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Literature / A Macabre Myth of a Moth-Man

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I glance down through my orb-like red eyes and am reminded of the perverse reality; the stretched claws that end the two toes on each of my feet...the five elongated digits on each of my hands...the pale grey skin...antennae over a metre long giving a flick from the holes in my hat...

That thought's running through my head again...

How'd it all come down to this?

Moth-man is your average insect/human hybrid, hiding from the world in general and trying to get revenge on the mad scientists who made him the way he is.


Nina is a part-time barmaid who aspires to be a zoologist and is helping some friends do a documentary on a "Moth-man" sighted in the area so she can get her mind off of her ex-boyfriend.

Things are about to get very dangerous, very fast for the pair of them, when a lot of creepy cultists, murderous robots, and a man surrounded by crows all get thrown into the mix.

A Young Adult debut novel by Brad Fear, it borrows certain elements from the Mothman sightings in Point Pleasant, WV. It's not so much a retelling of the event as an off-shot "what if". A sequel, A Siren Song for the Stricken, was published in 2010.

Not related to The Mothman Prophecies, save for the fact that Mothman is in both.


This book provides examples of:

  • Afraid of Needles: Ozzy hates them. Given how he was a captive of Dr. Wu for quite some time, this is understandable.
  • Body Horror: The effects of the experiments done on both Moth-man and Ozzy. Also what happens to anyone infected with The Swarm's genetically engineered wasps.
  • Cult: The Swarm
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Dante Eclipse, who believes that humanity is unable to adapt to new environments, unlike every other species alive, and thus must either be spliced into insect-people or killed.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The last fight goes into quite a lot of detail about the injuries everyone receives, including Ozzy having his arm snapped off.
  • For Want of a Nail: The story opens with the author explaining that the events of this book occurred through vague circumstances involving a Polish scientist and a honeybee, neither of which interacted in our timeline.
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  • Hikikomori: Brett, because of his Xeroderma Pigmentosum, spent quite a lot of time indoors before dating Nina. After he gets Melanoma from being out in the sun too much, he stays inside to such an extent that it alarms his friends.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: The end of the book has Nina telling Moth-man about how she wrote everything in her diary. Moth-man suggests she hold on to it, in case she ever wants to turn it into a book. He also suggests putting his own chapters in first person.
  • Madness Mantra: When Moth-man was held in the lab, he'd scream over and over to himself ''Nina...Nina...Nina...Nina...
  • Obviously Evil: Dante Eclipse. Terrifying white mask? Check. Synthesized voice? Check. Every inch of him covered so there's no identifying him? Check. Desire to completely destroy humanity, in one way or another? Ohhhh, check! Lampshaded by Moth-man, who wonders how Tony Reisman was actually surprised to be betrayed by this guy.
  • Older Than They Look: Ozzy. Moth-man figured him to be in his mid-thirties, but apparently he was a war criminal experimented on by Dr. Wu as early as the 1960s, or even before then.
  • Papa Wolf: Ozzy really doesn't like children being hurt or abused.
  • Pædo Hunt: Child molesters really do not sit well with Ozzy. At all. At one point, Moth-man recalls how Ozzy had him bring in a man who molested and killed several children, yet got off with a light sentence. Later, Moth-man is able to tempt Ozzy into helping him with the possibility of bringing in a child molester for him to kill, along with the lawyer who got the man out of prison.
  • Playing with Syringes: More than a few scientists do this. The end results include Ozzy, Moth-man, the Swarm, and Jack Daw.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: Ozzy and Moth-man.
  • Prone to Sunburn: Brett has a skin condition that causes him to easily sunburn, which fuels his shut-in tendencies. Learning that he can contract melanoma from sunburns only makes things worse.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Moth-man has some very creepy red eyes.
  • Tears of Fear: When Tony Reisman learns that he was impregnated by hundreds of wasp larvae, who are in the process of chewing their way out of his stomach.
  • The Reveal: Moth-man used to be Brett, Nina's boyfriend.
  • Title Drop: At the end, when Nina tells Moth-man how she's written everything in her diary and is considering making it into a story. She talks about how "A Macabre Myth of a Moth-man" is what she'd title it. Moth-man finds it catchy.