Sunday, December 07, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #341: The Wolf Gift: The Graphic Novel by Anne Rice & Ashley Marie Witter

As far as I can remember, this is the very first book I've read in any way by Anne Rice. (Though I'm sure I've read that one story that turns up in every vampire anthology at least a dozen times.) So I likely have an unusual and very warped view of her work, from hearsay and one adapted graphic novel, and I'll avoid making sweeping pronouncements as much as I can. random characters usually repeatedly comment on how gorgeous the male leads are in Rice novels, or is that a unique feature of The Wolf Gift? It happened often enough to be both distracting and to seem like special pleading, as if Rice was desperate for us to know that Reuben Golding was uberhot.

Anyway, this is an adaptation of Rice's recent novel The Wolf Gift, published under the obvious but very descriptive title The Wolf Gift: The Graphic Novel. Both the adaptation and the art is by Ashley Marie Witter, who previously worked on a book called Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story, which clearly has a relationship to the similarly-titled Rice novel, though I don't know the details of that relationship. She's familiar with Rice, though: that's the main point. She's been there before, and I suppose everyone was happy the first time around. Her style is vaguely manga-influenced -- something classy and josei, maybe -- and usually has enough tone and depth to work well reproduced directly here, without color.

The story is not entirely pure wish-fulfillment, but it's within driving distance: young Reuben is uberhot and talented and mildly rich even before the story begins, but he's soon gifted with a fabulous mansion on the Northern California coast and supernatural natural powers that can be guessed from the title. This is almost entirely positive -- only the local police take a slightly dim view of the new Man Wolf and his habit of dealing out vigilante justice and summary execution -- and leads him to a girlfriend younger and hotter than the one he briefly dallied with at the beginning of the book. There are villains, of course, but their plots are confused and only intersect the main story occasionally.

Presumably, the rest of the promised trilogy will provide some more tension -- or maybe it will just continue to shower Reuben with all of the good things in life, including membership in secret societies of probably-immortal hairy supermen.

The Wolf Gift: The Graphic Novel is a warm bath of a book: it's soothing and comfortable and makes absolutely no demands on the reader. But if you spend too long with it, you may find yourself sprawled out naked in tepid water with all of your bubbles burst.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

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