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NEWSHOUND

Newshound – Stories of a Werewolf Journalist

By thelonewanderer, author of The Open Road

Jul 3, 2017: Heather Stone is the only werewolf journalist in the American Southwest. And her lupine nose smells conspiracy.

Most fiction with a journalist protagonist is centered around conspiracy, usually political. M.T Bade’s Newshound is pretty much on target – political, the small and persecuted in one corner with the big guys on the other. But the most interesting bit is how it takes reacts (inspiration if you are feeling optimistic) to the current political scenario in America. And yes, this means travelbans, subversion of federal institutions for driving a political agenda and the general chaos that follows you-know-who. (This last bit is an assumption from my part but one that has some basis I think)

I’m not an American and my background to this are the stories in the news media and social media(over-saturated as they are) so I don’t want to sound stupid by saying stuff that I have no right to. The author however is careful in how he approaches this material, just as he is with the setting in general. I am genuinely interested in where this story goes.

But that’s not the best part of the story. I liked best the touches about Heather being a werewolf, where the character reacts to this urban fantasy setting. They had me grinning. It is these careful, quiet moments, the back and forth between wolf and woman, sharing tenancy of a single body, which makes the story feel authentic and fun.

The writing is clean and straight, and right from the first few lines, you find yourself switching into Heather’s perspective, to her struggles with effortless ease. From one writer to another, it was something I envied. There are a couple of worldbuiliding posts, but they are mere appetizers, a hint at a rather complex, well-thought of world. For one thing, we are yet to encounter magic apart from a rather cathartic bout of shape-shifting.

The first few chapters of the serial serve largely as an introduction, a little long one at that, to the setting, the cast and the life of a werewolf journalist. And I think this is where the serial stumbles a bit, or at least doesn’t fully use the impact that a beginning can create. The main plot thread starts only with the fourth chapter, pushing the opening news story that Heather works on as just another prop in the background. And consequently, this makes the jump to the conspiracy a bit too hurried and not very convincing as Heather has a bigger stake in the first news story. But here, I lay my only quibbles to rest.

All in all, the Newshound is a very promising beginning. We’re only about eight parts in the story, so there’s it’s just getting started. And that’s probably why you should start reading this serial. Because the best is yet to come.

Disclaimer – This is part of a review swap.

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