Review of Curtis Jobling’s Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Thurston Howl

Eragon meets Game of Thrones and Redwall in this fun epic fantasy.

For many, this book is a furry re-hashing of fantasy tropes: we start out with a farmboy in a rural place barely part of the map in the world Lyssia. Trouble strikes when the boy’s true nature (the ability or curse of shifting into a wolf) comes out. After accidentally killing his mother and escaping his enraged father through the Dyrewood, Drew begins a journey to discover that his real father, much like Eragon’s, was actually a man of power, in this case, one of the shapeshifting kings, a Werelord. Drew struggles to understand his shapeshifting power as well as its place in this world he is only beginning to explore. Amid assassins, torture, and his own fleas, Drew discovers the true beast inside.

While the plot is fun and certainly action-packed from cover to cover, the text is lacking many elements as far as quality. To begin, the style and audience do not mix very well. With a middle-grade vocabulary and style (as well as the “young adult” marketing), one would naturally assume this is for children in middle school. However, the Games of Thrones torture, gore, and violence make you question that quite a bit. It is constantly disorienting and jarring as we have this very naive protagonist in a very simple world with simple politics and one-dimensional characters all around, and suddenly, knives are raked across the protagonist’s ribs, and he’s being whipped repeatedly, leaking lots of blood. You get the point.

The writing is lacking in other areas as well. The rare commas make some sentences almost unreadable; logical fallacies prevail; and redundant phrases abound.

I tend to ignore small writing issues when writing reviews, but when they completely distract the reader from the story, that warrants the critique. Overall, I left this story with just the broadest sense of confusion: what readers were meant to read this? Who were the editors of this project?

On the plus side, this was a fun addition of a fantasy novel into the copia of werewolf literature, and the cover art and book formatting were stellar. Would recommend this book to anyone interested in Game of Thrones.

Furries Return To Pittsburgh For 20th Anthrocon Convention

By Jon Delano as originally posted on CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The furries are back in Pittsburgh!

The 2016 Anthrocon Convention kicks off today at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

This year’s theme is “Roaring Twenty” — as Anthrocon celebrates its 20th anniversary.

“Anthrocon’s been here for 11 years and there’s 6,500 people in attendance this particular year. They’ve grown every single one since they’ve been here,” Craig Davis of VisitPittsburgh told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

John “KP” Cole, Events and Director, and Bob Armstrong, the director of vending and photographer for Anthrocon, joined the “KDKA Morning News” to talk about their 11th visit to Pittsburgh.

“We absolutely adore coming to Pittsburgh every year,” Armstrong said.

The convention offers one-day memberships and Armstrong said they have comedy shows, talent shows, parades, concerts and more.

So, why do some people choose to be a furry?

“To understand who a furry is, you need to understand who a furry was. Furries were the fat kids that never got picked at recess, we were that skinny, brainy kid that everybody liked to cheat off of but never wanted to hang out with…but being very social creatures like human beings are, we wanted interaction and we found acceptance and friendship in the very warm, smiling, happy faces of cartoon characters who we saw on television. Well, that’s who we were. Who we are now? We’re simply people who never forgot their childhood friends,” Cole said.

They expect 6,500 to 7,000 attendees with 1,500 in costume this weekend.

The Westin Convention Center hotel even flies the Anthrocon flag, and local businesses like Fernando’s attract Anthrocons with signs, T-shirts, and special bowls, says co-owner Al Budak.

Delano: “You actually serve the food in a dog dish?”

Budak: “Yes, not everyone, but if they ask for it.”

Delano: “How many bowls do you go through during an Anthrocon convention?”

Budak: “A thousand. A thousand, easy.”

Tonic Bar & Grill is another furry favorite.

“It gets ridiculous. Probably our busiest week of the year,” says Anthony Troilo.

Tonic gets into the furry spirit by renaming its food.

“We got like sloppy joe, we call it puppy chow. We got like kitty chow and everything. We got like a nice animal theme. We try to see what they relate to and name it all after them.”

But catering to the furries means big bucks for Pittsburgh.

Delano: “How much do you think you spend?”

Chilli, a Foo Lion: “Maybe — well, it depends on how many people you room with — maybe $500, $600.”

VisitPittsburgh says that adds up to $6.3 million, which many local residents say is just fine with them .

“Amen to that, and the more the better, right? So keep them coming, furries,” says Tim Daigle of Fineview. “Keep coming to Pittsburgh.”

There’s a bit of a love affair between the Anthrocons and Pittsburgh, says Davis.

“We have really embraced them over the 11 years they have been here. It’s become a spectator sport. People like to come down and watch them, and they liked to be watched. So it’s a really great symbiotic relationship of respect for each other.”

“What is there not to like about Pittsburgh?” adds John Cole.

Cole, who dresses as a tiger, is events and program director for Anthrocon.

“Pittsburgh is a fun city to be in, and it’s absolutely fantastic. I think it’s one of the greatest American cities that we have.”

Cole says when you see the furries, remember, “You have people who are policemen and firemen. You have military. You have teachers. You have professional chemists, office workers. You even have people who are very high up in Fortune 500 companies that are here.”

Can I Still Say Furfag by Mr Farrow