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Book Review

‘Red Moon’ is a fresh look at werewolf plight

7/17/2013

 

Book Red_MoonHBCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Julie Goodrich

Grand Central Publishing

May 7, 2013

$25.99

533 Pages

 

Benjamin Percy won me in about 10 pages with “The Wilding,” so naturally when I heard he wrote a book about werewolves, I was giddy. Cheesy or not, I love me some werewolves! Yes, it may seem overdone — especially in light of the supernatural glut filling up pop culture these last few years. In less skilled hands, it would have been. Luckily, Percy doesn’t fall victim to the overused, cookie-cutter-type stories authors spew when such trends flood the market. He doesn’t turn the whole thing on its head either — trying so hard to be “different” that the whole story falls apart.

No, this book is not just a “new” take on an old myth. It is an expertly-crafted tale of bigotry, society and modern America. There are several layers at work here, fear, hatred, stereotypes and what it means to be human. Instead of a simple fantasy tale, Percy takes us through a picture-perfect allegory to show our society through a harsh lens. Really, he takes that which intrigues us most about werewolves, their almost-humanity, and casts it into modern life with horrific results.

“Red Moon” defies genre. Political, scary, action-packed, character-driven, literary — take your pick. This thrills the label smasher in me, as it’s easy to recommend to those who might otherwise overlook it.

Percy, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, is an award-winning author for a reason. Hopefully this book will bring him the attention he deserves. CV

Julie Goodrich is a collector of pretty words, geeky T-shirts and obsolete college degrees. She lives in Grimes with two weird cats and an obscene number of books.

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