Today we have a title that celebrates its publishing debut next week. It's a new addition to the YA genre along the paranormal/fantasy lines that's sure to draw a good crowd...it does feature werewolves after all. Surprisingly, outside of Twilight, this would be my first venture into the literary realm of werewolves (shocking, right?). It came to my attention via the author herself and upon reading a bit about it, I was definitely interested in finding out more, for better or worse. Without further adieu, today's book of choice is....
Low Red Moon
It was a dark yet moonlit night. All was well in the Hood family household, or at least it seemed to be. Gathered around the table for dinner, seventeen year old Avery counts the blessings of her life....family, food, forest....what more could a girl ask for? Little did she know what evil was lurking around the corner. One moment, a peaceful family meal straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting....the next, bloodshed, tears, and a loss so great, no person....no child....should ever have to experience it. Young Avery Hood is found in the forest holding the hands of her now deceased parents.....covered in blood. What happened next is anyone's guess since the only known witness is Avery and the truth remains hidden in the recesses of her mind. The only thing she can remember is inhuman speed and a flash....of silver.
Have you ever had a book that the instant you saw it, your interest was captured? Through the cover and title alone your mind said....I must know about this book! Admit it, you know you have. Now here's the TOUGH question. Have you ever "met" a book like this that you REALLY wanted to love, but it just never happened? Let's just say....I'm there.
Oh Low Red Moon....how I wanted to love you so. Your cover is appealing (gorgeous really...simple picture and colors, but great), title intriguing, and the storyline, interesting indeed (murder, mystery, magic, and werewolves...sounds like a winner). *SIGH* BUT (don't you just despise that word sometimes....yet it's a necessary evil)....I could not for the life of me connect with your lead character, Avery Hood.
Now I'm guilty of reading several books at a time...no...not like an octopus or something, but having several going at once is common place for me. In fact, there's one that's been lingering on my site for a month or so now (it comes out in November so it's actually okay that it lingers) but you know what? Every time I pick it up to read another chapter, I'm there....in the zone...transported right back to my place in the story; that's just the way it is for me. This one....um....even setting other books aside while reading it did nothing for me. I would start to get into the character only to find myself whisked right back out. Why? Well, that leads me to my second point....
The premise of the story is good but it lacked details in many instances that (to me at least) were necessary. A character would be introduced long enough to become a casual acquaintance to the reader, but not long enough to glimpse a shadow of their true self. Events would play out in a stream of brief action driven sentences, leaving out the good stuff often occurring in between and leaving readers questioning what just happened. For example (just a teeny one, no spoilers or anything), there is a scene where Avery isn't feeling too well and her grandmother offers to make her breakfast while checking to see if she feels good enough to go to school. Avery merely says she's fine, gets up to go, and then she's there...all within about three sentences. I'm not one for fluffy details because too much is well...too much, but too little has it's own set of problems as well. Some of the confusion and choppiness might be explained away due to Avery's mind set at the time, she was after all under a lot of stress and didn't remember in full the events that unfolded....yet at the same time, the story is not told entirely in flashbacks so that theory is sort of cancelled out. Moving on to the characters....
In summary...did I finish the book? Yes. Was I compelled to read it? By the storyline, yes...by the characters, not so much (but I really, really wanted to be!). Will I watch for the sequel? Certainly....but with baited breath hoping that the characters are allowed to grow to their full potential. Does this mean that I don't recommend it? Not at all! I would actually recommend that you consider it to see what YOU think...after all, this was MY experience with the book; it doesn't necessarily mean it will mirror yours.
This book is scheduled for release on September 14th, 2010 (as of this post) by Bloomsbury Children's Books, so be on the look out in a store near you. ARC for review courtesy of author Ivy Devlin. (THANKS!) For more information on this title and the mysterious author behind it (Hey, this is her pseudonym; rumor has it that it's...well, you'll just have to search for yourselves, don't like to spoil a good mystery and all.), visit her website or follow along on Twitter!
Until next time....happy reading!