Red Moon Paperback – 24 Apr 2014
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"Benjamin Percy is one of the most gifted and versatile writers to appear in American publishing in years... His prose has the masculine power of Ernest Hemingway's, but also the sensibilities and compassion of Eudora Welty. His writing is like a meeting of Shakespeare and rock 'n' roll. Benjamin Percy knows how to keep it in E-major, and what a ride it is." (James Lee Burke, author of Feast Day of Fools)
'With RED MOON one of our most blazingly gifted young writers stakes his claim to national attention. Benjamin Percy has one great advantage over most writers who attempt "literary horror": he understands the literature of real horror from the inside out, and he speaks it like a native. This is a novel with the power to thrill and transport, also to lead the reader welll out of her comfort zone and into emotional territory few people have ever seen.' (Peter Straub)
They live amongst us. They are your neighbour, your mother, your lover. You think they are safe. They change.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
I found this book very very complicated and difficult to keep up with all the characters. It was like one minute we are with one character then all of a sudden without any explanation. I also felt like things in the plot weren't really explain properly and left me with more questions than answers. I also found it difficult to engage with any of the characters and found them all outright anoying, self-centred, mean, boring, unconvinsing and unrelatable at best. I don't know if that's what the author wanted to portray or not. But it didn't work for me
In some parts I found the author over described something when he could of easily used only 10 words not a full blown paragraph. So personally I thought it was severely over written and could of atleast been about 150 pages shorter.
I really liked this book, having enjoyed "The Dead Lands" by the same author. The allegory's not too heavy-handed and I was rooting for our heroes all the way, especially gun toting anti-social Aunt Miriam. It actually lived up to the hype on the cover - has Stephen King ever not liked a book? The closest comparison is to Justin Cronin, horror written with real literary panache.
"Red Moon" effectively parallels America's historic civil rights struggle, mirrors 9/11 style terrorism and references contemporary involvement with Iraq and Afghanistan. There are also subtle allusions to the aids crisis of the 80`s - unmistakably, there is a serious, wide ranging critique contained within this book.
The lycans are essentially humans who have a transferable disease, generally living peaceably alongside their fellow humans - there is a fair bit of scientific blarney to explain this. Many use a drug to control the condition, but the side-effects are problematic; when discriminatory laws appear to be tightening, militants begin to use their lycanism as a weapon of terror.
Little is said about lycans outwith the USA, which diminishes the overall world-picture a little; the "Lupine Republic" is apparently established in 1948 between Finland and Russia, lacking state autonomy and occupied by US forces - this UK reader would have appreciated some reference to the rest of this lycan/human global phenomenon - as it is, the book is very Americentric as a consequence.
The plotline is sprawling and multi-stranded - although film rights have been optioned this has "TV mini-series" written through it like a stick of sea-side rock; Percy is a literate but rather wordy author and there were times one would read a passage and feel that it was superfluous to the narrative, included mainly for the guidance of a future screenwriter. That's not to say, however, that the book is bad; it could certainly have benefited from sharper editing, but it is okay for what it is. There are some over-fortuitous contrivances within the plot and the characters are rather thinly drawn, but this is an ideas-based epic, so a degree of forgiveness is - I think - permissible.
Though it hasn't been touted as "first in a series", the door seems open for further exploration.
This is an entertaining and fairly well thought-out sci-fi/horror; refreshingly different from the clichéd urban fantasy treatment in which the werewolf concept is usually presented.
A reasonable read, though clearly addressed to an American readership. 3 ½ stars.
Young Patrick Gamble doesn't want to leave his hometown but knows he has to, as his dad has to go away to fight in the Republic for a 12 month stint, so Patrick is being sent away to live with his mom. Patrick gets on the plane to San Francisco only just noticing the incredibly nervous flyer boarding close to him. Patrick is waiting to use the cramped airplane loo, when a noise that sounds like a growl emerges from the cubicle, followed swiftly by gore and mayhem as a werewolf/lycan dives out and slaughters everyone on the flight except for Patrick who hides under a dead body and is soon given the moniker 'Miracle Boy'.
Patrick had seen lycans before but only in the newspapers or on TV. In this alternative reality, lycans are forbidden to transform, and are medicated with a drug to stop transformation and control the lycan population. There is already a war going on between the lycans and the norms, and the lycans are using guns and claws alike.
The attack on the plane is a terrorist attack, aimed at drawing attention to the subjugation of the lycans, who, in the majority, live in the 'Lupine Republic'. The US troops remain in the Republic to keep order and the Iraq metaphor isn't lost on the reader.
Young lycan Claire Forrester is busy looking at college prospectuses choosing her new college based on distance away from her current home. She isn't from a broken home, but nevertheless she needs to get away; she craves something more, despite her Dad pressurising her to apply to his old college, so she can be 'with her own kind'. Like all teenagers, Claire thinks she is different, and though she wants to get away from home, she never imagined the terror of having to go on the run after her parents are murdered by the government.
Forced to run and hide, Claire runs to her aunt Miriam, ex resistance member who fled her husband and the resistance some years ago.
Governor Chase Williams could very well win election as President as an ex soldier of the US troops who toured the Republic, in the aftermath of the lycan terrorist attacks. Williams assures his public that swift and severe measures are being taken.
Early on I got the feeling we were heading for a 'Twilight' style romance, but luckily, though there is romance involved it is real and integral to the plot. It is wonderfully visceral from the start, yet the slaughter on the plane is as poetic and lyrical in style as the rest of the novel (although this does become a tad heavy handed at times). The werewolves themselves aren't glamorous. The shifting, which is rarely allowed to happen, is full of pain and tears, yet the drug which the lycans are forced to take, dulls the senses.
I mentioned earlier that the blurb calls this book 'literary' horror. If by literary horror the publishers mean an excess of adjectives, metaphors and similie, then this is indeed literary horror. However, I would argue it is SF with lycans. Though normally associated with horror, these lycans are investigated by a researcher and we find out lots of feasible scientific facts to explain the creatures. The drug used to control them is part science/part mythology with elements of silver mixed in. And though this is a rather heavy tome; being a hardback coming in over 500 pages, and is heavy at times in the metaphorical sense, the characterisation is strong, particularly Miriam and the world building is pretty solid. Overall a strong and varied addition to the werewolf subgenre. Worth investigating.
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