Review - ORIGIN, Greg McLean and Aaron Sterns

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

I've never seen the movie WOLF CREEK and undoubtedly never will. The idea of extreme violence, cruelty and madness on the page is one thing, visually another completely different for this reader anyway.

Had the books not been offered as review copies, it's doubtful I would ever have read either of them. They definitely aren't my preference, so it's only fair to say that ORIGIN was a struggle. The violence and deprivation are stark and very in your face. The book is a prequel to the movie, designed to introduce readers to the young boy that became the psychotic killer. So there's animal cruelty, deprivation, violence, dysfunctional families, bullying workmates, heaps of hiding out in the bush, and basically not a lot of hope anywhere you look.

Which is possibly exactly the sort of thing that readers of this style of book like. It did however contribute to making that struggle to read, not helped by some of the more predictable plot elements. Even without seeing the movie it's obvious that Taylor is the sort of character that can't sink much lower, so his journey there from childhood doesn't break new ground. In fact there wasn't much in the character "development" that surprised all that much. Having said that it's obvious that's not what these books are about (the second in the series is called DESOLATION GAME). They are filling in the background to one of the great psycho killers of Australian movie fame. They are fleshing out his journey from boy to killer, from human being to walking threat. Fortunately there's no attempt to justify, or explain, or soften the blow of what he has become. Given that the violence and depravity is graphic and explicit, this isn't a book for people who don't have very high tolerance levels. ORIGIN is most likely one for fans of horror, violence and absolutely, for fans of the movie.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Nature vs nurture turns out to be a bloodbath

The wide open outback offers plenty of space for someone to hide. Or to hide a body.

When wiry youngster Mick Taylor starts as a jackaroo at a remote Western Australian sheep station, he tries to keep his head down among the rough company of the farmhands. But he can't keep the devils inside him hidden for long.

It turns out he's not the only one with the killer impulse – and the other psychopaths don't appreciate competition. Is Cutter, the station's surly shooter, on to him? And what are the cops really up to as they follow the trail of the dead?

In the first of a blood-soaked series of Wolf Creek prequel novels, the cult film's writer/director Greg Mclean and horror writer Aaron Sterns take us back to the beginning, when Mick was a scrawny boy, the only witness to the grisly death of his little sister. Origin provides an unforgettably bloody answer to the question of nature vs nurture. What made Mick Taylor Australian horror's most terrifying psycho killer?

Review Review - ORIGIN, Greg McLean and Aaron Sterns
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Blog CR - Origin: Wolf Creek Book 1
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Add new comment

This is a book review site, with no relationship whatsoever with any of the authors mentioned here.

We do not provide a method for you to contact authors for any reason and comments of this nature are automatically deleted.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.