By: Will Storr
Publisher: Marble Arch Press
Publication Date: February 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: March 24, 2014
Will Storr demonstrates an accomplished and sound command of his pen in his debut novel, The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone. As he serves up portion upon portion of information that breathes credible life into his main character, Killian Lone, the reader is easily hooked within the first few pages.
Killian Lone has an obsession with the culinary world and rightly so. He was born into a family of talented cooks that dated back to the seventeenth century. From a young age, Killian had a kinship with cooking and a clear vision he would be one of the great chefs to add to his family legacy some day. Sadly, however, between an abusive mother, a more than passive father and a collection of classmates who used him for their daily dose of bully target practice, Killian had more than a mountain ahead of him to climb. Thankfully Killian had some relief from his formidable childhood in the safe haven of his Aunt Dorothy’s kitchen. She was patient and wise and knew her way around her Dor Cottage kitchen. She adored teaching Killian her knowledge of the creative culinary process.
Years later and in college, Killian lands a coveted apprenticeship. It seems his early years of instruction with Aunt Dorothy paid off as he enters the kitchen of Max Mann, the most famous chef in London. Perhaps Killian should have been more careful toward what he wished for as he soon realizes kitchen life can be quite horrific. There is a glimmer of light in the organized chaos of the kitchen when he meets fellow apprentice, Kathryn. She seems to be the only person to bestow genuine kindness toward Killian. Refusing to give up, Killian’s hopes are on the brink of doing just that until he discovers a dark family secret that was better left alone. It seems a distant ancestor was burnt as a witch for creating food with undeniably behemoth flavor. Had Killian done his research, he would have learned all who tasted such bliss had no defense toward the end result of stark raving madness.
Will Storr is the real deal when it comes to knowing how to write and deliver a credible and extremely entertaining story. From the onset of The Hunger, there is a distinct ebb and flow to the writing that complements the story line. Through his precise word placement, Storr is able to push the reader to the brink of an abyss before resurrecting that same reader to a lighter moment in the next handful of passages. I am in awe of a writer who is able to show such talent through the intentional marrying of words. Storr has done a superb job of portraying Killian Lone as the poster child (and victim) in a world of culinary madness and has delivered him on a silver platter to his audience. Well done Mr. Storr. This is a very engaging tale.
Quill says: The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone is a “five star read.” It has the perfect balance of a pinch of terror and the full body flavor of a savory story.