Waters's strong first novel introduces a cast of memorable characters--both dead and alive. For unknown reasons, American teenagers who die are coming back to life. Known as the "living impaired" or "differently biotic," these teens walk among the living and even attend school, but face massive prejudice. Phoebe Kendall, a junior at Oakvale High in Connecticut, is alive and well, but shockingly, she has a crush on Tommy Williams, who's dead. Her best friend, Margi, thinks she's crazy, and her friend and neighbor Adam, who has a secret thing for Phoebe, can't understand what she sees in the dead kid. The situation gets worse when school bully Pete Martinsburg's hatred of the undead leads him to lash out violently. The dialogue can be stiff and Waters leaves many questions unanswered (Do the dead teens age? Can they be hurt and then heal? Why do they go to school?). In balance, however, the creepy premise is solid enough, and will easily capture the reader's imagination. Ages 12-up. (May)[Page 53]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Gr 8 Up--Dante, aka Danny Gray, is half-vamp and half-wulf, and in his world, this means disaster. There are only three distinct and very separate classes. The elite are the vampyres-rich, powerful, and beautiful. In between are the humans, tolerated because they admire vampires and acknowledge their dominance. Then there are the werewolves, who are poor, ugly, despised. They must register themselves and during the time of the "Change" are forced to live in prisonlike compounds. Danny and his sister had genetic treatments when they were young to suppress their wulven genes and allow their vampyre side to take control. The treatments worked for his sister, but Danny became sick and was unable to finish them. As a result he has vamp-blue eyes but the darker coloring and the stockier build of a werewolf. Everyone in his almost all-vamp high school assumes that he is half-vamp and half human; only a few close friends know the truth. When he starts exhibiting wulf behavior, Danny is terrified but realizes that he must accept who he is before time runs out. Red Moon Rising is a well-written coming-of-age story with a diverse cast of characters. Moore tackles important issues such as self-esteem, prejudice/discrimination, loyalty, and acceptance, all woven into a teen paranormal adventure drama. The ending leaves some unanswered questions that hopefully will be addressed in a sequel. Fans of the genre will enjoy this different spin on the supernatural.--Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY[Page 132]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 9 Up-- Phoebe and her fellow Oakvale High students aren't quite sure why dead teenagers started coming back to life and attending their school. The eerie phenomenon is attributed to a combination of "teenage hormones and fast food preservatives," happening only in the United States. Though Oakvale has a reputation for being most supportive of these "living impaired" teens, most of the students aren't happy about the thought of having to eat, study, and socialize in an environment permeated with the deceased. Unlike most of her fellow students, Goth-girl Phoebe finds herself harboring a crush on Tommy, one of the dead teens. A love triangle soon develops when her friend Adam, who is supportive of Tommy and the zombies, realizes that he is also in love with her. A threat by another student to destroy the dead teens ultimately forces Adam to choose between old alliances and protecting the living dead teens he has come to admire. In this debut novel, Waters shows an impressive understanding of the factors affecting teens as they navigate the high school environment. Using humor to lighten a world that is mixed with both violence and horror, he is able to capture readers' attention and sympathy for a group of very complex characters.--Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library[Page 138]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.