6 January 2010
“And it was all stupid daydreaming, because even assuming for one minute there was a cure and the doctor would give it to a nobody werewolf like him, he still would have a long way to go before he was anything but a homeless, worthless nobody.”
Midsummer Moon by Megan Derr
As some people will have realized, I am a long-time fan of the author Megan Derr, and have been for around 10 years. One of the first stories of hers that I ever read was an early version of Midsummer Moon. At this point I honestly do not know how many different versions of it I have read over the years, and I am pretty sure I have a comic book version of it that I won somehow. Even more than that is that I have always loved any of the stories set in the town of Midsummer, but because it was my first, Midsummer Moon has always held a special place in my heart. So when I saw that Derr had released it with Less Than Three Press and there was a copy on NetGalley I was ready to fight anyone to get to it! As with other stories of Derr’s where I may have read earlier version, I will try my best to only talk about the published version.
Midsummer Moon follows Lowell, a young, homeless, werewolf who is hitchhiking his way to the town of Midsummer’s Night because he has heard there is a doctor there with the cure to lycanthropy. However, when a handsome man gives him a lift and takes him to the town, Lowell finds out that there is more to the town than meets the eye. He finds out that the man, Peter, is the doctor that he was looking for, who happens to be in a prank war with the vampire next door. Lowell is definitely not the first werewolf the town has had or Peter has had in his house. While he is trying to figure what is going on, Lowell starts to realize there is more to him than he thought, and maybe, just maybe, he has finally found a place he can stay.
Obviously I loved this version of the story. It is so different from most of the books I have read with werewolves in them. Lowell especially is endearing and awkward, but you can’t help cheering for him. It is great to watch him slowly grow into himself and mature as he finally has a chance to live instead of just surviving. One of his quirks that you are either going to love or hate is that he often thinks about things in newspaper headlines, and I feel it gives very good insight into his character. I wish there is a follow up to this story if only to see how much Lowell continues to grow.
Peter, the doctor, that Lowell was looking for, is a great compliment to Lowell. Peter is clearly an established doctor, who has a successful practice, a house and a hilarious friendship with his neighbors, but there is an obvious loneliness and vulnerability. It is the mysteries surrounding Peter that really help draw you into the story. My favorite thing though is his prank war with his neighbors, the vampire Sally and her human husband Jordan. Any scene that Peter is in with one of them is awesome, and Lowell’s bewilderment at them adds even more to the humor. Below is one of the best exchanges to illustrate the wonderful, friendly banter.
“Sally blinked. ‘Oh. I see.’ She moved around the table and plopped down next to Lowell, slinging an arm over his shoulder. ‘You’re a handsome one, no mistake. If I ever divorce my idiot husband, you and me can run away together.’
Peter groaned. ‘I’m about to go fetch your husband.’
‘Don’t you dare, he’s still recovering from your nasty little stunt with the flares.’
‘You started it this time, bloodsucker.’ Peter retorted. ‘Next time tell him not to get in the line of fire.’
Sally Sniffed. ‘Whatever, Mad Scientist.’
Lowell wondered if it were possible to discreetly slip under the table and sneak away.”
One of the best elements of the story is the introduction to the town of Midsummer’s Night (although it also occasionally is referred to as just Midsummer). A town where a portion of the population is supernatural in some way, and the rest know this, yet they all co-exist. However, there are certain considerations taken for the different types of supernatural creatures (e.g. later hours to accommodate creatures that cannot go out in the sunlight). The town has the mentality that everyone knows everyone’s business. It was great to see all the townspeople connect to Lowell and know he was one of them, especially when you see their reaction to a person they do not like. Also all the busybodies that want the gossip on Lowell and Peter, and the interest in their love life, were hilarious.
Clearly, this is still one of my favorite stories ever from Derr. I am looking forward to reading and reviewing more her stories about Midsummer. It is a great read for settling in for an afternoon of reading, and will leave you with a smile on your face, and a hope that we will one day see more about Lowell and Peter!
Final Verdict: A very different werewolf story that is hard to put down, and introduces you to the wonder that is the town of Midsummer and the crazy characters that live there!