Saturday, May 11, 2013

REVIEW: RED MOON by Benjamin Percy

Title: Red Moon
Author: Benjamin Percy
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Genres: Horror, Dystopian, Paranormal
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley
My star rating: 3/5


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.


Reading the blurb, I couldn’t wait to get a copy of this book. I wanted to know who “they” are. I was guessing “they” might be aliens or some underground species of monsters or something really exciting and unimaginable. My imagination was going wild wondering what “they” could be. Imagine my disappointment when I started reading Red Moon and discovered that “they” aren’t that interesting at all. They’re only lycans. And no, I don’t read werewolf-themed books, but since I requested it for review through NetGalley, I had no other choice but to give this 500-page plus novel a go and see if maybe I’ll enjoy it. So I’m subtracting one star because the blurb was misleading and another star because I didn’t enjoy the story as much.

The good things first. Benjamin Percy is a phenomenal writer. Even if the story sucked completely (which it didn’t) I would’ve given it a high star rating because of his eloquent prose, vivid descriptions and exceptional action sequences and fight scenes. Seriously, this author can write up a storm, but there were times I couldn’t refrain from eye-rolling at some of the analogies he used. Although I avoid books with werewolves (lycans) and other paranormal creatures such as vampires, shifters, witches, etc, I have to applaud the author for cleverly underlining issues such as racism, prejudice, xenophobia and terrorism by creating a novel where humans and lycans are at odds with each other.

What irked me about the story is that the author builds up the suspense and reader’s expectations to the point where you feel you just can’t take anymore, and then he goes and wraps up the final scenes in a few sentences, which left me feeling deflated and let down. The descriptions were vivid, which contributed a lot to the world building and made it easier for me to immerse myself in the story, but many times it got too lengthy and ended up being page filler. It was clear the author did a lot of research for this book, but the scientific terminology and complex explanations went right over my head, so eventually I started skimming through those.

Overall, Red Moon was an okay read and I think fans of books with paranormal elements will enjoy this novel without complaint. It just wasn’t for me. I’ll definitely read more books by this author if he writes anything in my preferred genres (or anything which doesn’t contain overused paranormal themes/characters) as he undoubtedly is a very talented writer.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.



Red Moon by Benjamin Percy has 36 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



Benjamin Percy is the author of two novels, Red Moon (Grand Central/Hachette, 2013) and The Wilding, as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Esquire (where he is a contributing editor), GQ, Time, Men's Journal, Outside, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House and the Paris Review. His honors include an NEA fellowship, the Whiting Writer's Award, the Plimpton Prize, the Pushcart Prize and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. He is the writer-in-residence at St. Olaf College and teaches at the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University.


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