Beneath The Neon Moon
by Theda Black
Sonja Triebel (Illustrator)
Length: 82 Pages
Characters: Zach and Mal
POV: Third person
Genre: Gay, Paranormal/Horror, Romance, Wolves
Book Cover Rating: 5
Zach’s lived a rough life, but it taught him how to take care of himself. Until now, anyway. He’s alone, he’s lost his job and the rent’s coming due. He thinks he knows what bad luck is. He doesn’t. Mal’s the golden boy who had it all in high school. Then he threw it away. Now he’s back on track, working his way through college and looking toward the future – until he attracts the attention of the wrong group of people. They’ve never met. Then one summer night everything changes. Suddenly they’re in desperate trouble, trapped and bound together in darkness. And in less than forty-eight hours, one of them is going wolf.
Zach lost his drunken father in his early years at the young age of seventeen, and although he was never verbally or mentally abused by the man, he was very much neglected while his pop went on his endless drunken binges which were frequent leaving Zach to fend for himself. Zach raised himself and the details will show you his life was skid row, just making it to even live. The story does touch on Zach’s growing up with the thoughts back to the time in early years between him and his dad. The good, the bad and how he supported himself to pay the rent in order to have a roof over his head. That part was appalling.
Mal goes to college, he’s only maybe a year or two younger than Zach, but is paying his own way. Out one night with his friends he’s attached and bitten by a wolf, of course. The two men wake up in a basement together, shackled together with Zach knowing from the hands of his captors that he’s going to be Mal’s first meal the sacrificial lamb led to the slaughter when he turns and Mal only finding this out on the day he’s going to turn which is harsh. During those three days and short time they have together they conform a deep seated bond between them.
I don’t usually go into the specifics of a story like I’ve just done here, but I found the story somewhat disturbing. Zach is chosen to be Mal’s meal also known as the initiation into the pack because he’s alone in life and nobody is going to miss him or even look for him. He’s alone, period. To me Zach has had a hard enough life in short years without having this happen to him. Mal assures Zach that he won’t hurt him, but really will he? Zach is unsure as he awaits his pending doom.
Now this is where I’m going to be really cunning and refrain from saying anything further than you’ll have to read the story yourself to find out how it’s all going to end. :snickering:
In many aspects this story is saddening, touching and exceptionally well written. A mix of emotions that will throttle your mind will assail you. From each moment it’s unpredictable what will happen next. In this short story that is only 82 pages and I would have liked to have read more about both Mal and Zach’s backgrounds, getting to know or read more of it about them I could still connect with them both in that short of pages time. Both characters have character. First book I read of Theda’s and it won’t be the last. I definitely would like more and the author of this book drew me into the book which speaks for itself. Nicely done.