Curse of the Wolf Girl

Martin Millar, Underland (PGW, dist.), $15.95 paper (384p) ISBN 9780980226058

Kalix the emo berserker werewolf makes a moody return in Millar's witty, chaotic sequel to 2008's Lonely Werewolf Girl. Offered an allowance by her mother if she does well at remedial college, Kalix is soon distracted by the murder of her former lover. She's determined to get to the bottom of the murder but soon discovers that, in addition to being a laudanum-addicted, anorexic cutter, she's much better at mass slaughter than investigating. Only after a series of seemingly unrelated subplots come together does she stand a chance at vengeance. Millar introduces a cast of thousands, including fashion-obsessed fire elemental royalty, a werewolf sorceress, and would-be werewolf rock stars, deftly weaving together a myriad of subplots as the narrative hurtles toward the conclusion. The dialog reads like a good British sitcom, and if the characters are somewhat shallow, it has the odd effect of making their personal revelations more poignant by the end. (Aug.)