Reviewed: January 25th, 2023
Released: November 12th, 2019
Genre: Dark Portal Fantasy
Heather Harrison is dead.
Her body lies at the bottom of the lake named after their little town. Undiscovered. Undisturbed. And all of Cedar Crest has moved on.
All but Melissa Moonwater.
Eleven months after the accident that claimed her best friend’s life, fifteen-year-old Melissa is still searching for answers—clinging to the belief that maybe, just maybe, Heather may still be alive. But since Heather’s death, the small Oklahoma town—once untouched by even the slightest act of evil—has been haunted by the disappearances of young girls with the passing of every full moon.
Melissa is convinced Heather was the first.
But can she prove it?
Helen’s thoughts: 4/5
This dark portal fantasy creeps up on you. Coles slowly builds the tension until you find yourself on edge, and you have to keep reading because you want to know what happens next. I think the way Coles slowly drip feeds you the facts, and the uncertainty and fear of the characters dealing with a situation that has no explanation or answers is so clever.
Against a backdrop of the normal life of high school, baskeball games, coming of age, new love, there is a horror looming over them all which is all the more terrifying as no one knows what it is, and the way Coles deals with the disappearances and the reactions of those left behind is excellent.
Beautifully written, haunting and dark, Moonshadow leads you down a path you weren’t expecting and into a mystical world which is exquisitely described, and hides deadly secrets. And then it got really confusing. A lot happens very quickly. It’s difficult to tell who is thinking what and Melissa makes decisions based on very little facts. The ending felt rushed and people are left hanging all over the place.
I was going to give this five stars, but what began as a tense mystery disintegrated a bit for me at the end, and the mystical world blew through the plot and left me wondering what I had just read.
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