Wereling is the debut, YA paranormal novel of UK author Steve Feasey.
Trey Laporte is fourteen-years-old and has been living in a home for orphans, Apple Grove Care Home. He doesn't exactly love it, especially since the head care worker always seems to have it out for him. But when he wakes up one morning in complete and utter pain, inexplicably naked, sick to the point of vomiting, and no memory of the night before - things take a turn for the worse in such a way that Trey wishes he'd never complained about Apple Grove.
Before he even gets a chance to figure out what is going on, or why all his possessions are torn up and trashed - Trey gets a visit from an "uncle" he's never met before. This "uncle" doesn't look at all familiar to Trey - in fact, he doesn't even look all that normal.
That doesn't stop his newfound relative from whisking him away, though, or from letting him know that leaving the Care Home is vital in saving his own life - not to mention everyone else's.
That's when things start getting really weird...
One thing that I really liked when beginning Wereling was that we, the readers, are literally thrown immediately into the puzzle that is Trey's horror when he first wakes up on that fateful morning. There is no preamble, no getting to know him first - just, WHAM! It's instantly intriguing and mysterious.
As the story quickly progresses in an intense, eerie, interesting manner, I couldn't help but notice shades of Harry Potter - without magic and wizards, that is. Of course, that is always a compliment from me, the Harry Potter maniac. ;)
Lucien (the "uncle") is an engrossing character, a sort of enigma for a good while. And Trey is refreshingly hesitant about the world that he is thrown into. I know that is a bit vague, but I don't want to give too much away to you, bibliophile! Let's just say we all assume he is given some information that is contrary to what the ordinary person would believe is possible - and that for once, it takes him a very long time to accept it - which I found believable and relatable.
Wereling is fast-paced (clearly) and a page-turner, for sure. I would often think of it when I was doing something other than reading (even bibliophiles have to work, sigh). I found myself really enjoying the characters, flavor, and tone of the novel - there is something compulsively readable, entertaining, and engaging about it.
However, there were times when certain plot lines were just a little too reminiscent of other YA and middlegrade fantasies I've read in the past - leading it to be occasionally predictable and disjointed. Though it was still fun, Wereling began to become a tiny bit laborious in the last third - but the climax was definitely worth the patience!
With a spectacularly gross-out, freaky, scary end, the sometimes repetitive wording and other faults were overwhelmed by the suspense of the great cliffhanger.
So, with the strong ending I am more than curious to see where a sequel would go - because surely there must be one!