Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahan

A Creature of Moonlight is a coming-of-age story by new author Rebecca Hahn about a girl who is half dragon and half human. One of my favorite books of 2012, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, was also a coming-of-age story about a girl who is half dragon and half human, so I began A Creature of Moonlight with great expectations.

It’s good – not Seraphina good but good. It started out strong and then sort of lost its way. It picked up at the end but never fully recovered. The girl, Marni, has a sort of romance with a man we aren’t sure whether to trust, and the relationship didn’t get resolved to my satisfaction.

The magic of the forest, including the mysterious “lady” who encourages Marni to come deeper into the woods, and Marni’s dragon father don’t seem particularly original. At one point Marni leaves the flower farm she has grown up on and goes to Court, leaving the farm abandoned. Earlier in the narrative a cow and chickens were mentioned, and Marni seems not to give them a thought as she heads out. (Later she visits the farm and thinks, “I haven’t heard Dewdrop or the chickens since we came down; no doubt some villagers will have come and taken them for themselves.” That seems a pretty calloused attitude and not in keeping with her character.)

However, the author does have a lovely, lyrical voice. “And  Annel would tell us stories, Gramps and me, and he would listen quietly, scarce moving, and I would eat them up like a river eats stones, rushing, gobbling every passing word, slipping on from tale to tale to tale.”

I liked Marni’s relationship with her aunt (by marriage) and her independent spirit. I enjoyed the book, and had no trouble finishing it. A good but not outstanding debut. I look forward to future works from this author. Lovers of slow moving fantasy with rich language might enjoy A Creature of Moonlight.

I read an advanced reader copy from Netgalley. The Galesburg Public Library owns A Creature of Moonlight; it can be found in the Young Adult area.

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