Tag Archives: Joel McKay

Wolf at the Door by Joel McKay Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An attempt at a lovely Thanksgiving dinner takes two drastic turns as family drama erupts and a deadly encounter with a werewolf throws the entire dinner for a loop in author Joel McKay’s “Wolf at the Door”. 

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The Synopsis

All Charlotte Deerborn wanted was a nice Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Too bad for her no one else wanted to be there. By the time the turkey is carved, old grievances, bad behavior and crass remarks have transformed her dinner party into a disaster. And then a werewolf shows up to do some carving of its own.

Wolf at the Door is a fast-paced, absurdist take on modern creature horror, levering humor and action to highlight how one family comes to grips with what really matters in life.

The Review

This was one of the most unique and charismatic dark comedy horror novels I’ve read in years. The clashing dynamics between this cast of characters immediately stood out to me above the monstrous aspect of the narrative. The unique tensions and awkward moments that the holidays lend to themselves in a family dynamic or large dinner gathering is iconic comedy gold, (looking at you, Christmas Vacation), and the use of this dynamic between this cast of characters gave some heart and humor to the characters who find themselves caught up in this horrific nightmare. 

The blend of unique setting with the holiday dinner theme and blood-chilling horror made this story shine so brightly. The juxtaposition of how the holidays can bring out the worst in some people, especially those with underlying tensions, and the explosive entrance of this werewolf attack made this such a gripping and brilliantly creative storytelling device. Yet the author also did a great job of capturing the horror aspect of the narrative too, building upon the classic and iconic “creature feature” genre and adding a depth of character to it to make those bloody scenes more impactful.

The Verdict

Haunting, chilling, and entertaining, author Joel McKay’s “Wolf at the Door” is a must-read horror comedy. The story works well as a short story or novella, and yet hits the reader with an impact that can be felt from a novel or even a film script, bringing a greater sense of imagery and atmosphere that keeps the reader invested in this story as the narrative takes off. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Joel McKay is an award-winning writer and economic development professional. He calls Prince George, B.C. home, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. Wolf at the Door is his first novella. His most recent published fiction was the short story Number Hunnerd in Tyche Books’ anthology Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters.

The inspiration for his fiction is drawn from the landscapes and people of British Columbia, particularly the province’s vast, untamed and often misunderstood north. It’s the small towns and the people who call them home that inspired the good ol’ boys featured in Number Hunnerd, or the cool, crisp evenings and early sunsets of October that planted the idea for werewolves at a Thanksgiving feast.

Joel is passionate about Canada, its history and the history of the peoples who have called it home since time immemorial. As far as he’s concerned, New England has got nothing on Northern B.C. when it comes to perfect settings for supernatural tales.

In his spare time, Joel is an avid fly fisherman, mountain biker, hiker and reader. His work as an economic development professional, public relations specialist and journalist has earned him numerous national, provincial and local awards and recognitions.

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