For as long as I can remember I’ve loved werewolves. It’s always been one of my guilty pleasures, just without the guilt. My love started when I was eight-years-old when I first saw An American Werewolf In London. I’m man enough to admit when I was little I was terrified of nearly EVERYTHING, but there was something about that movie that just captivated me. The idea that an average, everyday guy could become such a creature was so fascinating to me. I had already been an avid animal lover, and seeing someone turn into one really got to me. It was the first movie where I actually cheered for the monster!
I started looking more into the genre of werewolves. Most of the movies and stories were scary, so I was apprehensive. Being a young boy who was too scared to sleep without Scooby Doo or Gilligan’s Island playing in the background hindered my research quite a bit. Not to mention the media wasn’t as abundant as it is today thanks to the Twilight fad. This was the early 2000’s, so my research didn’t take me far. I read all about werewolves and the early incarnations of the legend, sitting in awe in front of my PC as I read all about these man-creatures that were effected by the full moon. I read the story of Lycaon and his testing of Zeus, cringed at the horrible deal Peter Stumpp made with the Devil, and stayed up all night because of the tale of The Beast of Gévaudan. I was hooked, and slowly my unnatural fear of all things horror-related faded and I became a dedicated “Horrorist” as I like to call it.
I grew to have many passions; karate, boxing, video gaming, comic books, music; but none even came close to my passion for werewolves. Only one thing ever surpassed that passion: writing. So, it was only natural to combine the two things, right? Of course! I attempted hundreds of stories, more than half involving werewolves, the others involving superheroes and vampires and zombies and such. But even with all of these failed projects I never gave up. I continued my study of all things Lycanthrope by watching the movies that have come out during these first years of the 21st century and reading all the books that I deemed “worthy” of my tastes. Even though I love them so much, I don’t just read any werewolf novel that comes out. I’m pretty picky. My guidelines for a werewolf novel have always been strict, and more than once I’ve ignored a New York Times bestseller because it didn’t fit my criteria.
There came a day when my mother, one of the few people who grit their teeth and pretended to be listening politely while I rambled on and on about the full moon beasts, said to me, “If you can’t find any werewolf books that interest you, then why don’t you just write them yourself?”
I remember just staring at her for a second; dumbfounded that such a simple, obvious answer had escaped my grasp. I gave some excuse involving something along the lines of already having tried, and then ran off to my room to think of an idea. After nearly two years of thinking and planning and writing, Dehumanized is now available for all to read!
And I’m happy to say it fits my criteria perfectly.
Michael Loring was born in Bristol, Connecticut, but has lived in a variety of places such as Florida and Tennessee. He likes to think of himself as an amateur Lycanthropologist, studying werewolves ever since he was eight years old when he first saw An American Werewolf In London. He spent most of his life switching between home school and public school, always focusing on his passion of writing no matter what. His interest in writing was sparked in the second grade when his teacher encouraged him to write short stories for the class, earning him more than one award at school assemblies for Creative Writing. He currently resides back in his birthplace of Connecticut with a house full of women who like to drive him up the wall until he finishes his chores. Though they seem to avoid him during the night of the full moon for some unexplainable reason…
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REVIEW BY CASSIE HOFFMAN
DEHUMANIZED by Michael Loring
One bite could change your life forever and that is what happened to Ryan Zachery a nineteen year old young man.
In Dehumanized we meet Ryan Zachery a young man who was bitten and infected by a werewolf. Now Ryan is taken away from everything he knows, and hasn’t seen anything outside the fence surrounding the compound in two years.
When you are bitten you are taken to a rehabilitation center “Werewolf Camp”. No one really knows what it is really like, only the people inside the fence. In reality, it is a prison. Guards think of them as animals and treat them that way. They are mistreated, abused, and not give even a second glance.
Ryan keeps to himself from everyone else. One fight can land you into the “Dungeon” which is a cement room, dark, no windows or light. You are thrown in there naked and have only a bucket to use the restroom in. Ryan has seen that room a few times too many but he keeps finding himself in there.
Ryan finds solace sitting at the fence staring out into the woods, which is his escape from the horror that surrounds him. He has a cellmate name Frederic “Fred” who is a French man. They can’t really communicate because they can’t understand each other. Soon, another person is assigned to their cell and her name is Anna Clark. Anna is a beautiful young woman, who hid what she truly was until they found her.
Getting close to people isn’t a good idea. Ryan tries not to get attached to Fred or Anna because they could be easily taken away from him. Subjects die every day either from mishaps in the lad, lack of nutrition, or getting beat to death by the others or the guards. Ryan tries to keep his distance from his cellmates because if he did get attached and something happen to either one of them, he doesn’t think he could survive it. But, soon he lets his walls come down and let them in. He looks to Fred like a brother. Will his worst fears come true?
Anna and Ryan become closer and closer. Being close to someone and letting others know is asking for trouble so they try to hide it. Ryan has never felt this way for anyone in his life and he finds comfort in Anna.
Ryan struggles with knowing there is a beast in him. He didn’t ask for this and soon he starts having hallucinations. But is he really having hallucinations and is he going crazy? Ryan is in a constant battle of not letting the beast rear its head. He could easily let the beast take over. Does he?
After a lab experiment, something goes wrong. He can remember changing, remembers what happen after the change. Changing is a horrible experience with excruciating pain. He can hear his bones and muscles crunching, spin popping and pressing against the skin on his back. Gums ripping apart, having fangs sharper than some blades. The metamorphosis is soul shattering. Going from logic sense to primal instinct could drive you to insanity.
Thanks to the procedure, Ryan can transform into the wolf when the others only can transform during the full moon. What happen to be able to allow him to do that?
Now that the experiment has allowed Ryan and the beast inside himself to be able to communicate, can they become allies work together and try to escape the prison that has caged them up and tortured them?
Will they escape or will they be captured? Can Ryan and his inner beast live with each other or will one outnumber the other?
I was really fascinated reading this book. It was a totally different take on Lycanthropy. Getting to see how Ryan feels and seeing the inner workings of his change. I was rooting for him the whole time, wanting him to jump over the gate and escape. I’ve read other books about Werewolves but, nothing quite as great as this one. I couldn’t hurry to the next page fast enough and get to the end. The whole book was well written and the characters were fascinating in their own ways. I GIVE IT 5 STARS!!!!
Quotes from the book:
“Everyone is scared to go near you, in fear you’d do the same to them, but I ain’t gonna shiver under my blankets because of you.”
“Your mutation is so unique. We could have learned so much from you, gained so much from you, Mr. Zachery.”
“I think we should bury him, he deserves to be properly buried, like a proper human.”
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