The Nature of Stammering 09/08/22
The Dark Inside
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
James finds Webster by chance while hiding in the abandoned house on the hill, where his stepfather's drink-fuelled rage can't find him. The old man doesn't make much sense and doesn't know where he is or where he's going. When he rattles out into the night James doesn't expect that he will ever see him again, let alone embark on a curious rampage across the Devonshire countryside alongside him, chased by gypsies and shadows under the cover of night.
Their quest is uncertain: Webster seeks the man (or thing) that attacked him to offer forgiveness in exchange for the lift of a curse that he can't prove has befallen him; and James is on the run from his life as he knows it, the grief over his mother's death and the anger that consumes his stepfather. Their bond is formed fast and true and gives them the strength that propels them through this nightmarish journey.
An unusual and refreshing take on the werewolf prophecy, this story questions the nature of belief and the real effects of a potentially imaginary curse. The dark landscape adds rich atmosphere whilst the dramatic action and some very creepy scenes add genuine cinematic chills. A sparsely told story and an open ending adds a mature, literary feel that could make it a successful crossover text as well.