Title: Red Moon Rising
Author: Peter Moore
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
May Contain Spoilers
Being only half-vamp in a high school like Carpathia Night makes you a whole loser. But Danny Gray manages to escape the worst of the specists at his school. Thanks to genetic treatments he had as an infant, most people assume Danny’s other half is human. Which is a good thing.
Ever since the development of synthetic blood – SynHeme – vamps have become society’s elite, while wulves like his father work menial jobs and live in bad neighborhoods. Wulves are less than second class citizens; once a month they become inmates, forced to undergo their Change in dangerous government compounds.
For Danny, living with his vamp mother and going to a school with a nearly all-vamp student body, it’s best to pretend his wulf half doesn’t even exist. But lately Danny’s been having some weird symptoms — fantastic night vision; a keener-than-usual sense of smell; and headaches, right around the full moon.
Even though it’s easy to be in denial, it’s hard to ignore evidence. There’s only a month until the next few moon, and Danny’s time is running out.
I am surprised by how much I loved this book! When I first sat down with it, it just wasn’t clicking with me. We weren’t bonding. I put it down after just a few pages, and started reading something else. Then, I went back to it, and I was puzzled by my prior response to it. I got sucked right into the story, and didn’t want to put the book down! I guess that proves that there is a time and a place for every story – you just have to connect at the right time.
I loved Danny Gray. What a terrific character! I feel that I really got to know him, and I appreciated his fears and doubts. He’s half-vamp and half-wulf, and lately he’s been feeling pretty strange. Vampyres never get sick, but suddenly Danny isn’t feeling too hot. Synthetic blood nauseates him. He’s suffering from intensely painful headaches. Slowly he begins to have a dreadful fear – what if he’s going to Change?
The world of Red Moon Rising had me totally convinced that vampyres, werewulves, and humans mingled together in society. Vamps are shrewd and highly intelligent, and they pretty much run the show. Wulves are discriminated against, thought to possess lower IQ’s, and are strictly regulated by the government. They are forced to register, and are required, by law, to report to unsafe compounds every month during the full moon. Unregistered wulves are considered no better than animals, and they hunted without mercy. You can imagine Danny’s dismay when he starts to think that his werewulf genes are winning a battle for his body.
The relationships held my interest, and since the book is character driven, interpersonal dynamics needed to be strong. They were. Danny has many relationships to iron out, including dealing with his guilt about his father. After being embarrassed at school by him, Danny dropped him like a hot potato and hasn’t had much to do with him. Now that he’s showing signs of the Change, he needs his father’s advice, and it takes a lot for him to contact his dad again after not speaking to him in years. Then there are the usual teenage boy issues for him to work through; his first crush seems to like him back, and he’s being bullied by the most popular guy in school. Of all of the relationships, the one with Gunther was the least interesting for me. One-dimensional bullies are getting stale, and I really wish that Danny’s antagonist had possessed more depth.
Overall, though, the book kept me engaged and transfixed. I liked Danny, I thought the pacing was spot on, and I did not want to put this one down. I am hoping for a sequel, because there were a few plot threads that didn’t get neatly tied up, and I would just like to spend more time getting to know the characters.
Review copy provided by publisher