Today we added a review of Steve Ruthenbeck’s Dogs of War, which is now available in paperback at bookstores everywhere. In the novel eight battle-hardened World War II commandos on a quest for a mysterious black box meet a familiar enemy with a terrifying new face — these Nazis are werewolves. So begins the war within the war, a battle for survival — and ultimate possession of the coveted box. Read on for the review…Dogs of War
By Steve Ruthenbeck
Reviewed by Jessica Dwyer
One of the surprises to emerge in horror the last couple of years was a sweet little gem of a movie called Dog Soldiers. It managed to combine pitch black humor, old school werewolves, and the tale of a group of soldiers out in training mission flawlessly. It was a great movie and is going to have a sequel pretty soon.
The reason I mention Dog Soldiers is because of the immediate comparisons that will spring to mind once I tell you the plot of Dogs of War. There are similarities, but Dogs of War stands on its own with no problem. Another similarity is that both of these pieces of lycanthrope goodness are damn entertaining.
Without giving too much of the book away, Dogs of War is set during WW2 and Hitler is in high gear. In an isolated village a “zombie squad” of mostly disreputable soldiers are after “the big haul.” Their way of getting something out of the war that’s taken a lot from them. Led by “The Major”, these men have nothing really left to lose. Each one has a troubled past, some more violent and dark than others. These are the guys no one will miss, which is why they are perfect for this job. But they hit a snag on the way. Once they get to their goal, they run into a group of Hitler’s newest kind of weapon, werewolves. The werewolves are standing between them and their goal, and it’s not going to be pretty.
Dogs of War is a great read. Ruthenbeck gives each man a back story that makes them more fleshed out as characters. He’s also done his homework on the subject matter and it makes the historical aspects that much sweeter. The meshing of gothic horror and military story work in his capable imagination.
The book brings together a great melting of ideas, with aspects of The Dirty Dozen and the aforementioned Dog Soliders, as well as an almost comic book feel. This shouldn’t be too surprising as he credits Batman: Arkham Asylum as an influence. The vivid descriptions of the countryside, the corpses, and the battles along with the all around mood Ruthenbeck creates, come together to entertain you and will creep you out in the best way.
Editor In Chief