Title: Light of the Moon
Author: David James
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
*Before reading please be aware that a few spoilers are mentioned*
“One night long ago, a constellation disappeared and fell from the sky in the form of a boy…
Secrets are being kept in the sleepy town of Lakewood Hollow, Colorado. Nothing but pools of blood and dripping words are left where bodies once were, and no one but Calum Wade seems to be worried. Life unfolds in shades of red for Calum, until a mysterious girl named Kate Black enrolls at his school and everything changes. Suddenly a dangerous world of dream demons, elemental enchanters, and blood witches unfurls before Calum. He learns that the stars have forever held his destiny, and that the constellations above are much more than what they seem. As Kate and Calum sink deep into a paranormal war, they realize that an ancient prophecy might hold the answers they seek. But life is not so easy for Calum, and he can feel his heart beat faster whenever Kate is close. Worse, Kate’s blood holds a dark secret even more dangerous than the war between the demons and enchanters. Soon the two find that there are worse things than loving someone you shouldn’t. For Calum and Kate, even love and the fiery power of stars may not be enough to break a curse as dark as the blood that binds their destiny.”
Like all good things, I happened to come upon the work of David James purely by accident. An author I dearly love had tweeted about his new cover reveal one day. Curious, I went to his blog. And yes, the cover was brilliant; but so was the synopsis of the book. I was intrigued. David James kindly offered me the ARC of his new Young Adult novel Light of the Moon for purposes of this review.
This is a thrilling and heroic Young Adult novel, with an intriguing paranormal storyline. From the onset, fans will welcome the two young characters, Calum and Kate, as they each struggle to discover what part they play in saving the world from death and destruction. Having been raised in a broken home filled with emotional abuse, Calum struggles to be someone other than the mirrored reflection of the father that abandoned him. His mother drowns her sorrows in alcohol and drinks to forget, while Calum fights with his feelings of worthlessness. Besides his best friend Tyler, he feels utterly alone in his world, until a new girl with violet eyes arrives in his school. Calum feels a strong connection with her. But like so much in his life, she is just another unanswered question. In the back of his mind, he believes he is something more, something greater, and his nightly dreams reinforce this belief.
A binding spell keeps him from remembering. He must hurry in his struggle with self-identity because Evil has arrived, and it is here to claim Calum and all of humanity . He must be vigilant in his quest to find the key to unlocking his past secrets. Always present in the back of his mind is a voice “Become who you are Calaes.”
Opposite his character is Kate who is strong , stubborn, and fiercely independent. She has her own internal conflicts to contend with. After her parents were killed and branded traitors by the Warriors and Elder Counsel, she was taken in and raised by them. Her sisters are the only family left, and they are missing. The warriors assure her that they will help find them. She proves herself to be an excelled warrior and has been assigned as Calum’s executioner. They instill within her the belief that Calum should not be trusted and ultimately be destroyed. But Calum is not what she expected; and whenever she is around him, she is reminded of a time when life was much more innocent. Kate now finds herself doubting everything that she has been told.
I could see the way he wanted things: Family, friends, love. I could see the way he looked at me like he knew me. Like he cared.
With Calum I was beginning to not trust myself, and I hated that. Times like this I couldn’t remember who I was now, only who I was before.
There is an attraction that builds between the two. Not only could that attraction prove to be the ruin of man’s existence but also the end to a terrible curse that Calum has yet to understand.
When you fall in love, true love, you will need your mother’s protection no more. It’s said that an act of true love will break your curse, but be the curse itself. Love is your curse, and it is your salvation. It will free us, and trap you. When that happens, the Devil will find you, and be granted the power to kill you once and for all time.
I was captivated with these two characters and the world that the author had conjured. This is an absorbing tale with all the larger than life characters one would expect from paranormal fiction. It is a fast-pace read with an intricate background story, and the author does a good job of telling the information. The characters morph and grow throughout the story becoming the hero and heroine that they were meant to become. Despite all the obstacles, Calum and Kate begin to bond; and as hard as they try, love is just an emotion they cannot control.
I would have liked to have seen more development with Calum and Kate’s relationship. I wanted to see a more vulnerable side to Kate, to see Calum strip her defenses bare, and to have them engage in a few soft and tender moments. Since the pace of the book is fast (which I like), the relationship between the two almost seems rushed. With the fate of the world at risk and what loving each other would have meant, I would have liked to have seen more gut-wrenching, sob-inducing emotion between the two.
What I found refreshing was the poems within the story itself. Words crossed out within the context of the poems and the sentences within the story were something I’ve not seen too much of in a book. So it was different. Not odd different, but more of a “Oh that’s kind of cool” different. Throughout the story, as Calum fights his internal battle to be something more than what he is, he crosses out words to underscore certain phrases to emphasize the characters’ feelings. I found it quite heartbreaking at times to see Calum wrestle with his past along with his overwhelming need to detach himself from his father. He was a boy that seemed so lost and unwanted. From Calum’s scribblings:
nothing without truth someone more than this.
I am someone.
Am I even alive?
Who am I?
So in summary, I found the book to be engaging, and I believe that young readers, ages 13 and up, will be thrilled with the world this author has fabricated. I’ll certainly be looking forward to more of this author’s works.
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