Red Moon Rising is a highly ambitious undertaking that is part Urban Fantasy, part coming-of-age and part social commentary. The story is essentially about a boy - who happens to be half vampyre, half wulf. In Danny's world vamps rule and wulves are second class citizens at best. The tension between the two groups mirrors the turmoil the United States faced in the 1960's. In the book segregation between the species has ended, but the tension still resides. The vampyre are still considered the high class citizens, while the Wulves are stuck with low paying jobs.Book: Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore
Series or Stand-Alone: SeriesPages: 336Description (From Goodreads): 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.
Genre: Young Adult
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.
Peter Moore speaks to adolescents in a voice that will have them laughing, set in a world that will get them thinking.
There were things that I really loved about Red Moon Rising and there were things that I could have done without. I, for one, really enjoyed the way Moore modeled the social unrest after the American Civil Rights movement. It was a highly creative take on your average paranormal YA story - it was very much a coming-of-age story that tackled such topics as inequality,self-image and pride. I loved the fact that this was not your typical paranormal romance - this story has a lot of backbone. While Danny does meet and fall for a girl, it does not take front seat in the plot - it rides shotgun at best. Danny spends the majority of the book worrying about his Wulven heritage and the effects that it has on his daily life. You see, when Danny was baby he had genetic treatments that were supposed to sort of neutralize his Wulven DNA. However, he got sick during the process so they were never able to finish. He and his family always figured that he had gotten far enough in the treatments to keep him from shifting, but soon they realize they were wrong.
Danny is an easy character to relate to, because like almost every teenager in the world, he is going through an identity crisis. Granted, most people (that I know of) don't worry about whether they will be more vampyre or more wulven. He certainly isn't perfect, but he is really trying to accept and embrace his new life. He makes mistakes, but he is the first to admit when he is wrong. Overall he is a very likable character and it is easy to get behind him. You want everything to work out for Danny; you genuinely want him to be okay.
While I loved the idea of the story and found Danny to be an intriguing character there were elements of the writing that I wasn't too crazy about. Moore peppers the book with tons of pop culture references, but they are all slightly altered. He often quotes popular songs, movies and televisions but changes them to fit his vampire universe. While at first this was amusing, I soon grew tired of hearing about McJagger and Gwenbeth Paltroff. These almost pop culture references began to throw the book of track. In all honesty, Red Moon Rising is a serious book and these distractions did not tie in with the tone.
I was a little disappointed with the ending as well. There was a great deal of build up between Danny and the villain, Gunther but the climax was a bit lacking. I just feel like things were a bit rushed and we were left will an awful lot of questions. I understand that it was setup for a sequel, but the reader doesn't really get any sort of resolution in the end of book one.
That being said, I will still be looking out for a book two. I feel like Danny's story is just getting started and now I am very invested in what happens to him. I just would have liked to have a little bit more closure before diving into book two.