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Red Moon
Cover of Red Moon
Red Moon
A Novel
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Award -winning author Benjamin Percy presents an explosive and deeply layered literary thriller set in the American West.

They live among us.

They are our neighbors, our mothers, our lovers.

They change.

When government agents kick down Claire Forrester's front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different she is.

Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and hours later stepped off it, the only passenger left alive, a hero.

Chase Williams has sworn to protect the people of the United States from the menace in their midst, but he is becoming the very thing he has promised to destroy.

So far, the threat has been controlled by laws and violence and drugs. But the night of the red moon is coming, when an unrecognizable world will emerge...and the battle for humanity will begin.

Award -winning author Benjamin Percy presents an explosive and deeply layered literary thriller set in the American West.

They live among us.

They are our neighbors, our mothers, our lovers.

They change.

When government agents kick down Claire Forrester's front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different she is.

Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and hours later stepped off it, the only passenger left alive, a hero.

Chase Williams has sworn to protect the people of the United States from the menace in their midst, but he is becoming the very thing he has promised to destroy.

So far, the threat has been controlled by laws and violence and drugs. But the night of the red moon is coming, when an unrecognizable world will emerge...and the battle for humanity will begin.

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About the Author-
  • Benjamin Percy has won a Whiting Writers Award, a Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of the novel The Wilding and two short story collections, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk (available as an ebook from Grand Central Publishing). He lives in Minnesota with his family. For more information, you can visit www.BenjaminPercy.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 18, 2013
    Reviewed by Stefan Dziemianowicz. Benjamin Percy’s extraordinary new supernatural thriller is a blend of alternate history and weird fiction that holds a mirror up to contemporary America to reflect its fears and biases.The novel opens with scenes that will resonate powerfully for anyone attuned to global events of the past decade: a father saying goodbye to his son before the father, a military reservist, deploys to a remote country where a fanatical sect holds sway, and an engineered terrorist attack that brings three jetliners down on American soil in a single day. In both instances, the antagonists are not jihadists, but lycans: lupine shapeshifters who have lived among regular humans since prehistoric times, and who in 21st-century America are a stigmatized subclass, forced to suppress their bestial nature pharmacologically. In quick succession, Percy introduces the characters who are the major players in his novel’s drama: teenager Patrick Gamble, the sole survivor of the airplane attacks; Claire Forrester, a teenage lycan on the run from government agents who killed her parents; Chase Williams, the opportunistic governor of Oregon (where most of the tale is set) who hopes to exploit fears engendered by the terrorist attack in his bid for the presidency; and Miriam, Claire’s aunt, who has defected from the lycan resistance movement (headed by her husband), which takes credit for the terrorist attacks. Patrick briefly falls in with a group of scary antilycan skinheads who call themselves “the Americans” before befriending Claire. Patrick’s father becomes a victim in the military occupation of the Lupine Republic, which is situated between Russia and Finland but is seemingly modeled on Iraq and Afghanistan. Chase becomes infected with the lobos prion that causes lycanthropy, and struggles to hide this from the public until a vaccine can be perfected. And the resistance, responding to increasingly inflammatory antilycan laws, plots ever more outrageous terrorist acts that escalate to an explosive denouement. Percy lends his novel’s events credibility by working out a convincing pathology and epidemiology for the lobos prion, and situating the lycan struggle at the center of historical moments that echo 20th-century eugenics experiments, the civil rights movement, the ’60s Days of Rage, and the current “war on terror,” whose rhetoric he adapts brilliantly to his story’s purposes. His precision-crafted prose conveys an astonishing amount of detail in as few words as necessary, as in this description of Claire’s lupine transformation: “Her bones stretch and bend and pop, and she yowls in pain, as if she is giving birth, one body coming out of another.” The confidence and assuredness with which Percy tells his story compel him to take some risks that pay off in a shocker of a finale that follows through audaciously on the possibilities of his tale’s premise. By tapping the zeitgeist of the contemporary sociopolitical climate and distilling it into a potent myth concerned with the tyranny of the majority and the demonization of the Other, he has written an ambitious, epic novel that deserves to reach a larger readership beyond genre audiences. Stefan Dziemianowicz is co-editor of Supernatural Literature of the World:
    An Encyclopedia.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2013
    Percy tries his hand at horror in his latest novel. Here, he envisions a world divided between those infected with a disease that turns them into lycans and those who are disease free. Patrick climbs aboard a plane headed to his mother's as his military father leaves for an assignment. After takeoff, a lycan wreaks havoc, killing everyone in the cabin area except for Patrick, who hides under a pile of dead bodies. Dubbed "Miracle Boy" by the media, the teen tries to live down his instant fame but seems destined instead to be haunted by it. Meanwhile, lycan Claire witnesses the terrifying murder of her parents and flees ahead of the mysterious avenging agency that seems dedicated to killing off the lycan population. A man with questionable character who may or may not run for president, a woman married to a lycan ringleader and a lycan rebel round out the large cast of characters in this novel about the struggle between the lycans and their uninfected counterparts. At stake: the lycan nation's place in society and a country that was once theirs and the toll the escalating war between the two is taking. The smaller story follows the growing romance between Patrick and Claire. Running with gore--almost every page drips blood--and soaked in violence, the book switches back and forth between characters. Percy elbows his way into the horror genre, adding literary polish along the way, but this tale rambles on much too long, with page after page of superfluous detail. Percy leans toward colorful and obscure terms or word usages that will propel many casual readers to pause and pull out their dictionaries, often with unsatisfying results. Percy births an interesting concept that he then submerges in a writing style that is both affected and self-consciously literary.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2013

    Fans of Max Brooks's zombies (World War Z) and Justin Cronin's vampires (The Passage) will enjoy the dramatic breadth of Percy's (The Wilding) tale of werewolves, here called lycans. A prion is the cause of the infection that leads to lycanthropy, and Percy includes public health and minority rights in his depiction of a society that has been trying to deal with the infected for centuries. A lycan rights group launches a terrorist attack on an airliner that shocks the nation, and the main characters deal with the aftereffects. Claire is a lycan who lives an uneventful suburban life with her parents when a post-attack government raid sends her on the run. The lone passenger who survived the attack is Patrick, whose father's National Guard unit has just shipped out as part of the U.S. peacekeeping mission in the werewolf homeland (which happens to be rich in uranium). As the lives of these two young people connect, questions about what it means to be human and how and whether modern society can survive are asked and answered. VERDICT This literary thriller by an award-winning young writer will excite fans of modern horror who enjoy a large canvas and a history to go with their bloody action.--Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Justin Cronin, New York Times Book Review "Percy has a lusty flair for describing destruction. . . . When Claire and Patrick take the field, the book lights up, and the writing possesses a resonant, emotional honesty. . . . The story is imaginative and lots of fun, and it will deservedly charm many readers."—Justin Cronin, New York Times Book Review
  • Entertainment Weekly (grade: A-) "Percy is an ace world-builder, creating a massive cast of characters and a surprisingly believable alternate history. . . . Devastating and darkly funny."—Entertainment Weekly (grade: A-)
  • Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" "Percy's latest novel is a smart, action-packed political thriller. . . . It's a high-wire literary act that the author pulls off with panache."—Entertainment Weekly's "Must List"
  • Christian Science Monitor "An intelligent, topical thriller."—LA Times
  • Vanity Fair "Audaciously complex and hauntingly composed. . . . [Percy] ballasts his nightmare with a poet's more natural magic. . . . Fear, this book reminds us, is a beast that's always hungry."—Christian Science Monitor
  • Ron Charles, Washington Post "[A] stunning new read."—O Magazine
  • Chicago Tribune "Smart and brisk and often poetic...Percy knows how to draw intense, dramatic scenes as the world goes feral."—Ron Charles, Washington Post
  • New York Observer "Evocative, poetic prose...Percy's panoramic portrait is a welcome addition to literary horror."—Nylon
  • Roxane Gay, The Daily Beast "Don't mistake this book for anything less than a great literary achievement; Red Moon is, in all likelihood, the most well-written werewolf novel you will come across."—New York Observer
  • Library Journal (starred review) "[Percy] deftly negotiates the delicate balance between crafting commentary and a compelling literary creation. . . . A gripping and violent story."—Roxane Gay, The Daily Beast
  • Booklist (starred review) "This literary thriller by an award-winning young writer will excite fans of modern horror who enjoy a large canvas and a history to go with their bloody action. . . . Fans of Max Brooks's zombies and Justin Cronin's vampires will enjoy the dramatic breadth of Percy's tale of werewolves."—Library Journal (starred review)
  • The Oregonian "A splendid read. . . . Percy focuses on a trio of engaging and beautifully drawn characters. . . . [Percy] humanizes the werewolf, turning him from snarling beast into a creature for whom we feel compassion and affection."—Booklist (starred review)
  • Minneapolis Star-Tribune "It would be tempting, or at least easier, to put Percy's book in the werewolf subgenre, but Red Moon is much more than that. Dark, bloody, violent, relentlessly grounded in the post-9/11 world and the Pacific Northwest, not without humor but sparing in its application, Red Moon could well serve as the Heart of Darkness of a new, more anxious generation, one that must somehow come to terms with the enemies, real or perceived, who live quietly among us."—The Oregonian
  • The Inlander (Spokane) "A remarkably rendered speculative history of America, as well as a gripping, grisly horror story. . . . Poetic . . . In Percy's plagued fictional reality the allegorical connections to current affairs are complex and clever."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • The Missourian "One of America's promising young writers. . . . [Percy] crafts sentences that drip with the same drool of the lycans who both terrorize and save his protagonists. . . . Literary fiction with a menacing tone, a thrilling pace, and no shortage of bloody imagery."—The Inlander (Spokane)
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