Devin Jinadasa’s imaginative tale of humans, werewolves and vampires living side by side reflect the wide reading and exposure to legend and folklore of the young author. He has drawn on several strands of a cosmopolitan upbringing enjoyed by Sri Lanka’s youth such as the fantasies of the Game of Thrones, the sheer magic of [...]

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

A tale told by a teen for teens of the 21st century


Devin Jinadasa’s imaginative tale of humans, werewolves and vampires living side by side reflect the wide reading and exposure to legend and folklore of the young author.

Friends, family, Doctors and members of the legal fraternity were among the gathering at the launch of Rohini Jayamanne’s book ‘ He Breathes Again’ at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on September 1. The book is an account of her family’s ordeal when her husband Nihal Jayamanne was faced with a life-threatening medical condition and their battle to overcome it.

He has drawn on several strands of a cosmopolitan upbringing enjoyed by Sri Lanka’s youth such as the fantasies of the Game of Thrones, the sheer magic of the Harry Potter series and the allure of Amerindian culture, the traditional home of the wolf pack.

The setting of the story is like a many textured fabric woven with different colours and threads. Jinadasa takes us from a boarding school in Las Vegas to a new school in Sonoma Valley, California, and then into the dark regions surrounding Wolf House and the mysteries of werewolves.

At the outset, he prepares us for the changing locale by asking us, “Do you believe in werewolves?” so that normalcy and expectations of normalcy are suspended in preparation for the great unknown.

Devin Jinadasa (centre) and guests at the launch. Pix by Nilan Maligaspe

The cover of Silver Moon: The War Begins shows a contrasting image of an angry teenager grinding his teeth or staring at a snarling beast. This depicts the two sides of the narrative to come, or the clashing symbols of normalcy and fantasy, bathed in the rays of a silver moon.

The tale of fantasy is narrated by a teenager who is shown as sensitive and ‘normal,’ struggling to combat the woes of teenage life when he is hurled into the mysteries of vampires (the cold, bloodsucking bad guys) and werewolves (the warm, vigilante good guys) in a school brawl with shocking ramifications.

She looked so beautiful: she was wearing a red dress and her blood red eyes were glowing and her razor sharp fangs were gleaming… Wait… Red eyes… fangs… FANGS! (Jinadasa, 2015: 24)

The juxtaposition of normal teenage life of school, play, games, friends, girls, caregivers, songs, food, and clothes with that of werewolf life of power play, snarling, baiting, phasing into animal form is the strength of the novel.

Revealingly, life in Wolf House is shown to be much more luxurious than the ordinary life led by Danny McMoon in Las Vegas or California.

This brings in shades of Harry Potter and his life at Hogwarts, which like Wolf House had rules and regulations of boarding schools, but was the lap of luxury in terms of food, facilities, and amenities available to teenagers.Everything is larger than life, including the new caregivers!

Silver Moon: The War Begins is a mystery novel set in the realm of fantasy. As in the case of the protagonist or boy hero, Danny MacMoon, the reader is led from the playing field to the dark caverns of werewolves growling, leaping, pawing and licking each other in a moonlit night, heading for huge fights and power struggles with arch enemies in the form of the bloodsucking vampires.

As the narrator playfully informs us, all the bad vibes and gruesome facts of killing innocent humans, sucking their blood, living in fear of running water and the smell of garlic are all vampire lore and not werewolf life, which is dashing and romantic like that of an urban vigilante.

(Reader, ever notice that vampires are so easy to kill while it’s really hard to kill a werewolf? Since there’s only one thing that can kill us while there are like at least five things that can kill a vamp: Fire, Sunlight, Stakes, Decapitation and the most important and guaranteed killing machines: Us) (Jinadasa 2015: 66)
Characterization is as black and white as the naïve yet appealing canvas of life painted by the endearing Danny MacMoon or Devin Jinadasa.

The vampires are scheming and two-faced, the werewolves are ‘human’ and trusting. A surprising fact is the ease with which Danny shifts loyalties from his Las Vegas parents to his werewolf parents with apparent ease, even going so far as to refer to them as ‘fake parents.’

However, in a fast changing world of morphing from human to werewolf in moments of intense emotion, lingering emotionalism may be passé and old fashioned.


Having said that, to a non-teen reader, the lack of rebellion in the werewolf pack is shocking in a world rife with anti-establishmentarianism, although presumably not in the wolf pack: Then there’s the Beta Male and Female who are second in command and take over the pack if the Alpha dies. After them are the Deltas. The Deltas are wolves in training for Beta position.

They are third in rank to Alpha and Beta. Deltas do not hold the authority to call medium or large Hunts. That is a privilege to only ranked Alphas, Betas, and Hunters. Deltas usually become the next Beta after training is complete but one can remain Delta without moving to Beta position. (Jinadasa, 2015: 38)

On the other hand, the teen werewolf and teen author may be in a comfort zone governed by hierarchy, which could be a welcome change from the anti-establishment drive of us, the oldies.

Book facts

  • Silver Moon: The War Begins by Devin Jinadasa. 
  • Published by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd., London, 2015. Reviewed by Manique Gunesekera


The teen author’s use of humour and fluency with the language even in the magic world of fantasy are to his credit, and make the reader ask for more like this, the first in this series of the adventures of the wolf pack.

When they saw us charging they went batty and when I say that, I mean they literally turned into bats and flew off into the night sky. The packs cheered and howled. I joined in, too, but deep in my heart I knew this war was far from over.

Then the howls and cheering changed and stopped as Dad stood and went to stand beside me. (Jinadasa, 2015: 76)

In conclusion, Silver Moon: The War Begins is a promising tale of friendship, warfare, competition, conflict and care in the interlocking worlds of wholesome teenagers, wild werewolves and vicious vampires created by a promising young writer.

We wish him luck in the many realms he inhabits, and may his only woe be that he has to be the last to eat as he is the ‘newbie’ or omega in the wolf family.

At the launch…

Young writer Devin Jinadasa launched his book ‘Silver Moon – The War Begins’ on Friday, September  4 at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies auditorium in Colombo 7.

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