REVIEW - WHO'S AFRAID by Maria Lewis
Heroine Tommi is going through a period of earth shattering change, all the while trying to keep it from affecting her work and relationships. So, of course, it is near impossible. Tommi's lead in all this is her Guardian, Lorcan (gorgeous, just like Tommi herself, of course) who has himself a big fat secret that he doesn't want to reveal too soon to his new, and first, student. Teaching Tommi to kick supernatural butt is easier than he thought it would be, and before you know it, the power and skills of the pupil begin to eclipse that of the teacher. Tommi needs to call upon all her new skills sooner than she would have hoped, with deadly results.
The appeal of this novel does not lie in the werewolf aspect (werewolves have been the focus of a blistering amount of novels in the last decade) but rather with its Gen Z heroine and secondary characters . This is novel populated by Scottish Gen Z urbanites who are all just trying to keep it together day to day and find their own levels of happy. Some of their lines are quite snappy, and the messy lives of the under 25's flat sharing years are identifiable to anyone past that shimmering age. Tommi is smart and funny; too smart to be meandering along in life as she seems to be at the start of his novel but then there wouldn't be much scope for change or growth. All that is thrust upon her.
WHO'S AFRAID is the first novel in a new urban fantasy series by Australian author Maria Lewis. The story here does not hang itself up on all the traditional woo-woo rules and regulations so not much time is wasted in getting the new werewolf from mourning to fighting. Tommi keeps it all together as her world dramatically changes and the reader is right there with her as she soon begins to accept if not embrace her new life.
A solid entry point to a new world, WHO'S AFRAID won't having you checking the shadows as you read - this book is not that graphic or terrifying - but it will have you cheering for Tommi as she stoically decides that her life is to be only onwards and upwards from here.
After her mother's death, it seems to Tommi that all the answers to her questions lie in land of the long white cloud. After a bit of investigative legwork, Tommi flies from her home in urban Scotland all the way down to New Zealand to meet with her blood family. They are not at all what she had expected. And neither is what happens to her own self after being in contact with others like her. Other werewolves, that is.