I read this novel before I saw the film and there really is no comparison. I was so disappointed by the movie because I was expecting it to be like the book, but they're nothing alike. It's like they took the werewolf concept, the name of the main character and that's it. But this isn't a review of the movie.
After an intruder breaks into her home and rapes her, Kayrn Beatty and her husband, Roy, decide to move to the rural community of Drago. But Karyn is unable to relax when she hears howling every night. What kind of animal is making those noises?
The plot is the usual werewolf fare, but is also a fun whodunit - or who's the werewolf - with a twist.
The pace moves at a frantic speed. Kayrn gets raped in the first chapter, they move to Drago in the second chapter and hear the howling for the first time in the third chapter.
The novel has a creepy atmosphere due to the weird townspeople and Kayrn and Roy living in the middle of nowhere.
Karyn is one of the strongest, most intelligent characters I've ever encountered. When things start getting strange, she wants to leave Drago immediately. And when faced with the idea of werewolves she is skeptical, but believes and researches them at the library. The obstacles that prevent her from leaving Drago actually make sense. Her husband doesn't want to leave, so she stays for him. Plus, she never learned how to drive so she can't exactly get up and leave him.
My one complaint is the novel ends too abruptly. There should've been another chapter explaining what happened after, or an epilogue. And at just 223 pages, it's too short. But Brandner did write two sequels to continue the story.
If you enjoyed the film version of The Howling, definitely check out the book, it's much better.