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{March 30, 2014}   {Review} Blue Moon by Pat Spence (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)

Blue MoonFrom Goodreads: “Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy…

“For all ‘Twilight’ fans who want a change from vampires, this is the book for you.”
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This is an interesting look at the fountain of youth myth that has followed mankind since its conception. No one wants to grow old and die, and the idea of an element that can stop death in its tracks is indeed a great one. Imagine if there were a crystal that, through bathing in its light could restore your youth to you for all eternity? Now, imagine shadow creatures who are forever searching for this crystal, wishing to become human, who will stop at nothing to obtain it? Intriguing, right? It is, and I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel, though I would have loved more of the story to be devoted to these two elements. As the novel stands, we are given glimpses of these entities, but their presence is more or less felt but not seen. Hence, I am hoping that more comes of them in the second novel in the series.

While I liked this novel overall, I will admit that there are a vast number of similarities between it and Twilight/New Moon, which I have to say lessoned a bit of the fun of this novel because the story itself was not necessarily unique in this aspect. The instant attraction between Emily and Theo, the underlying secret kept, Emily’s curiosity and sleuthing, the near fatal accident that puts it all in perspective for her, and the appearance of the three Guardians and their ultimatum are just a few of the many similarities that brought Meyer’s novels to the mind. In turn, this made it hard for me to really focus on Blue Moon because my mind continued to assess similarities while I read.

I’ve read many books that are similar to others in this respect, but depending on the storyline and the differences, it’s either easily overlooked on my part, or impossible to ignore. I’m sorry to say that in this instance, I had a hard time ignoring the similarities and focusing on the originality, but do note that originality is indeed there. Spence adds in elements of horror, though not horror in the way that I usually think of it—there is no blood and guts strewn about—but there is a darkness that follows the story, giving it small elements of horror in a more suspenseful manner, such as the shadow creatures.

I really enjoyed the introduction of the shadow creatures, the shape shifters, and the crystal itself, and I would have loved the novel to give a more intensive look at all these aspects instead of focusing so much on Emily, who is indeed a very aggravating character. But even so, Spence has created the perfect workings for her next novel should she choose to pursue the shadow creature angle.

In regard to Emily, well, she is not my favorite, which is unfortunate, but understandable. Emily and I are two completely different people, and whereas she acts and defies those around her, I tend to listen to reason and observe from the sidelines. Her intense desire to know everything that is happening around her puts her into situations that I found to have been avoidable had she thought more clearly before acting, but even so, she is not me. And though I do not agree with many of her choices throughout the novel, she is still a very real representation of rash, curious people, and although I personally didn’t like her, Spence did a great job making her a valid character.

Theo is perhaps my favorite of the novel. Intent on keeping Emily safe, though cryptic in his explanations, he has a good heart and will do anything for her and his family in order to keep them all safe. He, like Emily, is driven by passion more than reason, and yet it works for him… perhaps I dislike Emily so much because I am jealous?

The novel is told in first person from Emily’s viewpoint, but occasionally switches to third person in a few chapters as outside elements unfold—those Emily is not privy to. It was a bit jarring at first, but as the novel progressed, I found that it worked well and that I thoroughly enjoyed this style. First person narration is in fact my favorite narration, but in order to get all the information concerning events unfolding, third person was needed, and I think that was a great choice on Spence’s part.

Overall, this is a good story that looks at the depths people are willing to go to procure beauty. Three stars.

3 stars
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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