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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review: Shadow of the Moon

Shadow of the Moon by Marina Cohen
Publisher: Vanwell Publishing Limited
Pub. Date: March 31st, 2007
Pages: 224
Series: 1st in Trilogy
Age Level: 9+

Synopsis via Goodreads
Twelve-year-old twins, Drake and Stella Livingstone, along with friend Sherman Glutz, are sucked through the last light of a solar eclipse to an ancient world plunged into infinite darkness.

By the flickering glow of a pickle jar filled with fireflies, the trio braves slithering shadows, mind-boggling caves, nocturnal animals and mythical creatures. Can they restore light to the universe before it’s too late?

Shadow of the Moon is the adventurous beginning to what I believe to be a potentially great MG trilogy!

I'll start by saying that I did think the characters could have been better. Don't get me wrong, they were good and realistic but I sometimes found it hard to connect with them; then again I am almost 18 and they're 12. Drake was the character that particulary had a tendancy of grating on my nerves at times. I know twelve-year-old boys tend to be a bit sarcastic and annoying but sometimes it seemed like every sentence out of his mouth was snide. However, his character did develop and I found I grew to like him a bit more towards the end. Of course, this can't go with out saying that some of Drake's reasons for being a bit whiny were justified. Stella and Sherman were both believeable characters but I felt the book focused mostly on Drake so I didn't really get to know them quite as well. I thought Kazzwith to be a brave and interesting creature and then there was Bumble Dan whom I kinda couldn't help but love.

The story itself was this refreshing, wonderfully imagined journey full of action. While reading Shadow of the Moon, I started noticing certain motivations and overall plot similarities that reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia. Not in a bad copycat way or anything, but in a very well crafted way because Cohen still took her story and made it her own in many aspects; I applaud her for this. Her various creatures and descriptions of the world she had created were very keenly depicted and creative.

There were a few things that bothered me about the writing. One was the over usage of exclamation points; not to an extreme but just enough to be slightly annoying. Also, there was the occasional word that just didn't seem to 'fit'. However, due to being published by a very small publishing house, Shadow of the Moon received little and not near as high a quality of editing as one would expect from a bigger publishing house. Another thing, though, I think that if Shadow of the Moon had been written in first-person, rather than third-person, it would have helped solve some of the problems I had with the characters. After reading Cohen's amazing writing in her YA novel, Ghost Ride, the writing in Shadow of the Moon did seem to pale in comparison, of course it is her first book too. That being said, I feel this just goes to show how much Cohen grew as an author in the two years between the publishing of said books. All that having been said, the writing was still good and fast-paced, just flawed.

The ending was very well done with one heck of a cliffhanger leaving me ready to dig into Trick of the Light, the second book.

All in all, I can tell this fun and imaginative trilogy has loads of potential. The books are currently out of print as the original publisher dropped their Children's line of books. I really hope Cohen will submit Shadow of the Moon and Trick of the Light, third book not written yet, to some bigger publishing houses. Judging by the first book, this trilogy has the stuff it would take to be very successful if only they'd be given the chance and better, proper editing. So in other words, I would recommend this trilogy, especially to fans of Narnia. It's appeal is more for middle to older aged kids, not teens, but I'm 17 and still enjoyed it. I can't wait to see how this story continues to unfold.

Characters: C+
Writing: C
Plot: B+
Ending: B-

1st in Trilogy: B-
Enjoyment/Likability: C+
Recommendable: B

Overall: B-

Cover: D+
(Hey, very small publishing house. It happens. XD)


Sandy said...

I do hope that this trilogy gets the attention it deserves because it sounds like fun to read! Nice review :)

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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