Red Moon

Mysterious Book Report No. 121

by John Dwaine McKenna

Happy Halloween!  This one’s for all the trick or treater’s out there, as well as all of the young at heart whose days of dressing up in costume and ringing doorbells and screaming that ages old refrain are long behind them.

The topic this week is lycanthropy: the belief that humans can turn themselves into wolves, commonly known as werewolves.  And let’s just suppose for a minute that werewolves weren’t the product of a deranged mind or a folk tale.  Let’s suppose that werewolves (or lycans short for lycanthropes) live among us and have grown so numerous that they have a homeland, carved out of an icy no-man’s land between Finland and Russia; that vast deposits of uranium have been discovered there; that the U.S. military has established a presence there; that the U.S. provides and proscribes a free drug regimen for lycans which keeps them too sedated to transform themselves; that a secret underground movement of untreated lycans is growing, becoming more radical and committing outrageous acts of terrorism while at the same time, other lycans live untreated, peacefully and productively among us.  That is the stage upon which this week’s author, Benjamin Percy, sets his novel, Red Moon (Grand Central Publishing/Hatchette Books Group, $25.99, 531 pages, ISBN 978-4-4555-0166-3).

The novel begins with an act of terror aboard a commercial airliner in the United States which leaves only one survivor.  His name is Patrick Gamble, a lad of sixteen, and known as the ‘miracle boy’.

Shortly after the terrorist attack, what appears to be a group of secret government agents kick down Claire Forrester’s front door, murder her parents in a botched lycan roundup, and set her on a journey of discovery, escape and evasion.

As the acts of terror increase, the cast of characters broadens in scope while the U.S. Government tries to contain the spreading lycan threat and Patrick and Claire are drawn inexorably together in an apparently doomed relationship.  But if you’re beginning to think this is a boy meets girl teen romance, DON’T, because the novel grows more complex with each chapter, and the stage larger, with unmistakable political and social and  racial similarities to our own present day world.  This is a big novel on a big stage.  It’s eloquent and thought provoking and mighty entertaining.  I highly recommend it to all the adventurous readers out there.

You’ll find plenty of adventures in your local library.  From the classics to the casual read . . . and everything in between . . . it’s there for free.  All you have to do is go.

Have you checked out our new and improved websites yet?  They’re found at:

johndwainemckenna.com

and

rhyolitepress.com

The websites are enhanced and improved and easier to navigate.  Check it out for yourself and sign up for our FREE NEWSLETTER.  It’s an all-new feature.  While there, if you like us on Facebook and join our ever growing community of book lovers and adherents of the other Literae Humaniores, you’ll automatically get our weekly blogs and book reviews at 8 am Eastern time on Monday mornings, just as you get into work.  That way, you can relax with your coffee and still look busy as you re-adjust from the weekend back to the workweek.  NOTE:  This is a change, on the advice of our computer wizardess at McKenna’s Marketing in LA California.  Colorado Noir is off and running.  A limited number of author signed copies are available from Rhyolite Press LLC, P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO  80901, for $16.95 plus $4.00 shipping and handling.  The book is 318 pages, and eleven stories that will take you for a walk on the wild, dark and seamy side of one of the most controversial cities in America via the award-winning pen of John Dwaine McKenna, author of The Neversink Chronicles and The Whim-Wham Man.  In Colorado Noir you’ll ride along with a homeless, autistic woman named Elaine, as she tries to pick her living from the garbage in The Aluminum Mistress . . . Hang out with Yazzie and Darrell Lee as they learn to live rough, surviving by petty theft until one of them commits a capital crime in The Ghosts of Christmas Present . . . There’s merry mischief and pathos aplenty in Mosby’s Retreat, where you’ll meet a four-footed usher of death . . . Experience utter terror at 30,000 feet on a B-17 flying abattoir in The Rising, an unforgettable WWII story . . . And treat yourself to the second Jake McKern novella in A Mischief of Rats, as you countdown to a crime spree and shootout that will leave the reader gasping and blood running in the streets of Colorado Springs.  All these, plus six more of the best noir stories in town.  If you love crime fiction and mystery, don’t you DARE miss Colorado Noir!  Available at Amazon, Kindle eBooks, Barnes & Noble and bookstores everywhere, as well as the publisher, Rhyolite Press.

That’s all for this week we’ll see you next week with a Chinese spy story.

–JDM

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