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

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review: Low Red Moon

Low Red Moon (ARC) by Ivy Devlin
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pub. Date: September 14th, 2010
Pages: 256
Age Level: 14+
From trade.

Synopsis via Goodreads
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

Low Red Moon has a very intriguing premise as well as loads of potential. Unfortunately, this one just fell flat for me and was forgettable and lackluster versus the suspenseful, mysterious, and exciting read I was hoping to receive.

Avery was a relatively dull main character with little personality. I found myself feeling indifferent towards her the majority of the time and I just could not connect with her. However, there is one thing I believe Devlin delivered well on when writing Avery and that was the emotion. The pain and loss Avery was feeling almost radiated off the pages and it was during these times that I was able to temporarily grasp onto a small connection with her. This brings me to Ben. Like Avery, his emotions of hurt and confusion felt real and believable. Sadly, it ends there. The romance between the two of them bottomed out for me and I can't say that I'm exactly surprised. From the beginning, I could see which direction their relationship was going to take, one that has so wrongly been taken time and time again. It was one of those instantaneous, meant to be dangerous, Twilighty feeling romances. Seriously there was a certain scene that I like to refer to as the, "How old are you?" scene that just screamed Twilight. That and Avery used a search engine to figure out 'what Ben is'. Familiar, much? Supposedly Avery and Ben are bonded to each other spiritually and emotionally but there is not really any explanation as to why. Not to mention, I'm getting tired of YA books where lust is written as love. I couldn't help asking myself, what does Avery really know about Ben besides his parents are dead and he's a werewolf? Now, despite the should-have-been-deleted-scenes romance, I thought the relationship Avery had with her grandmother was actually one that was fairly beneficial to the plot.

The idea behind Low Red Moon was overflowing with potential and the chance to form a breathtaking story. It kind of had this twisted, contemporary take on Little Red Riding Hood going on that was very clever but it just didn't quite live up. There were some things that I felt were never really explained that needed to be. For example, Avery's connection with Ben as well as her connection to the woods. It just felt as though there were all these gaps that needed filling in. Low Red Moon was also somewhat predictable when I had been hoping for some serious plot twists and suspense. However, Avery's lack of memory of the murder and the way the details were gradually introduced was very well done and I really liked that aspect as it provided a slight sense of mystery and spookiness. The story was also surprisingly compelling, despite some of it's flaws, making it more enjoyable.

Devlin's writing style evoked very mixed feelings from me. It was repetitive and confusing, yet it was also beautifully and eerily descriptive, almost lyrical at times. The writing was also fast paced and, thankfully, never seemed to drag or really hit a slow spot, staying generally constant.

As for the ending, there was one person that I knew all along was involved in the murder, but the main conspirator I didn't guess until later on. Of course, I had really been hoping for more personal motives that were less obvious, almost psychotic, in their trivial-ness. I mean, I know folks out there are nuts and all but committing border-line mass murder to achieve this said goal felt very forced considering how impersonal it was. I have to admit though, the ending was a tad bit exciting despite the fact that I knew how things would work out.

All in all, while Low Red Moon did keep me mildly entertained throughout it's brief duration, I still couldn't help feeling that things could have been developed a lot better than they were. Judging by the way things ended, I'm guessing there will be a sequel and, out of sheer curiosity to see how things improve, I think I probably will read it. Another thing, and maybe I'm just super slow because it's clearly stated in the synopsis on Goodreads, it wasn't until after I read this book that I realized Ivy Devlin is a pseudonym for an already very well established YA author. I'm not saying who, but I'll admit I was surprised to see who it was because it is an author who's books I've been dying to read. Anyhow, if you've been considering reading Low Red Moon, then my suggestion would be to borrow it from someone you know or check it out from the library first.

Characters: C-
Writing: C
Plot: C
Ending: C-
Enjoyment/Likability: C
Recommendable: C-

Overall: C-/C

Cover: B-


Tawni said...

Nice review. I've always been on the edge about the book, but you said it had potential, so I may just get it from the library! Thanks for the honest review!!

Sandy said...

Thank you for the honest, eloquent review. I had the same feelings towards LOW RED MOON but I liked Avery a little more than you, I think xD. Hopefully the author develops the story more in the sequel :)

YA Book Queen said...

I'll definitely take your advice and check it out at my library first...Amazing in depth review! :D

Monster of Books said...

I've seen this many times and a few times have thought of buying it. But it seems everyone doesn't like it so I might just wait til it comes to the library or something.
Great, honest review XD

Amelia said...

Hey Briana! Excellent review. I definitely agree with you - I loved the premise, too, and the foreboding tone, but the book did fall flat.

Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews said...

I've heard many mixed reviews, but I think I'm gonna give this one a shot.

Mavie said...

I agree to a lot of things you said --- and about Avery too... I couldn't relate to her entirely. And, Devlin spent waay too much time on her grief. Well thought out 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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