cover image The Anxiety of Kalix the Werewolf

The Anxiety of Kalix the Werewolf

Martin Millar. Counterpoint/Soft Skull (PGW, dist.), $18.95 trade paper (640p) I

Kalix MacRinnalch, the titular fretful lycanthrope, is 18 years old, directionless, unhappy, and borderline bulimic. Empress Kabachetka of Hainusta wants to kill Kalix and her family, but this plot never goes anywhere exciting. Much of the book is devoted to Kalix and her friends hanging out, going to the movies, and shopping. Meanwhile, her beautiful older sister, Thrix, chums around with Queen Malveria of the Fire Elementals, talks about ex-boyfriends and Vogue, and gets into a fashion-off with the empress. Millar spends more time on the characters’ hair than on the plot. The few action scenes are anticlimactic and brief. Even the attempts at humor fall flat; Kalix’s best friend is devoted to a band called Yum Yum Sugary Snacks and the anime Tokyo Top Pop Boom Boom Girl, the “joke” apparently being that rock bands and anime series have wacky names. No interesting characters or worldbuilding enliven this meandering, slow, and extremely long story. Agent: Malcolm Imre, Imre & Davis. (Feb.)