A question for readers of urban fantasy:

What’s the most original and interesting variation on the werewolf theme you’ve read in fiction or seen in a movie?


35 thoughts on “rawr.

  1. vinnie says:

    Lupine from reaper man by terry pratchett.

  2. AnonymousCoward says:

    Wolfboy, in Terri Windling’s Borderland universe. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Borderland_Series)

  3. Bob S. says:

    Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series has been very interesting.

    I found the link of the various monsters to different cultures entertaining and a little educational.

  4. LL says:

    The best parts of Anita Blake books…the sex and the fact that it’s not just werewolves. It’s a variety of shapeshifters…wererats, weretigers, etc. The heirachy, alpha males and females, the packs, the whole shebang is broken down. I love those books.

  5. Vaarok says:

    Brotherhood of the Wolf was pretty good, it hinted a million directions before throwing a completely unexpected ending.

    Otherwise, sad as it might be, I gotta say Underworld.

  6. Chris Byrne says:

    Original and interesting, or best written? Two very different things.

    Best written while being original and interesting would be Carrie Vaughns “Kitty” series.

    I actually think Charlaine Harris’s take on weres in her “Sookie Stackhouse” world is also interesting, though not very original.

    Same for the first 8 Anita Blake books, interesting and generally well written, but not very original.

    The funny thing is, of the remaining books, the only parts that are any good, are the parts about the were packs.

  7. Chris Byrne says:

    As far as films go, I kind of like the whole “day/night curse” thing from Ladyhawke.

    Oh and I dug Eddings treatment of wizards shapeshifting in “The Belgariad”.

  8. Llama John says:

    I’ll take “none of the above.” I’m voting for the game “Gabriel Knight – The Beast Within.”


  9. Kaerius(SWE) says:

    If we’re going to include games, like Llama John does… then I’ll have to go with White Wolf’s “Werewolf: The Apocalypse”, which also includes books with other werecreatures(ravens, snakes, lizards, bears, cats, coyotes and sharks).

    I actually haven’t read much books in the genre, so I’d have to go with Terry Pratchet there…

    Movie-wise… yeah probably Underworld, though I’d have loved to say Skinwalkers.

  10. Jen says:

    Miss Lupescu from Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. Or maybe the weremole from Courage the Cowardly Dog.


  11. Shane says:

    What about werewolf Steve Matuchek from Poul Anderson’s “Operation Chaos” and “Operation Luna” novels?

  12. MarkHB says:

    Spider Robinson had a Werebeagle in Callahan’s Lady. That was more’n a bit amusing.

  13. Chad Crayton says:

    “The Wolf’s Hour” by Robert McCammon. WWII werewolf spy versus the Nazis? Sold.

    One of his later books, it was very well written. It’s been a while since I read it, I might have to go find my copy.

  14. I liked Ryk Spoor’s werewolves from “Digital Knight.” And you can read the book for free!


  15. LabRat says:

    What others have said, mostly… Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the literary banes of my existence now, but if you can dig through all the sex and sexual overtones the were stuff is pretty original and good. Of the Harry Dresden books, “Fool Moon” is definitely not one of the best, but it IS meticulously researched- the one big thing I like about it is that Butcher really did do all the research and included an example or allusion to just about all the historical werewolves of myth and legend.

    I actually didn’t care so much for Wolf’s Hour, which is odd because I both love werewolf fiction and some of McCammon’s other books. *shrug*

    You can find werewolf fiction reviews here. Judging by this page, Steven Wedel’s books are must-reads.

    • Marko says:

      I liked “Fool Moon”. It’s actually the only one of the Dresden books I’ve read, precisely because the werewolf thing roped me in.

      I have to hand him that–his loup-garou was pretty fucking mean.

  16. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    The 80s TV show by the simple name “Werewolf” was pretty good. Too bad it got cancelled. Before the guy turns into a werewolf, he would get a sign of the impending change, via a bleeding pentagram on the palm of his hand. It was like the “Incredible Hulk” except with a werewolf as the protagonist in the story.

  17. Jason says:

    It was cheap juvenile fun, but I loved “The Creature Commandos” comic books from DC when I was a kid.

  18. Al T. says:

    Butcher has wolves (in one book) that are “werepeople”. I really like Butcher’s Dresden books despite his complete lack of knowledge/research on firearms.

  19. Sean says:

    Speaking of shows – I REALLY wish “Wolf Lake” had at least finished out the first season…. I think they had some great potential with that one.

  20. Michael says:

    Larry Correia’s hero hunter in MHI


  21. Jay G. says:

    Teen wolf…

  22. JRD says:

    Patricia Briggs “Mercedes Thompson” books are well written and interesting.
    Keri Arthur’s “Riley Jensen” series aren’t bad and are set in Australia.

  23. J T Bolt says:


  24. El Capitan says:

    Wen Spencer has four novels dealing with a werewolf theme. I’ve only read the first two, ‘Alien Taste’ and ‘Tainted Trail’, and they were quite good. The hook is that the lycanthropy is of alien origin.

  25. wrm says:



  26. I like Kelley Armstrong’s werewolves, beginning with “Bitten”. And of course most of the others mentioned here!

  27. wolfwalker says:

    I have never seen a werewolf in the movies that was either original or interesting, so set that venue aside right away.

    In print, “most original” has to be Angua, the vegetarian werewolf of the Ankh-Morpork City Guard. Unfortunately, Pratchett has yet to do anything substantial with her as a character … and now, he probably never will.

    “Most interesting” is a lot harder, because how do you define “interesting?” To me, lycanthropy itself is just a standard story gimmick, which has been done in so many different ways that a new one isn’t very interesting as long as it remains just “a werewolf with a twist.” There are a lot of werewolf and were-creature stories that I like, I’m just not sure which of them to call “the most interesting.”

  28. red says:

    Check out “Frostbite” by David Wellington


    It’s a free online.

  29. Matt in Portland says:

    Why not eschew the whole wolf thing and go bear, gorilla or some other dangerous animal. And while at it give up the whole moon change thing, genetic experiments, science all that yada yada could mix up the genre.

  30. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    There was also the claymation move a few years back about a WereRabbit….

  31. ArkieRN says:

    I’ve read most of those mentioned here and I agree with El Capitan, the Wen Spencer take on werewolves was probably the most original. They were also very well written and highly entertaining.

  32. Brass says:

    The werewolf story that has stuck with me the longest was in one of those horror comic books in the early seventies. It was a short story of an astronaut who, through a series of events, ended up getting selected to go to the moon. Of course he was a werewolf, so as they neared the moon, things in the spacecraft did not go so well.

  33. mac says:

    It’s odd, but I thought the “Ginger Snaps” movie was decent. I liked the display of rapid healing and personality changes, even in human form.

    The Wen Spencer novels are pretty cool. My only beef with them is the main character’s distaste for using the firearm he always carries. He’s far too squeamish about hurting bad guys.

  34. igli1969 says:

    My favorite has to be “Darker Than You Think” by Jack Williamson. More shapeshifter than werebeast, but a great take on the idea. Don’t want to give a spoiler if you haven’t read it. Try reading it http://tiny.cc/Here337 .

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