Percy tries his hand at horror in his latest novel. Here, he envisions a world divided between those infected with a disease that turns them into lycans and those who are disease free.
Patrick climbs aboard a plane headed to his mother’s as his military father leaves for an assignment. After takeoff, a lycan wreaks havoc, killing everyone in the cabin area except for Patrick, who hides under a pile of dead bodies. Dubbed “Miracle Boy” by the media, the teen tries to live down his instant fame but seems destined instead to be haunted by it. Meanwhile, lycan Claire witnesses the terrifying murder of her parents and flees ahead of the mysterious avenging agency that seems dedicated to killing off the lycan population. A man with questionable character who may or may not run for president, a woman married to a lycan ringleader and a lycan rebel round out the large cast of characters in this novel about the struggle between the lycans and their uninfected counterparts. At stake: the lycan nation’s place in society and a country that was once theirs and the toll the escalating war between the two is taking. The smaller story follows the growing romance between Patrick and Claire. Running with gore—almost every page drips blood—and soaked in violence, the book switches back and forth between characters. Percy elbows his way into the horror genre, adding literary polish along the way, but this tale rambles on much too long, with page after page of superfluous detail. Percy leans toward colorful and obscure terms or word usages that will propel many casual readers to pause and pull out their dictionaries, often with unsatisfying results.
Percy births an interesting concept that he then submerges in a writing style that is both affected and self-consciously literary.