HYBRID The Hybrid Series – Book 1 by Nick Stead
Teen horror lover Nick gets just what he wished for when a wolf attacks him while walking home from the movies with his friends. He escapes thanks to quick actions by his best friend, Lizzie, but during the next full moon, he transforms into a werewolf and begins to prey upon the town livestock, eventually graduating to human beings.
Aided by two ancient vampires who inhabit the local cemetery, Nick struggles to suppress his animalistic urges in order to hide from the supernatural hunting humans known as the Slayers. The last of his kind, Nick’s werewolf status makes him a prime target for the Slayers, and it will take an army of iconic horror beings to stop the Slayers from hunting them all down.
Set in 2003, the story opens with a confusing second-person point of view for several pages before shifting to Nick’s first-person perspective. He’s a cocky, sarcastic, conceited teenager, setting him up for an opportunity to grow and mature, but just as he fights against instinctual urges to mindlessly hunt and kill, he also fights against the remorse that comes with living as a cold-blooded killer. He tends to overexplain situations and his mindset. The graphic, detailed narration, while fitting for the genre, can drag on for way too long. His decision-making rationality is often unconvincing, forcing the story inorganically to its next preplanned plot point.
However, it’s this three-way pull between remorseful human, pig-headed teenage boy, and fierce killer that makes for an interesting character study. And the supernatural world that Stead has built is classic yet cleverly constructed realm of the genre that has captured my attention in this ongoing series.
Review by Laura Smith