I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I read a werewolf novel. I’ve done plenty of zombies and basic horror recently…but lycanthrope-themed book titles escape me at the moment. Regardless, I’m pretty sure it’s been quite a while. So when I met author Dennis McDonald at Texas Frightmare Weekend, he was kind enough to give me a review copy of his werewolf tale, EBON MOON. And thankfully, McDonald offers up a book of terror that will satiate even the most savage of bestial readers.
If you are not familiar with EBON MOON, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the author’s website:
Seeking to escape her psychopathic husband, Jessica Lobato flees Chicago with her five-year-old daughter Megan. They hide in the small town of Hope Springs, Oklahoma, and rent a trailer house out in the country. Little does she know that this small town has a dark secret. One that comes out when the moon is full. A pack of werewolves hides amongst the populace and is secretly killing selected people to satisfy their hunger. The pack has now targeted Jessica’s daughter, Megan, to be eaten during the upcoming full eclipse of the moon. A tense, bestial novel of lycanthrope horror the way a werewolf novel should be.
Do not be dissuaded by the fact this is a self-published book. It looks professional and has been extensively edited for grammar and spelling. I believe I only found one misspelling and one omitted word; from a self-publishing standpoint, that is truly awesome.
EBON MOON is written well and flows at a nice, even pace. The book measures in at almost 350 pages, but it is so immersive that they fly by; I was done reading it before I realized it. McDonald writes with a simple but effective style that shows more than it tells, and the result is a quick read that satisfies.
The characters are solid and believable, and I particularly like how the author chose a battered woman running from an abusive husband as the main character; we, as the reader, sympathize with her plight and therefore take a vested interest in what happens to her. Not to mention the fact that it’s always nice to see what happens to these abusers when they finally get their comeuppance.
The plot of EBON MOON is a big win as well. McDonald weaves together a detailed story that criss-crosses the lives of several people within the small town. These interactions and how the characters intersect in the wake of a series of gruesome murders help bring the story to life. Many times during the read, I felt like I was there with the characters, adding my own spark to an already intriguing story.
But the werewolves win the gold star for this book. I really like how McDonald makes them simple people who are not afraid of what they really are. Granted, they have to ‘hide’ in human form in order to survive, but they never apologize for their nature, nor do they lament about it. This gritty, realistic take on lycanthrope is a big part of what makes this book so good.
EBON MOON is a huge win for me, and I recommend giving it a look. This book is a nice, refreshing dose of horror that reminds us to beware when the moon is full. It is available now in a variety of formats.