Stephen Graham Jones‘s MONGRELS does all those things you want a book to do—comes with a cool cover, tells a great story, gives consideration to those small details of life that make life worth noticing, makes you want it to not end, makes you want to turn right back to the front cover and start all over again right then and there, and is about werewolves. Does it get better than that? Yeah. Because for young werewolves and their relations (those who are not, but would prefer to be werewolves), it gives hope in those ways that help you to remember on those days when it seems it somehow never could, it will get better.
Your immersion in the story is necessary, and Jones holds your paw and brings you right in. Every fucked up school moment, every scary on the street who is this older dude and what does he want moment, every sure I can eat this for lunch moment, every am I a part of this family moment jumps off pages which cease to exist about five minutes in and then you’re hopelessly part of the family too, wishing for some ungodly reason that you had a strawberry wine cooler and maybe lived in a disposable trailer. You wait for the next family history, the notes that you seem to already know that make the story work and are surprised to learn there might be some new ways to wolf out, ways you might have considered and now have license to know, and maybe even to try.
In the end, you’re left with some questions to accompany your continuous replay of the story in your head—“Will there be a sequel?” “How many times can I read this until it comes out?” “Who’s going to play them in the movie?” and a final thought: I wish I hadn’t read this yet, ‘cause I wish I was starting it right now.