Reviews /

Bite Risk

Authored by S.J. Wills
Published by Simon and Schuster Ltd

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Bite Risk is a twisty horror story. Sel and Elana enjoy the relatively humdrum routine of life in their hometown of Tremorglade, twenty-five years after ‘the Disruption’. Not so humdrum for the reader though, who learns that this is a world in which all the adults have been infected with a virus. This turns them into werewolves once a month.

The opening chapter begins on ‘Confinement Night’. At every full moon, the small community must go through the finely tuned process of ‘confinement’. The uninfected children are in charge and are required to cage ‘the Turned’ in order to protect themselves. Kind, loving parents turn into snarling, killer monsters, but in the morning everything goes back to normal – and life goes on. That is, until accidents begin to happen and strange things go wrong during confinements. Sel begins to understand that things are not quite as they seem and sets out to discover what is really going on.

Some convincing and filmic world-building, plus the narrative drive built on Sel and Elana’s adventure to uncover Tremorglade’s deeper mystery, turn this novel into gripping genre fiction. Wills’ story also considers broader issues such as surveillance of society, the dangers of the internet, and the damage that rumour and gossip can do in a close-knit community.

This is a book that will suit a school library and appeal to horror fans who have enjoyed Skulduggery Pleasant or Charlie Higson’s The Enemy series.

Longlisted for the Spark Book Awards 2024 Fiction for 11+ Category