrior, teaching him how to stalk, fight, and ignore pain. The one thing Winterfox cannot teach young Sylvester, however, is the last, spiritual, path of the warrior. Disgusted by his inability to make contact with the spirit world, James finally decides to leave Canada to enlist in the Vietnam War.
"The Beast will kill you one piece at a time, Sylvester. Bite by bite," warns Michael Winterfox before he begins James' training. And so it does. When the Autumn Moon is Bright follows James' mental and emotional transformation as he fights in the war, goes into business as a tracker, gets married and has a son, loses both, and finally ends up in prison after gunning through a roomful of werewolves.
When James is finally pulled out of prison, he's less than he once was. "About the only thing I've managed to salvage of my life is honor and my sanity," he tells the officials who give him his conditional release, but as the book progresses we see him stripped of even those last two scraps of dignity. Bit by bit all that makes him human is sacrificed to the hunt, until we see him killing bystanders and torturing informants in his obsessive quest to destroy the Beasts. In the end, the question is whether his humanity can be redeemed and, if so, at what price.
The novel spans approximately 35 years of Logan's life, during which he travels from Canada to the United States and from Vietnam to the Soviet Union, and encounters Native American lore, Satanic rituals, a Ku Klux Klan attack and New Orleans voodoo ceremonies. The author, Brian Easton, writes about these disparate places and events with the confident detail of somebody who has done his research.
Easton is a newcomer to fiction publishing, although he's had several articles about classic movie monsters published at Horror-Wood.Com. Yet he writes with a thoughtful maturity that is refreshing – and unusual – in a small-press first novel. The story's pacing is good and the twin storylines of James' hunt for the Beasts and his personal transformation are well-balanced.
The novel exhibits an occasional hardboiled turn of phrase that's a pleasure to read, and its details and descriptions ring true. Here and there the reader will still detect flashes of the amateur -- in the overuse of exclamation points during combat scenes, in the cliche of familial death as motivation, and in the sometimes awkward handling of female characters in seduction scenes (e.g., "'It'll come back to you,' she mewed.") -- but this handful of nitpicks in a 388-page novel can be easily dismissed. Overall, When the Autumn Moon is Bright is, beneath its werewolf-story mask, a well-crafted study of the human soul. I expect that Easton's next novel – whether it's a sequel to this one or something completely new – will move him solidly into the ranks of the professional.
From Rue Morgue Magazine
Easton uses his extensive knowledge of the occult and government agencies to bring a dizzying authenticity to this novel. Thick with plot, description and a fevered violence, this novel offers up a slightly alternate reality that treads frighteningly close to our own.
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!
Reader Reviews for "Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter"
|Reviewed by Angela Crawford
|Great Book!! I couldn't put it down.|
|Reviewed by Garry Owens
|Werewolves scare me, now.
Authors are always trying to re-vitalize it with their interpretations. When The Autumn Moon Is Bright succeeds at this, but not in the way you'd imagine. Instead of focusing on the werewolves so much the reader becomes numb to them, this book shows you what its like to be their victim, which presents the werewolf as a horrifying creature. The story's settings and descriptions are so real and so accurate, that it lulls the reader into a place of safety until the werewolves shows up. It's kind of like having dinner at home and having one of these monsters come crashing through your door. It's that potent! I couldn't put it down. I recommend When The Autumn Moon Is Bright to anyone who's been waiting for a novel that truly breathes new life into the genre, and if you're a werewolf lover like I am, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!
|Reviewed by Nick Wiggins
|Looking for a book to knock you on your rear? This is it!!
Lately I've read quite a few books from many different authors, genres ranging from horror/fantasy to historical fiction, to biographies and autobiographies. After awhile these all seem to run together, and even the latest offerings from my favorite authors(those whom I could rely on in the past to hold my interest)have lost that 'something' that causes a reader to devour the book like a well cooked steak. Struggling through these latest books, I've felt more like I'm either reading for an assignment, or a dogged determination to complete(as with Anne Rice's Witch series), because stopping a read in the middle to me seems like admitting defeat.
Thar is, until I picked up 'Autumn Moon...' This book grabbed me by the shirt, and would not let go. I started the book on a Monday, and read in every spare moment I had; the final evening I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning of the Thursday following.
This thing fulfills on all levels; obviously bloodthirsty action and drama run rampant, with the horrific theme of the Beast running rife throughout. Along with this is the personal angst and anguish the protagonist goes through. I was amazed at the length and breadth the author went through researching the different places and eras.... That is what reinforced the book; a sense of reality, a true autobiography, which made the advent of the Beast that much more frightening. I want more. NOW.