Review: Who’s Afraid, Too?
By Maria Lewis
Review by Kylie Thompson
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: supernatural, action
Tommi Grayson’s world turned upside down when the family reunion from hell left her with a furry, murderous little secret. Though she tried to hide- at least for long enough to come to terms with the insanity of her new life- far too soon she’s dragged back into the supernatural world. Even in a hidden world filled with monsters, it seems you can’t escape politics.
There’s a threat stalking the streets of Berlin, an unspeakable evil thought long since destroyed, and someone, somewhere, is pulling their strings. To survive, and to protect the oblivious humans from the threat, Tommi will have to choose between obeying the rules of her new world, or waging war against the sort of monsters she’d never thought possible.
‘Who’s Afraid, Too?’ isn’t your typical monster story; instead, it’s a brilliantly crafted adventure that somehow manages to explore the humanity of a woman who thinks she might just be a monster. In Tommi Grayson, author Maria Lewis has created a powerhouse of a heroine- she’s bold, she’s strong, and she’s more than willing to stand up to the men around her. If you’ve been bemoaning the lack of werewolf heroines with bite, this is probably going to be a series you love. It’s clear that Lewis loves the horror and supernatural genres, though she’s more than happy to do away with the more misogynistic tropes. Tommi isn’t a damsel needing to be saved, and she’s more than happy to get her hands dirty in the name of doing what she thinks is right. Tommi is a captivating entryway into Lewis’s supernatural world, a woman who’ll push through her overwhelm in the name of getting things done. She joins a well-loved cast of action heroines in book and screen who seem born to stand as fantastic role models for empowerment.
While many authors of supernatural fiction may have turned their attention to the romantic elements of the mythos, if you’re looking to Lewis for tales of purely supernatural romance, you’re going to be disappointed. There’s romance here, certainly, but it’s hardly the main focus. ‘Who’s Afraid, Too?’ is more action than romance, a compelling, edge-of-your-seat race against time to protect the innocent from an utterly unsettling foe.
With another writer, this could easily have been pure, gruesome horror: the villains are more than capable of being nightmare fuel. And yet, Lewis has brought warmth, humour, and humanity to ‘Who’s Afraid, Too?’, creating a story that’s as psychological as it is action-packed. That, in many ways, is the strength of this novel: it’s not another tired story where the monsters are just monsters and the heroes are just wonderfully heroic. It’s messy, and complicated, with the sense that at any moment Tommi’s carefully crafted web of lies and false bravado will be destroyed.
It makes for endlessly compelling reading.
‘Who’s Afraid, Too?’ is published by Piatkus and Hachette, and is available at all leading retailers.