To the list of Pet Rocks, Ch-ch-ch-Chia Pets, and sassy chihuahuas that fit in Paris Hilton's handbags, add the latest gotta-have-it pet craze: werewolves! Oh sure these giant canines on two legs can look ferocious, but they've had all that aggressive nastiness conditioned out of them. Oh so WereHouse, the company behind the newest pet sensation claims.
It was about at this point early in Douglas Brown's Tamed that I expected Ian Malcolm, the quirky chaos theoretician from Jurassic Park, to make a cameo appearance to make ominous warnings about the folly of domesticating werewolves as pets. Alas, Dr. Malcolm didn't show up so I had to do without all the foreshadowing of the carnage to come.
Brown does action sequences very, very well and in Tamed he shows a deft hand at keeping the action going without either muddying it up or dragging it out. On the other hand, his dialogue could use some work, especial in the case of a budding romance in which the two characters exchange some real clunkers of lines. I could almost picture Brown as a child at a movie theater on Saturday afternoon, staring with rapt attention to the action scenes and then wondering off to the lobby during the "mushy" parts, but I digress.
(Yeah, I know. No one purchases a book featuring werewolves and expects to be swept off their feet by romance. But still, if I had a romantic partner says some of the things Brown has his characters say I think I would look at them and ask if they were on drugs.)
For me the biggest problem I had with Tamed was being unable to accept the premise. I just couldn't buy into the idea of people being excited about the idea of having a pet that's bigger than they are and comes with claws and sharp teeth ... regardless of how well it's been conditioned. There may be a 12-year-old boy inside me that would call having his own werewolf "cool," but the adult me is much more practical, thinking about things like 'I wonder how big of a pile of poop it leaves?' to 'will I need extra coverage on my homeowners policy?'
The other thing that didn't set well with me about the book is that no one - no one! - seems to express any curiousity about where these creatures come from and how they are made. The big revelation about the source of the werepets didn't so much surprise me as it did make me mentally shout "well, d'uh!"
All in all, Tamed isn't bad. It's basically some light escapist reading that I easily wrapped up in a single day. That was three days ago and I am really having the wrack my brain to remember any of the main characters' names. But by all means, read Tamed if they idea of pet werewolves interests you (and you can buy into the book's premise).