Review of Vyrmin by Gene Lazuta

November 22, 2016


Somewhere between fairy tale, high fantasy and straight old school horror, Gene Lazuta’s Vyrmin digs in and wrenches flesh from bone. This is the latest re-release from Bloodshot Books, as this title originally saw paperback shelving back in 1992.

It’s a werewolf story like no other that I’ve read.

From the very beginning, action breaks forth in a bloody, monstrous wave and rolls until changing views and sliding into an unravelling mystery. There are shades of detective drama and shades of classic monster tropes, but mostly, this thing is big and it is different. Once the initial foray into high-intensity action slows, the pacing dips into something akin to a research study told in the point of view of a hobby zoologist (think X-Files crossed with Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian).

Slowly the story climbs out of the vast drop away from the action before bringing forth a great big fantastical conclusion of magic and lore and all the power of belief and perspective. At its weakest, Vyrmin bogs itself in extensive explanation that, although strengthening characters and substantiating storyline, carries on beyond necessity. At its strongest, it's fast, ferocious, vibrant and suspenseful, with palpable horror. The strengths outweigh the downfalls often. Vyrmin is an original cut from a trope that often drowns itself in the same spilled blood.


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Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
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