I had a lot of expectations going into A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn. Immediately after I finished the book, I was disappointed. The more I dwelled on it though, the happier I was with the story. Here’s how it breaks down:
My first impressions:
1) It was too fast-paced. A LOT happened in one paragraph. We get a ton of information that’s important to the story line in a few short words. If you’re skimming, you’ll miss it and then have to figure out who the lady in the forest without a face is because you’ll have been thinking about Marni’s lineage (that was just introduced in the last paragraph) and how that all figures in. Think The Holy Bible here. A bunch of info without much celebration. This one book could’ve been an entire series. More along the lines of “The Chronicles of Moonlight.”
2) Romance? Yes? No? Somewhere in the middle, I really wanted Marni to have a romantic relationship with her courtier, but she was stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. I’m not really sure how her future is going to play out or if there is going to be a sequel to this, but if this were real life, Marni would go on to live a lonely life just because she was too stubborn to give in. Now, don’t hate me for this. I know that he saying “No” a hundred times over was part of the “mighty-girl” plot to the book. But honestly, I got a little fed up with her. Is he after the crown? Maybe. Is he in love with her? Maybe! She’s a freakin’ princess, for crying out loud! ANYONE that wants to marry her is going to be after the crown! What she has to decide is: Will he make a good king? YES!
3) Dragons. I’ve loved dragons in stories since Eustace Scrubb turned into a dragon the very first times I read Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Then, I fell in love with dragons again in Seraphina. This dragon, I won’t spoil how he relates to our protagonist, Marni, is regal and beautiful and his world is beautiful. But because the writing was so incredibly fast-paced, even the vivid imagery in the writing didn’t keep me there as long as I would’ve liked to be. It was like driving past the Grand Canyon in a bullet train. A lot of beauty to be seen, but too fast for me to see it.
My impressions after dwelling on it for a while:
1) Rebecca Hahn has one extremely vivid imagination. I’ll be on the lookout for other things from her. I think she has a lot of beauty running around in the worlds in her head and she’s just so excited to share it with us that she crams it all onto one page. Or one book.
2) The story stood alone without the romance coming to fruition. But the romance reader in me really wanted something more.
3) I’m still wondering about this dragon. There’s more here, I know it.
Overall impression: three stars, because it really was beautiful prose and the lyrical quality of the writing really made me feel like I was flying through the clouds with the phoenix watching the world revolve. I really did like the book and the more I think about it, the more I like it. I feel like it’s a book that I’ll go back and read again and pick up on a lot that I missed the first time through. It’s an interesting exploration of fantasy and historical fiction. If you like those genres, I think you’ll enjoy this book. If you’re looking for an intense historical romance, though, this isn’t the one for you. Happy Reading up with the Joneses! Read Up to Keep Up! Visit our family of reviewers online at http://www.readingupwiththejoneses.com