Cover image for Minions of the moon
Minions of the moon
Bowes, Richard.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Tor, 1999.
Physical Description:
320 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


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Kevin Grierson has a Shadow with a mind of its own. It likes thrills, it likes power, it likes the rush of drugs and danger. From the suburbs of Boston to the streets of New York, from the false glamour of advertising to the dark glamour of hustling and drug-dealing. Grierson's Shadow keeps him walking the edge of destruction and madness. Then a simple robbery goes horribly wrong. With the help of a flawed saint named Leo Dunn, Grierson struggles to banish his Shadow, and succeeds. Temporarily. Years later, sober and settled, at peace with his world, Kevin Grierson meets his Shadow again. And this time it won't go away.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Kevin Grierson is just barely a '60s survivor, and the other him is even less so. The other him? Yes, for Kevin has a double he calls the Shadow, which was also what he called the alcoholic, abusive woman who often took the place of his mother. Not long after mother and her shadow died together, Kevin's started to "help" him, at first out of jams--like the one he got into getting blow jobs in dark corners of the Y--and then into drugs, drug dealing, and eventually big-time toping. Finally Kevin suppressed the Shadow, found a counselor who helped him sober up permanently, and got a profession as an antique toy dealer, thanks to George, who became his lover. Life continued to challenge him, of course. He and George separated, and George sickened with AIDS. An old friend's son was haunted by his dead addict father, and only Kevin knew and could help. Now a runaway teenager needs rescuing, especially since he has fallen in with the Shadow, who is back again, wraithlike with dissipation. Bowes deftly uses the addiction-as-doppelganger metaphor to add tension and verve to a rich, riveting story of dereliction and recovery. Superb popular fiction. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Life can be brutal for a boy growing up on the streets of Boston at mid-century, especially if he's gay and his mother's crazy, and particularly if he's haunted by a dopplegänger, a phantom double. Kevin Grierson grew to adulthood in a tough Irish-American family with uncles who were prone to beat him up for his own good. Making it through college and moving to New York, Kevin tries unsuccessfully to balance a career writing advertising copy with a secret existence centered on drugs, alcohol and promiscuous, tawdry, often dangerous sex. His dopplegänger lurks constantly in the background, manifesting itself whenever Kevin gets in trouble, giving him bad advice, hijacking his body for his own ends whenever he's too drunk or too stoned to resist. As the years go by, Kevin lives from one crisis to the next, struggling constantly with both his double and his addictions. Then he discovers that he's not alone. There are other people with supernatural powers in the world, and some of them aren't very nice. Worse still, there's a mysterious group called the Sojourners who seem interested in collecting Kevin and his double for their own secret, presumably unwholesome, purposes. In his first novel in 10 years, Bowes (Feral Cell) has produced a well-written and unusually gritty urban fantasy of a sort likely to appeal to fans of the work of Charles de Lint. Although the novel takes place over a period of decades, there isn't really much plot here. Grierson, however, is a fascinating character whose life consists of a series of small, grim and involving urban adventures. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

As a child growing up in Boston in the 1950s, Kevin Grierson discovers that he possesses an alternate self‘a cold, callous Shadow-being who deals with the harsh realities and dangers of life and, more often than not, seems to leave chaos and trouble in his wake. Bowes's first novel, a reworking of a decade's worth of short stories, describes the sometimes poignant, sometimes disturbing life of a man who dwells on the edge of reality. Kevin's struggle to come to terms with his lover's slow death from AIDS and to find a way to reconcile himself with his doppelgänger take on the mythic overtones of a modern-day fable in this solid piece of magic realism suitable for large libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.