Book: Red Moon Rising
Author: Peter Moore
Publisher: Hyperion Books
ISBN: 9781423116653 (arc)
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date:2/15/2011 & Nov 2010
Find out more about the book here
Red Moon Rising is a strong contender for one of the most realistic teen wolf books I’ve read, more reminiscent of the sci-fi/horror section than the young adult. So where to place it? That’s up to Hyperion. Peter Moore renounces the typical soft werewolf lore in favor of something more authentic. His story is less angst, less “girly”, less Twilight (and Shiver for that matter). Instead, it has more substance and is chock full of real world issues than any other. Can it reel in the girl demographic?-that remains to be seen.
At Carpathia Night, Dante Gray has no idea that his world and his high school life are going to get just a bit more difficult. The product of a wulf father and a vamp mother, Dante has mostly favored his mother’s genes. Mostly. After a few genetic treatments to suppress his wulven side, Danny lives his life with his family mostly as a vampire. He sleeps in a Sol-Blok, hangs with a vamp crowd at school, drinks SynHeme and tries to monitor his daily globin levels when he can. He thought he would in the clear until he starts to exhibit some strange effects.
Red Moon Rising is the story of a boy who is at the mercy of fifty percent of his wulf genes and now must potentially embrace a society that is wholly ostracized against. In Moore’s world, Wulves and vamps are two disparate sects of society, and the parallel between real world segregation becomes hauntingly and uncomfortably clear.
Wulves are thought to be lesser in both intellect, and civility, worthy of only the most menial of tasks. Vampires on the other hand are at the highest echelon of society, even above that of humans. Every month wolves are forced into containment, into wolf “compounds” where they are at the mercy of their animal side. Some walk in, others don’t walk out.
As he experiences all the pre-moon phase jitters, it becomes apparent that Moore has no intention of fluffing the story up. Werewulf change is painful, harrowing, and mind bending. But even as Danny succumbs, his awkward genetic makeup spins him into an anomaly that defies classification. With werewolf issues at a critical point in his society, does he have the ability to bridge the gap?
Moore’s voice is one of seriousness that even the most light-hearted banter cannot even alleviate. This tale will wildly appeal to the male crowd who understands the chest pounding and (grrrr) rites of passage present within its pages.
If Hyperion expects crossover to the girly-girl crowd then Red Moon Rising will have to be significantly diluted down into more frothy fare. Less bone, blood, and fur. Lighten up on Gunther, and cut Huey and his activist cause as well as the requisite visuals of wulves being hunted down indiscriminately by the police and the LPCB.
On the other hand, if you believe in the book just the way it is then let it be. I enjoyed Peter Moore’s vision. Red Moon Rising is indeed, all sharp edges, but it’s a fierce read. I could not put it down. Danny is in perpetual motion throughout the book fighting off hurdles one by one. It’s page-flippingly addictive, action-packed and steaming with obstacles coming from every direction.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)