When Tobias Richard Vandevelde wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the night before, his horrified mother tells him that he was found unconscious. At Featherdale Wildlife Park. In a dingo pen. He assumes that his two best friends are somehow responsible, until the mysterious Reuben turns up, claiming that Toby has a rare and dangerous “condition.” Next thing he knows, Toby finds himself involved with a strange bunch of sickly insomniacs who seem convinced he needs their help. It’s not until he’s kidnapped and imprisoned that he starts to believe them—and to understand what being a paranormal monster really means.
By this time, I have to admit, I was starting to panic. It’s no joke when a whole chunk of your life has suddenly gone missing.
The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group was infinitely more readable than the previous book, The Reformed Vampire Support Group. Perhaps because it makes no doubts that this is, in fact, a young adult book. Maybe because I enjoyed the way the book progressed, more. Or the humor in the events that played out, too. There are a lot of reasons I probably liked this more than I expected to, going in.
Tobias Vandevelde is a normal everyday 13 year old. Until one day he wakes up in a dingo pen with absolutely no memory of why he was there. At the hospital, when he finally comes to, the doctors suspect he might have a seizure when he says he has no memory of the event. Epilepsy is a hard thing to go through for a kid, especially when it is so random. And one wakes up in a dingo pen – you don’t hear of that happening often.
Only, as you might suspect since this is urban fantasy, he doesn’t have epilepsy. Nope, he is a werewolf, and this was his first change. Which he finds out when a random priest and someone saying they’re a werewolf as well show up on his doorstep. Leading to both him and his mother freaking out completely. Only, Tobias can’t deny what they are saying the way his mother can. He has the proof shown in his body, the changes to his body to back up the strangers word.
The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group is very young adult. It plays up to its genre really well. The main character is just a young boy who likes to do stupid stuff with his friends every chance he gets. His mom, and only parent, is really protective of him, and tries to boss him around, and he likes to not listen. In fact, Tobias likes to ignore very well-put advice.
I must say, though, that I appreciated the mother a lot In The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group. She was great. A bit over the top, maybe. I’m just finding that Catherine Jinks writes great mothers. The mother is supportive, while also being protective. And protective in a way that makes sense, even when she is freaking the hell out about these strangers in her house telling her that her son is a werewolf.
I enjoyed reading this. I laughed a lot, and I had fun. It was a bit long, because it repeated itself a surprisingly amount. But I definitely liked it more than the first. Less complaining, more sense of purpose, less meandering of the story. I just think it might have been a bit better as a novella instead of a novel.