Is it a boy, is it a beast? No, it's a werewolf...
Squarely aimed at young, teenage boys; Changeling is the story of an orphaned boy in care who suddenly discovers that he is, in fact, the last natural werewolf left on the planet and it would seem that he has some rather wealthy and powerful allies lined up to help him make the frightening transition from ordinary (if unwanted) boy to a potentially devastating force for good.
Changeling is the first in a series that explores Trey's newfound netherworld friends: vampires, demons, et cetera - as well as enemies. Trey is taken under the wing of an obscenely rich vampire, Lucien Charron, who is determined to keep him safe whilst guiding him in his recently uncovered abilities (changing into a huge, hulking beast of a wolf counts as an ability). Along with Charron is a human sidekick, Tom. A bulky, hard-as-nails Irishman who despite being plain human still has his advantages (making tea being one of them). Then, there is the dazzling beauty of Charron's sixteen year-old daughter, Alexa, a Halfling who also happens to be a mage (or a sorceress). It isn't just about battling netherworld creatures; there is a good dose of magic, charms, enchantments and spells. Changeling is very much a hybrid all just about anything remotely supernatural or paranormal, which unfortunately, just creates a bit of a headache for anyone who is more hardcore.
Feasey writes well enough, but (and there is a huge but) it just isn't enough to lift the overall plotline out of the cavernous hole that Feasey seems only too keen to fill with cliché after cliché. Trey's biggest enemy also happens to be Charron's brother. The daughter is invariably kidnapped in a bid to lure out Charron and Trey. Charron also unimaginatively gets injured beyond normal repair (for a vampire), but could just be saved by some magic or other that of course must be known to Alexa's supposedly dead mother (who turns out not to be dead - who knew?)... Of course, there is plenty of action, lots of crazy sounding demonic types with all kinds of bizarre abilities and it does move along with a certain punchiness - but it's hardly taxing reading matter. Good for a bit of light relief, but if you're serious about all this netherworld business; then, you'd be better off looking to something a little more detailed and focussed.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012