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Echoes

Novel by Gary Brandner (USA) 1985.

Among the survivors of the fire that destroyed the werewolf town of Drago was a young boy named Malcolm. He survives for a while in the forest until he is rescued and cared for in a local hospital by a doctor named Holly Lang. Just as he seems to have made a true friend, he is transferred to a private clinic by another doctor who realises that Malcolm is another werewolf and intends to make his fortune out of him. Escaping from the clinic, Malcolm ends up earning a living in a freak show, but Holly and the local sheriff are still searching for him to try and do what they can to help.

Marketed as The Howling III, this is less of the third in the series, more of an alternative sequel to the first taken from a different angle. It's a far better angle as well, and the book succeeds where its predecessor failed, namely offering something different to the original. Return of the Howling had a routine B-movie type plot, but Echoes tries to gain some sort of insight into the mind of a young werewolf who has to discover what he is before finding ways of dealing with his problems. With his good characterisation and breathless pace, Brandner manages to produce a better novel than the original, and pretty much makes up for its first sequel. Note: this is not related to the third entry in the film series, directed by Philippe Mora (1987).


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