THE BLOG
06/03/2013 09:13 am ET Updated Aug 03, 2013

52 books, 52 weeks, Week 22: A Red Moon Rising

This week's read for 52 books in 52 weeks was a bit of a departure for me, genre-wise, Benjamin Percy's Red Moon.

The book is a re-imagination of the werewolf myth, where werewolves -- called lycans here -- live among us but are subject to scrutiny, controls and suspicion. The story is told from multiple points of view, both lycan and regular-human. There's Claire Forrester, a lycan teenaged girl who led a quiet life until government agents murdered her parents in revenge for an act of terror perpetrated by a violent lycan group. There's Patrick Gamble, a human and the lone survivor of the terrorist attack. And Chase Williams, a rednecked politician who believes in rounding up all the lycans and treating them like penned animals, until he's infected with the disease that turns people into lycans himself. All these characters, and more, are on a collision course for one another, one that will take place under the Red Moon.

As I mentioned above, this kind of book is usually not my thing (when I announced this week's read, I even got a message from a group member that said: "I thought you didn't like books with werewolves?") But what I do like is great writing, and having read The Wilding by Percy a couple of years ago, I knew that's what I was going to get.

The book is -- clearly and unashamedly -- an allegory for the effect that terrorism has had on our lives, and more particularly, the lives of those who "look" like the terrorists. Percy is unflinching in his examination of our society and how it so easily descends into suspicion and regulation as a (false) means of security.

And what a way he has with language. There is force and intelligence behind every sentence in this book, and this is what makes it transcend beyond merely being a book about werewolves, into being a great book, and one I'd recommend whether lycans are your thing or not. You just might want to keep a flashlight handy next to your bedside, because Percy excels at making you wonder about things that go bump in the night.

And now, onto next week, where we'll be reading Meg Waite Clayton's The Wednesday Sisters, which has returned to the bestseller lists several years after publication as a likely result of an extended e-book price drop. I've heard great things about this book, and am happy to finally have an excuse to read it.

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