Book Review

Moon Reads: The Hunting Moon

The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard

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Nothing is perfect, and as such, the reviews in this blog are chaotic. My main aim is to share my thoughts, joy and opinions on a book, not make a publication perfect review. This blog endorses authenticity, showing up and joy over perfection.

Disclaimer: Receiving a review copy from the publisher does not affect my opinion of the book. If you think I review it highly it is due to me knowing my taste well and therefore not requesting books I won’t enjoy. And I am not obligated to review the book if I do not like it, so you may not see bad reviews due to me preferring not to hype down a particular book. I only do reviews of books I disagreed with if I think it is worth bringing a topic or warning to light.

Disclaimer: Receiving a review copy from the publisher does not affect my opinion of the book. If you think I review it highly it is due to me knowing my taste well and therefore not requesting books I won’t enjoy. And I am not obligated to review the book if I do not like it, so you may not see bad reviews due to me preferring not to hype down a particular book. I only do reviews of books I disagreed with if I think it is worth bringing a topic or warning to light.


The Luminaries left me wishing for me, as you can read from my previous review of it. Since I followed the Twitter polls that started this and that were quite fun, it was natural to keep wanting more.

The slightly disjointed feeling of comparing that thread on Twitter (now X) is less evident here, mostly because by now in The Hunting Moon, it has evolved into much more of Susan Dennard’s own story rather than a choose-your-own-adventure type of thing. So in some ways, this book is more fun, and feels like the plot is unique and just smoother and to me those are winning points.

We also have Winnie questioning so much, and I found it interesting to see those doubts show up and the fight to trust and to do your best. There is so much going on, and so many ways to try to find out things, but the main things are we have the Dianas to look into (and that’s a whole thing, which damn I thought we’d get *redacted* happen in the end and we didn’t and now I await the next book) but we also have Winnie’s feelings about what being part of the Lumaries really is and if she is up for it, she sees the cracks all of a sudden that she didn’t when she was so focused on redeeming her family back in. It’s almost like “I got my goal, now what?” followed by a “Maybe this isn’t actually what I wanted but I also don’t want to be a pariah”. Small town vibes for sure.

And finally, the other part of the book that we have is Jay, who is still a whole mystery and Winnie has so many complex feelings on this alongside so much to try to discover and learn.

Overall, it is a slow pick-up to a fast-paced second half of the book where things just click. However, the werewolf mystery I knew the answer to it from the very first book. Seeing Winnie finally put the pieces together was both frustrating (like come on girl, you’ve got this) and also rewarding because she does put it together and manages to make big decisions in her own time.

If you enjoyed the first book, this is well worth the read. And if you didn’t read the first but like stories with a small town vibe, urban fantasy notes, werewolves, a bit of romance, intrigue, treason and framing, alongside some family interesting drama, that is easy to read and you’ll just won’t want to put it down, then definitely pick both books up and then join me in waiting for the next one because there’s so much* to find out still.

*One thing I did like is that there is progress here on discovering mysteries like the Whisperer, and part of the Dianas and the werewolves, so you feel progress and we discover new mysteries, rather than just feel cheated by a second book without resolving most of the threads left hanging from the first, which is also a HUGE win for me in ay sequel/series.

Book Review, Books

A Storm of Ice and Stars Review

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A Storm of Ice and Stars by Lisa Lueddecke

Ice, myth, magic and danger in this bone-chilling, page-turning, beautifully written fantasy novel set in the same world as A SHIVER OF SNOW AND SKY. Blood-red lights have appeared in the sky over the frozen island of Skane, causing a cloak of fear and suspicion to fall over the village like a blanket of snow. In a desperate attempt to keep out the plague, the village elders barricade its borders – no-one, no matter how in need of help, will be permitted to enter in case they bring infection with them. Teenager Janna refuses to turn her back on people seeking refuge and is banished to the swirling snow and lurking darkness beyond the village. Can she survive?

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This is a prequel sequel (as in it’s the second book but it technically happens before book 1). And those usually turn interesting in one way or another.

For me, this one had the same lovely prose and the same interesting Skane dynamics that where in A Shiver of Snow and Sky, but I struggled a little because as much as it was close the first one, it was too close.

There were times when it felt too much the same, too similar. Yes, the story is interesting and it is a good backstory, answers some “questions” if you’d like and makes Osa even more special in a different way. But on the other hand it is a book of leaving the village and being sp[ecial and not fitting fully in the village. And the quest to get to the end of a thing. Both did it, and it helped Skane.

Still, I love Siiva and Enja and wish the story told us more about them and Solvi, rather than just Janna spending most of the quest mulling over Solvi. I know grief is an interesting thing, but considering in Skane people die relatively frequently and easily and Janna manages to be near the ones that die, you would expect her to get over it a little bit better (or if not, to have had the rest of the villagers go “hey, you’re an adult, we all need to survive here, no free lodgers!”, specially considering the village is all for closing borders and not helping those who don’t help themselves).

Moon recommends

Somehow as mcuh as this is a prequel, it is best to read the original first, so I recommend A Shiver of Snow and Sky.