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

  • Variations of Zuill
  • Variations of Zuill

    Badass cellist. Musical missionary. Grammy winner. Zuill Bailey redefines Bach for the 21st century
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Backstage Story
  • Backstage Story

    Behind the preparation and precaution: Why it practically takes a village to put on a Cirque du Soleil show
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • The Genius of Bach
  • The Genius of Bach

    His lasting influence, and a look at this year's Bach Festival schedule
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Visualizing Science

Visualizing Science @ Prichard Art Gallery

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 15

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Bookey

  • Cheer On
  • Cheer On

    In these weird and rapidly changing times, we might need sports more than ever
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • Smoking Nights
  • Smoking Nights

    Texas True Barbecue is serving up the meat, whenever you want it
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    Lady jock-talk, urban myths and a broken-down future on Twitter
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Partisan Pagans

    The political divide is even splintering Spokane's witches
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Finding the Words

    The sounds of 8,000 people taking to the streets of Spokane
    • Jan 26, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation