Book Review: A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

Title: A Creature of Moonlight
Series: Standalone
By: Rebecca Hahn
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre Type: Fantasy, Dragons
Publication Date: May 6th 2014
Pages: eARC, 224 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Reader

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.

A Creature of Moonlight by debut author Rebecca Hahn is a beautifully written tale reminiscent of a fairy tale featuring a young princess in exile who must come to terms with her magical and mysterious dragon heritage.

Evocative. Lyrical. When I think of reading A Creature of Moonlight, I picture the story slowly unfurling, like the beautiful flowers Marni grows in her garden. First, there's the roots, deep in the soil. Cool and dark-they give the readers a good a place to grasp the beginning of the story. But you need patience as Rebecca Hahn slowly unwinds her tale.  Her writing is lyrical and not to be rushed. We catch a glimpse of Marni's magical dragon heritage. We enter the enchanted forest and meet the wonder and magic that belongs to its Fae creatures that lurk there. Then, slowly pushing up through the ground. Suspense, drama, and romance. Marni travels to the castle, confronts the enemy and dares to embrace her royalty and finds romance and betrayal. Then, green, growing, and unfurling. Becoming strong. She regains her freedom. She journeys into her dragon fathers realm of magic and wonder. And, then finally blooming-vibrant. Beauty, magic, and dragons. Marnie's journey comes to end. She has experiences both her human and dragon heritage, and chooses the path she wants to embrace.

Why Readers May Enjoy It:

  • From the very first page I was drawn in the story with its fairy tale quality. The writing really is breathtaking. Perfect for readers who like to soak up the words and details.
  • A strong and likable heroine. Marni is smart, and makes her own decisions throughout the story.  Despite others trying to rule/manage her to their conformity. This in not a weak-willed heroine, but one the goes out searching her destiny.
  • Wonderful coming of age story. Marni is on the cusp of womanhood, transitioning from young girl to adult. At the beginning of the story it becomes apparent that the life she new as a young girl is ending. She must decide which path to embrace: her royal heritage as a princess and the dangers that await her at the castle or her mysterious, and quite possible dangerous father and her dragon heritage.
  • Mysterious and rich mythology behind Marni's Dragon heritage and the enchanted forest and lands that surround the Kingdom. This was really my favorite part- the magic and mystery behind Marni's parents, the missing girls who wander into the woods, and the beautiful creatures found in the woods. The ending was breathtaking.
  • Illusive mystery. Throughout the story, I was kept guessing as to which heritage/identity would Marni choose. 
  • Unique princess tale that is timeless. Although recommended for young adults, Rebecca Hahn has created an ageless tale that can be appreciated by adults, if not more so. Especially readers who appreciate subtlety and sophistication in their stories.

Why Readers May Not Enjoy It:

  • The writing is subtle and descriptive.
  • The story takes off very slowly and steadily climbs.
  • Readers may become impatient in the story since there is no big bang action or drama until nearly the end.
  • The romance was somewhat lackluster. It didn't really feel like it was needed other than to emphasize Marni's journey between girlhood and womanhood.
  • Patience on meeting the Dragons and magic. Although there is subtle magical throughout and excursions through the enchanted forest, it is not until part three near the end that Marni fully comes to realize her Dragon identity and her father's realm. 

For me, A Creature of Moonlight was a near perfect read and a exciting debut from an author I'm sure to follow. I enjoyed all its subtlety and lyrical writing, and drank it up like someone parched in the desert. This is storytelling that would be a good choice for readers enjoy looking for a new author with a unique writing style and voice. A coming of age story with a strong heroine, magic and dragons.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars. I really like it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for my fair review. Thank you HMH Books for Young Readers for the review opportunity!