Published June 5th 2022 by Birchwood Press A ll Charlotte Deerborn wanted was a nice Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Too bad f...

Review || Wolf at the Door by Joel McKay

 Published June 5th 2022 by Birchwood Press

All Charlotte Deerborn wanted was a nice Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Too bad for her no one else wanted to be there. By the time the turkey is carved, old grievances, bad behavior, and crass remarks have transformed her dinner party into a disaster. And then a werewolf shows up to do some carving of its own.

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Wolf at the Door has all the delightful family drama of the Thanksgiving table in a nutshell. Disapproving inlaws, a divorce on the horizon, jealousy, envy, oh it has all of it. That's certainly enough for one day but then it gets hairy. Like really hairy. No one invited the werewolf for turkey and gravy but he's there huffing and puffing and blowing the little house down. Okay, enough puns. I love werewolf stories. As far as tropes go, it's at least in my top ten. A werewolf ripping and tearing its way through the entire Days of Our Lives dysfunction should have been a blast but the novella didn't deliver on some aspects for me. 

This is not a book where you pick that one character to enthusiastically want to see them escape the clutches of evil. I didn't like any of the characters. Head ripped off? Cool. Survived the night? Whatever. I didn't have any strong feelings for or against any of them meeting their ghastly end at the hands, er...paws of the wolf. That also means there is no underdog to root for to make it out alive. Now obviously that's on purpose as all the characters are constructed with all their faults at the forefront. Liking a character doesn't automatically equate to a great read. However, I expected to be more invested in the characters and it didn't happen.

Still, there's an abundance of innards becoming out-ards and all kinds of squelchy goodness.  If you want a quick read where the walls run red, McKay certainly delivers the splatter. I'd say that people who don't typically read horror would have fun with this novella but most seasoned horror readers are going to want more developed characters and a more nuanced plot.