Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn


Title: Creature of Moonlight
Author: Rebecca Hahn
Publication date: September 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780544109353
Length: 313 pages
Genre: YA, fantasy

Goodreads Description

A stunning debut novel about a girl who is half dragon, half human, and wholly herself.

As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile-but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.

Fans of Bitterblue and Seraphina will be captured by A Creature of Moonlight, with its richly layered storytelling and the powerful choices its strong heroine must make.

My Review

I have a few reviews pending but I finished this book today and I just have to get this frustration off my chest. This book was pitched for Seraphina fans; now if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m a massive Seraphina fan. I love the books and everything about them so I was immediately interested in Creature of Moonlight.

In her debut novel, Rebecca Hahn narrates Marni’s life as she is torn between reclaiming her throne from her power-hungry uncle, and rejoining her father, the Dragon, in the enchanted woods, his realm. The first 30% of the book was great, I teared up several times which surprised me because I rarely, if ever, get this attached to characters from the very beginning; I was heartbroken over Marni’s first and second loss, while the story just swept me away since the writing was so different from what I’m used to; it read like a stream of consciousness more than a book, alternating between tenses and styles. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this so I was really interested in seeing how it would play out.

Then Marni went off to her uncle’s court, and the book went downhill from there. At first it was just as interesting as her time before, but after a while it got tedious because all she talked about was what happened at court and how she grew complacent, it felt more like someone whining than anything else. At 50% I was so, so tempted to just give up but I didn’t have any other book with me and at the time I was in a car on a road trip back from Washington D.C, so I powered through it.

This book had potential, the writing and the world it was set in were new and very interesting, but it ultimately fell flat where plot and characters were concerned. While Marni undergoes tremendous change and grows as a person, I couldn’t connect with her after she left for the court so she was very forgettable, tbh. Edgar of Ontrei, on the other hand, is slightly disturbing as a character because he’s so pushy about his intentions for Marni, he even goes so far as to jeopardise her already precarious position in court in order to force her hand. While he started out as charming I guess, I found myself shaking my head and being disgusted by his actions fairly early into their relationship. As for the Dragon, I don’t get him, he was always distant, Marni didn’t dwell much on him and their relationship. However Gramps and Annel redeemed the whole thing a bit, and they’re the reason I teared up in the beginning. Gramps is such a strong character, always there for Marni and deeply scarred by his past, which you can see coming out in his interactions and mannerisms. I loved reading about him and I was heartbroken when he vanished from the story. When it comes to Annel, just like the book, she started out strong and then I was kind of annoyed at her for her behaviour at the end of the book. Her relationship with Marni is so beautiful and pure, it was heart wrenching to read about how Marni lost her only friend (even though I’m convinced it was more than that, they just never outright acknowledged it), but to have them simply not talk when they lived and slept in the same rooms seemed rather petty, especially given the way all the external circumstances led to their separation (I would’ve understood it better if they’d had a fight, or something along those lines).

And then there was her mother’s story. I was so angry when I read what happened to her mother because THAT WOULD’VE MADE SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK. But no. Instead I had to read about Marni trying to find herself and pissing off about 90% of people around her in the process. To be fair, though, I don’t think I’d want to read the mother’s tale as written by Rebecca Hahn because I feel like she wouldn’t do the story justice.

I wanted to like Creature of Moonlight, I really did. The premise was so full of potential, the prose was different, the characters where breathtaking at first, and yet I just couldn’t stand Marni towards the end. For people who like reading about a character discovering themselves and coming to terms with their past, which they have always avoided, this book might be interesting, but if you want a fast pace and some adventure, don’t bother picking it up.


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