This is not a review. Just a nostalgic moment.
Years ago I was experiencing some horrible personal problems and I was basically sick as a dog. I don't really get that saying though, I mean dog's aren't sick, they're pretty awesome but let's just go with it. Anyway I was extremely ill and I couldn't do anything. I couldn't eat or drink and my whole world was just one empty void of despair. I'd had this book forever and decided to try and read it. Up to this point I hadn't been able to concentrate on reading anything but this book completely sucked me in. I can remember the part where Michael was a small boy and having just fled from some bad guys through the Russian forest, he ran head first into a pack of wild wolves and was bitten by one. He wakes up in an old broken down monastery and learns that these are no ordinary wolves but werewolves. Men and women who have decided to live as wolves do away from society and soon enough he starts getting very ill. Not many survive the change and rarely does one so young survive it. His tenacity and strength of character were evident to Wiktor early on. Wiktor, oh Wiktor. He was the pack's alpha male or leader and was the most perfect mentor I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. If you're familiar with the fantasy genre then you know the whole formula for the hero and his mentor. Even though this isn't a fantasy book per se he still fit that bill. When Michael wouldn't eat he basically told him to just give up and die that way there would be more food for the rest of the pack. He understood that Michael was high strung, an aristocratic boy who had the blood of ancient warrior's flowing through his veins.
I can just remember being so enthralled and enchanted by the flashback scenes. The book starts off during WWII and Michael is a spy working for the Allies. His unique abilities give him an edge when it comes to his job but the flashbacks, that's where the magic was at least for me during that initial read. I can still recall being so horribly sick and pretending I was going through the exact same thing that Michael was. That I was going through the change of becoming a werewolf instead of just being miserably sick like I was. This book helped me to make it through those days. It transported me from my horrible world into a better one and for that I will always have a special place for it in my heart.
If you haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet then I highly urge you to do so. It's an older book but still one of the best of it's kind. Robert R. McCammon is a masterful storyteller and one day I'll have to share my reading experiences of his wonderful books Boy's Life or Swan Song. I plan on rereading all of these and reviewing them as soon as possible. These are just some of my favorite books and this is why this book will always be one of my favorites. One day I hope to get my old, battered and taped up paperback signed by the author. I don't want a new one signed. I want my old raggedy copy signed, the same one who's taped up condition holds so many memories for me.