domingo, 15 de dezembro de 2013

‘Red Moon’ sinks teeth into bloody morality tale - By Carol Memmot, USA TODAY

‘Red Moon’ sinks teeth into bloody morality tale
By Carol Memmot, USA TODAY

May 03, 2013

Zombies, vampires, clones and shape shifters continue to fly, run, stumble and stagger onto a crowded pop culture landscape. Their mystique and mayhem drives readers, viewers and game players to The Walking Dead, Twilight, True Blood and no doubt the upcoming Brad Pitt movie World War Z.
And though some would call this paranormal/sci-fi genre overpopulated, there's always room for another good story.
Benjamin Percy's atmospheric Red Moon shines its blood-tinged light on lycans or werewolves, legend fodder for centuries, their stories handed down through oral storytelling traditions, classic horror films like Universal's 1941 The Wolf Man and contemporary television shows like Grimm.
While some writers of paranormal novels wrap their creatures in romance and comic subplots, Percy has chosen a darker, more literary path. Red Moon is a morality tale cloaked in fur, fangs and social injustice. Werewolves are the monsters in the story, but the bête noire is humanity's moral decline.
Werewolves are a vehicle for thrilling entertainment in the real world, but for Red Moon's populace they are a part of history. The book's characters read about them in textbooks and daily newspaper accounts.
Red Moon's lycans have been living in the world for centuries, but just like in the past (native American lycans, including Geronimo, fought the U.S. government's aggressive takeover of the American West), unrest, spurred by oppression, has settled into their ranks. They are forced to take "Lupex," a silver-laced medication to suppress their transformation. They endure mandatory blood tests. Politicians want the lycans' names and personal information placed in a database. They live in their own neighborhoods and have limited job opportunities.
Red Moon's message certainly sounds familiar and historically relevant. "We're the revolution...We're the leather-fringe revolutionaries fighting against the blood-coat British. We're the blacks boycotting the buses in Montgomery. We're the fist-pumping protestors who took over Tahrir Square."
And Red Moon's story is a re-digested version of current events. Lycan terrorists aim planes at buildings, IEDs blow up the innocent, and America is involved in a drawn-out war that some call an occupation.
That conflict is taking place in the Lupine Republic, homeland for 5.5 million of the infected. They share their land with 64,000 American military personnel. Like the oil on which we're so dependent, the republic's uranium mines are one of the reasons the U.S. keeps its troops there. The republic's 20,000 square miles border Finland and Russia. It's "a wintry ruined mantle of a country with a hot, poisonous core."
Amidst all this alternate history and the intricately detailed epidemiology of the prion which causes the lycanthropy lies the story of men and woman, infected and not, struggling to live in a world spiraling into jaded cruelty and marred by destructive power plays: Patrick Gamble, a disaffected youth who joins the military after his father goes missing in the Lupine Republic; Claire Forrester, a young lycan who goes on the run after her parents are killed by federal agents; and Chase Williams, a politician who wants to use the lycans as stepping stones to the American presidency.
Red Moon can be read for its entertainment value. Take a political message from it if you like. As one character says: "Make yourself heard. Howl."
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