The Wehrwolf by Alma Katsu is a dark, terrifying, and heartbreaking fairytale that flows along in the same vein as the Brothers Grimm tales.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on The Wehrwolf by Alma Katsu
Trapped between monsters on either side, these townspeople don’t know what they should fear more. Should they be watching for Russians that are in the area due to the war, or is the biggest threat the wildlife that has already left a man dead in a ditch?
With tensions continuing to rise, one voice that is louder and more insistent than others begins to become the center of attention. Soon, a group is created to protect the town, taking things into their own hands. Reluctantly, our main character, a man named Uwe, quickly realizes how dangerous the situation really is…
What an opening sentence this is: It started with a splash of crimson blood on snow.
Just that first sentence, and I was totally invested. I will say right off that I went into this story totally blind. All I knew was that it was by Alma! I had been sent a copy to prepare for the Dead Headspace recording, and I am oh so glad I was able to read it in time. I also preordered a copy so I would get to check out the final version when it launches.
I’m in love with the darkness that Alma writes about while adding in a heavy hand of terror and unease. This story, like her novel Red Widow, is focused mainly on the biggest monsters of them all; people.
This storyline will make you want to scream with the unfairness.
My Favorite Passages from The Wehrwolf
It started with a splash of crimson blood on snow.
A nation that put children in harm’s way while its leaders cowered in bunkers had already lost; it just wouldn’t admit it.
“Look, there are two kinds of men in the world. One kind takes responsibility for the things he’s done, both the good and – more importantly – the bad. The other kind always blames his misfortune on someone else. It’s never his fault when his crops fail or his wife leaves him.”
Every night, the wolf inside demanded a hunt, and the men readily gave in.
My Final Thoughts on The Wehrwolf
In the Author’s Note, Alma wrote that the point of stories like The Wehrwolf “is to show the danger that exists when we refuse to learn from history. And the main lesson history has to teach us is that it’s easy to slip the skin of humanity and become a monster.”
This story terrified me in many ways, but seeing all the parallels between this story and current times certainly tops the list. Unsettling from the start, this only gets deeper and deeper into dangerous territory.
A must-read for fans of dark fairytales with powerful messaging behind the words.
As this is an Amazon special, feel free to snag a copy using my Amazon Affiliate link below and go check out your local indie for more of Alma’s work: