Pin It
Favorite

BOOKS — Red Moon 

Benjamin Percy writes about werewolves, and much more

click to enlarge Werewolves like you\'ve never seen them before.
  • Werewolves like you\'ve never seen them before.

Why in the hell is Benjamin Percy writing about werewolves, you might ask? Everyone is writing about werewolves. Why would one of America’s promising young writers do the same? Perhaps because when Percy writes about werewolves — or “lycans” as they’re referred to here he’s really writing about xenophobia, terrorism, war, racism, reactionary politics at their worst and, most prominently, fear.

Red Moon takes place in a world almost identical to our own except that there’s something called lobos that has long infected a portion of the population. It causes them to turn into wolves, can be spread with a bite or passed down through generations, and has become as much of a cultural identity as a disease.

As with most of his fiction, Percy uses the Northwest, specifically his native Oregon, as the setting of the massive tale, but also jumps overseas to a country set up to segregate the world’s lycans. Beginning with a teenager who is the only survivor after a lycan kills everyone else aboard his flight to Portland, the novel branches out, enveloping a dozen or so other main characters to weave a complex thriller of a novel as the war against lycan extremists escalates toward apocalypse.

Percy — a prolific writer who, in addition to gaining praise for 2010’s The Wilding, has also profiled John Irving for Time and penned an essay about aging in Esquire — crafts sentences that drip with the same drool of the lycans who both terrorize and save his protagonists. Percy’s characters, none of them necessarily heroes, have a slightly underdeveloped feel to them, but the plot is busy enough to distract you from noticing.

This is not easy reading. It’s literary fiction, albeit with a menacing tone, a thrilling pace and no shortage of bloody imagery. In the end, Red Moon is no more about werewolves than Animal Farm is about pigs and horses.

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • United by Song and Dance
  • United by Song and Dance

    A local powwow aims to bring people together across ethnicities for a colorful cultural celebration
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Float On
  • Float On

    To find an hour of glorious silence, I had to enclose myself in a tank full of salt water
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • BASEBALL | By The Numbers
  • BASEBALL | By The Numbers

    Dogs, dingers and dastardly Diaz stuff
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
The Light We Can’t See: The Photography of Erv Schleufer

The Light We Can’t See: The Photography of Erv Schleufer @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Bookey

Most Commented On

  • Float On

    To find an hour of glorious silence, I had to enclose myself in a tank full of salt water
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Family Values

    A North Idaho clan is making a triple impact on the local food scene
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Culture & Food

Food


for your consideration


last word


Opening


Beer


Readers also liked…

  • Creative License
  • Creative License

    Get Lit!: Artists interpret two of the fest's featured authors in Spokane storefronts
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • A Night's Work
  • A Night's Work

    How downtown Spokane transforms into Hoopfest in a matter of hours
    • Jun 24, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation