Though werewolves have never quite attained the literary popularity of vampires, the concept of a man turning into a ravening beast every full moon has never lost its grip on the popular imagination, and there are many excellent werewolf books, films, tv shows, and other media.
Here are 10 classic and modern novels with great takes on the werewolf legend:
1. Armstrong, Kelley – Bitten
The first of Armstrong’s popular Women of the Otherworld paranormal romance series introduces Elena Michaels, an outwardly normal young career woman who is actually a werewolf. Bitten was recently made into a tv series!
2. Borchardt, Alice – The Silver Wolf
The Silver Wolf is gritty historical romance about decadent but faded 8th century Rome and its scheming aristocrats and courtiers, with a werewolf twist. Vampire fans may recognize the author’s name – she’s the sister of Anne Rice.
3. Brandner, Gary – The Howling
A young woman and her husband move to a small town on the advice of her therapist, only to discover that their new home hides a terrifying and deadly secret: many of its residents are werewolves. The Howling was made into a classic 80’s horror film.
4. Duncan, Glen – The Last Werewolf
A world-weary 167 year old werewolf contemplates his future in this gory and explicit, yet philosophical novel that received rave reviews by critics.
5. Endore, Guy – The Werewolf of Paris
First published in the 1930s, this classic werewolf novel resurrected the genre and has held up surprisingly well in the intervening decades.
6. McCammon, Robert – The Wolf’s Hour
A thrilling World War 2 spy novel… whose protagonist just happens to be a werewolf!
7. Pekearo, Nicholas – The Wolfman
Written by a cop who was killed in the line of duty shortly before its publication, this thrilling novel adds a Dexter-like twist to the werewolf mythos: a werewolf who copes with the fact that he becomes a murderous beast every full moon by targeting murderers.
8. Strieber, Whitley – The Wolfen
This novel is widely considered the scariest werewolf ever written, and a classic of the genre.
9. Van Orman, Sharon – Lykaia
The term “lycanthrope” comes from a Greek legend about a king named Lykaonas (Lycaon) who was transformed into a wolf by Zeus as punishment for serving the god human flesh. This novel explores the werewolf legend’s Greek origins as a Greek-American pathologist discovers that her two brothers have gone missing in Greece following an ancient ceremony said to transform man into wolf.
10. Whitfield, Kit – Benighted
Unique worldbuilding and a compelling story about a “bareback” (non-werewolf) attorney who must defend a werewolf who may have mauled and murdered her friend.
What is your favorite werewolf novel? Please share in comments!
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