Darren Franich
May 14, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Red Moon

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Benjamin Percy
publisher
Grand Central Publishing
genre
Horror

We gave it an A-

American forces occupy an energy-rich country. Extremist groups commit airborne terrorism. Politicians incite more violence. It’s a familiar recipe: Now add werewolves. This thriller imagines an America where lycanthropy is a hot-button political topic. Percy is an ace world-builder, creating a massive cast of characters and a surprisingly believable alternate history. But the real thrill of Red Moon is how the metaphor keeps shifting: Werewolves become stand-ins for al-Qaeda, civil rights, ’60s radicalism, puberty, homosexuality, the AIDS epidemic, Israel and Palestine. The prose can be overripe, but this is sharp pulp, devastating and darkly funny. A-

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