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Book Review: A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

Before I start my review, I feel like there’s something I need to discuss first. As I worked to finish this book, I realized there’s a few things I need to pay more attention to during my reading.

First, when I request an ARC, I need to make sure there’s more than a month before publication, in case I have difficulty with getting through it, or I’m insanely busy. This is a DUH! on my part.
Second, I need to pay more attention to the format an e-ARC comes in, because not all formats are created equal.
Third, ebooks are just NOT my thing, regularly anyway, and I need to accept that perhaps doing ARC’s just isn’t going to work for me most of the time.

*Sigh*

That last fact is the hardest. I love the idea of getting to read books before they are released, and letting others know whether I would recommend it or not. I used to have a Nook, but gave it away because I hated not having physical books. So, any time I read an e-ARC, I do it on my phone, which can be annoying. I end up not enjoying the book as much because I hate the format I’m reading it in. This isn’t fair to the author/publisher/my readers. I wish I knew how to get hardcopy ARCs!!

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. So, if you don’t see many ARCs on here moving forward, this is why.

Creature of Moonlight

Click the image for the Goodread’s summary.

Disclaimer:  I was given an e-ARC of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group via NetGalley to review.  As always, all opinions are mine and mine alone.

The publishing date of A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn is May 6th, 2014.

 

A Creature of Moonlight is about a girl, Marni, who is living with her Gramps after being outcast by the king when she was a baby.  Marni has no problem with her simple life, and wants it to remain the way it is.  However, sudden events send her to be under her uncle’s care, much to his distaste, and as time passes the entire kingdom is put in peril.  Marni knows it is her fault, and so she succumbs to the other half of herself and heads into the woods.  After a time she must decide which world she wants to belong to.

A Creature of Moonlight is part of HMH’s Children’s Book group, which means it is geared towards younger readers.  The material of the book suggests probably more middle school, but it was hard to tell.  There was one scene that could have veered towards young adult, but overall I find the label appropriate based on the guts of the book.  I will say, however, that the language and wording is sometimes a bit odd, making the book seem more geared towards higher reading levels.

 

Speaking of the language, let’s switch things up and get the part I didn’t like about the book out of the way first. It drove me CRAZY how many times Marni started sentences with “Well,…”. It felt so awkward. I also found it strange how she would be talking so eloquently for a while, and then speak with ridiculously poor grammar in the next sentence.

” Well, and can you blame her?”

There’s also the fact that the lady in the woods feels like a loose end.  Even in the book there’s a part where Marni contemplates who she is, but you never actually find out.  She’s just this mysterious being that guides Marni through the woods.  When I finished the book, I was left wanting to know who she actually was.

 

So what did I enjoy then? Well first and foremost, I loved how we were given the history in a set of folk tale type stories. I thought it was a very unique way to tell it, rather then the typical “Gramps told me…” format often used in books.

There was also some really good wisdom scattered throughout the book.  I love the teach-morals-in-a-non-lecture-ish-way that good books for young readers employ.  I learned a lot from the books I read at that age, and I expect new books to do the same for children of that age now.

“”It used to be that simple,” he says.  “But nothing lasts forever.”

“Well,” I say, taking his arm to help him up, “we’ve no need to worry about forever.  Just today, and tomorrow, and the next.””

Let’s not forget the world-setting in general.  The medieval feel is one I relish in fantasy stories.  I have no idea why, but for some reason medieval “kings and queens” and fantasy just seem to go hand in hand for me.  Hahn does a great job at detailing the world, especially the woods.  There’s also the phoenixes, griffins, other magical creatures, and a DRAGON.  Seriously, what’s a fantasy story without a dragon?  I think the world-building that was suggested in the original description was what set me on requesting this ARC, and I wasn’t disappointed.

 

A Creature of Moonlight is a wonderful story about a girl from two very different worlds, colliding with each other and making her choose a side.  It’s got some great lessons to it, and definitely fits with the age group, aside from one kissing scene.  Unfortunately the language threw me off a bit, and I was left feeling really irritated about not finding out who the lady of the woods was.

Also, I was unable to get this in the typical kindle format from NetGalley, which meant I had spend the time downloading a certain program/app, converting the document to pdf, and then had to read full pages at a time on my little phone screen, versus the typical easy-to-read ebook formatting.  This is part of the reason it took me so long to read the book, because I got frustrated trying to read it that way (I certainly was not about to sit in from of my desktop to read it!).  It perhaps has something to do with rights/royalties/etc, but I intend to suggest to the publisher that they use an actual ebook formatting in the future.

 

3 out of 5

 

Do you ever read books geared for those below YA, if you don’t have children?

What is your opinion about reading electronically versus a physical copy, particularly when it comes to ARCs, if you receive them?

Do you often have particular scenery set in your mind when you think of a certain genre, like fantasy?

 

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9 responses to “Book Review: A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

  1. Pingback: May Book Round-up | Books Are My Thing

  2. Pingback: Book of the Day: Creature of Moonlight

  3. downthebookhole May 8, 2014 at 12:25 am

    I totally agree with you on your little rant 🙂 I also received this as an e-arc from netgalley and find that it is taking me a long time to read it. I just have a hard time and feel like it takes me twice as long reading from my phone/ computer screen . I really want to like this book and wanted to finish it before it’s release date , but had to set it down for awhile, but excellent review ! I am looking forward to finishing it and seeing what I think about it all 🙂

    Like

  4. Amy May 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Just found this site today and thought of you. They offer ‘real’ books for review, and will mail them to you. http://www.bloggingforbooks.org/

    Like

  5. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy May 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    I find it annoying to read ARCs on my phone as well, so I completely understand how that might color your review! I love the premise of this book, but I’m not sure if I will enjoy it – the writing will probably annoy me as well!

    And yay, I’m glad you are also a fan of the medievalist world in fantasy! 🙂 I love it too – it may be that I’m just so familiar with it, but it really feels right in fantasy to have kings and queens and dragons!

    Like

    • Bookjunkiekrystal May 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      My childhood should have been an indicator of my preferences – my favorite Disney movie has always been Sleeping Beauty… kings and queens, princes and princesses, faeries, witches, magic, dragons… it seriously has it all! 🙂

      Like

  6. ryandejonghe May 5, 2014 at 7:27 am

    I love the honest feedback you began your review with. Reading on a phone DOES suck. That’s an interesting point about beginning with “well,”; it reminds me of Catcher in the Rye beginning everything with a derivation of “anyhow”. That drove me nuts. Anyhow (haha), thanks for the review. Happy future reading.

    Like

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