Den of the Wererats – by Terry Miller – Book Review – Novella

Angry Goat

Hi fellow 9th circle dwellers.

This review is spoiler-free.

Book TW: rape (many mentions, scenes containing it, and graphic, violent depictions)

Jonathan and Paul are new to Portsmouth, Ohio. To strengthen their pack, they soon recruit Kelly and Devin. The freshly turned pack members adjust and settle in. But before long, secrets begin to unravel their unity. To complicate matters, Raven, a new prospect, has a secret of her own – a secret that will confront every pack member with horros they never imagined.

I’ll never forgive this book. It made me go down the weirdest research rabbit hole about the breeding habits of rats.

First thing’s first – the cover is perfect. The more I stare at it, the dirtier I feel, and that’s exactly how reading this made me feel – dirty and covered in filth. My brain became a disease-soaked sponge and no matter how hard I try to wring it out and rinse it with more sweet and pleasant stimuli, I fear that I’ll never be able to remove the greasy stain.

I have but one complaint about this novella, and I cannot possibly review it fairly without bringing it up because it’s not so much an elephant in the room as an elephant sitting on my chest: Unholy Dark Lord, the amount of rape in this book. Now, before I say more, I need to make two disclaimers: firstly, I’ve had a lot of books sent my way for review recently, and at least 80% of them contain sexual assault. There’s a good chance that I’m so bothered by it in this novella because I’m simply burned out with the subject matter right now. It’s not a trigger for me, but it darkens my overall reading experience because it’s nasty to think about. Sometimes, it’s crucial to the plot and afforded the appropriate weight and care it deserves, but in most cases, I’ve found the SA featured in what I’ve been reading recently gratuitous and unnecessary. In this case, it isn’t unnecessary, as it’s one of the hinges from which the plot hangs, but in my opinion, it is gratuitous.

Secondly, I seem to be an island in my deep discomfort of the frequent and cavalier way that it’s depicted, because I went on a review hunt of this novella after reading it and found nothing but glowing reviews, none of which even mention this aspect of the book, despite the fact that it’s an almost-overwhelming feature of the story. I’m wondering if I’m missing something (the point entirely, perhaps?) or if I’ve taken this theme the wrong way somehow. All I know is that there are way too many mentions of it and scenes depicting it for my tastes, and it made me deeply uncomfortable.

In any case, if SA is a trigger for you, then for the love of our horned messiah, do not read this book. Trust me, it isn’t for you.

So, what about the story itself, the writing, the character development?

Well, this is my first Terry Miller read, and I think he’s great. It takes a special kind of writer to use a concept that could be as cartoon-ish as wererats, and pull it off as a serious, extreme-horror story, despite the hilarious scene where the group are treating themselves to some cheese.

The characters are well-formed, and most of them are morally bankrupt, detestable vermin that deserve to be toasted relentlessly and eternally by the fire of a thousand suns. I grew to truly despise them. I even made a note that the book would be flung from the window if the female characters didn’t unleash chaos and carnage at the end.

The author creates an immersive and wholly unpleasant, grimey feel and tone, with excellent descriptions of the settings and portrayals of the wererats and their natures. I alternated between thinking it was just too much for my tastes, and wishing that the wererat lore was expanded on more, because despite how horrid these creatures are, they are interesting. The story-telling is great, and the writing – ironically – a pleasure to read, despite what’s being told. I very much enjoyed the concept and the world – it’s certainly original and firmly belongs in its sub-genre, revelling in its nastiness. If Terry Miller writes more about the wererats, I’ll be reading it.

I’d recommend this to extreme horror fans – those with strong stomachs and a sturdy constitution.

If you’d like to get your own copy, you can find it here:

DEN OF THE WERERATS

If you’d like to learn more about the author, you can find him here:

TERRY MILLER

If you’d like to learn more about the publisher, you can find them here:

GLOOM HOUSE PUBLISHING

2 responses to “Den of the Wererats – by Terry Miller – Book Review – Novella”

  1. Thank you for the review! I tried to keep the rape at mere mentions rather than detailing the actions play by play. It definitely is a key aspect of the wererats existence. There’ll definitely be more wererats in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those wererats are such sickos… can’t wait to read more of them!

      Like

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