Mysterious Book Report Red MoonRed Moon by Benjamin Percy

Grand Central Publishing/Hatchette Books Group, $25.99, 531 pages, ISBN 978-4-4555-0166-3

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.
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.


John Dwaine McKenna