When I saw “Blood on the Moon” by S.M. De Silva, I thought, “Oooh, a vampire story. This looks interesting” for the last local vampire book I read was pretty fun. (You can read preview chapters of Blood on the Moon on their website, by the way.) Plus, I like to support genre fiction especially local ones here since there isn’t too many!
And then I read it and huh.
Before I start this review, I want to make sure that all of you know that this is entirely my opinion and that seriously, it is just mine and I might not be the target audience for this book.
Heck, I’m not exactly sure who the target audience for this book is for either.
But all of you get it? This is just mine and by now, you lot might know what sort of stories I like so consider this as a disclaimer of sorts. For even if you read my review and then read the book, you might think, “What the heck is Sarah talking about? This is gorgeous!”. So take this review with a pinch or a truckload of salt enough to give you high blood pressure.
And so I begin.
When I started reading this book, I smacked my face with it and took a deep breath before going onwards with it because I was saying to myself, “No, this can’t be true… Can it?”.
Let me ease you in. After going through it all, I actually see it being a rather promising story just that it needed a LOT more editing.
The weird thing about this is that the beginning half of the book seemed like an info dump mess while the second part got itself together as the writer managed to shake off whatever spell she was under and turned it into a pretty engaging read.
You just had to get past it all to page 102 when it all turns much better. In fact, as you read from page 1 till that point, it was as if the writer was trying to push through the plot and at some points giving up and just… You know, wrote it in a mish mash before finding herself back on track in the second half of it.
Let’s start with the summary of the book.
Alegria’s sister is kidnapped by vampires. Alegria’s off to save her but oh noes! She can’t and needs the help of the vampire Prince of the city. However, a war is brewing and someone’s trying to kidnap/kill her too. The Prince is pretty nice and thus, takes her in. Bla bla, stuff happens. Angst. Angst. Hot sexy times. Actually, hot non-happening sexy times because there’s actually none in it, just close to it. Gore and revelations of what happened to her sister/ the war/ more non-happening sexy times. Awesome fight scenes and duh duh duh ending.
It should be a “typical” young adult book but eh, I was confused on the target audience because of the wavering plot style between the first half and second half of the book. It should be for young adults though. There’s much (non-happening) sexy times in this including really descriptive gory scenes.
As I read on with this book, it’s actually a mix of True Blood/Twilight/Anita Blake/Patrica Brigg’s series and a few more vampire/supernatural books I’ve read. Sure, the concept’s not new about being a human meeting vampires and whatnot but when I mean a mix, it really is a mix.
For one thing, Alegria is a Mary Sue.
It is unfortunate but I call her as she is.
Alegria has a PhD in supernatural anthropology, the first and youngest graduate to have it and there’s only 3 others who have it but she’s the only one who’s being a consultant instead of being in academics. To add to that, she’s clairsentient â€“ being able to see memories or thoughts of a person, telekinetic and were-tiger too much for me to list.
The other main character is Joao, a vampire prince. He’s actually pretty good since he doesn’t get the Gary Stu treatment but one of his descriptions is that he has gold-streaked chestnut hair. Unfortunately when I described that to my friends, 8.5/9 people said it made him sound like an Ah Beng. (The .5 was that it was trying not to say he was an Ah Beng in a semi tactful manner but conceded so.) So, Singaporean readers might have an unfortunate pause when they read his description even if he’s pretty hot.
Blood on the Moon has the Steph Meyer curse. In which the main characters are described in too much detail with high stat points to the point of God-moding in which you’d understand what I mean if you were a gamer. The side characters are however pretty good because they aren’t super perfect like woah. I enjoyed the side characters much more especially Rhiann (which you’ll learn more later). Also, since I said this has the Steph Meyer curse, you can tell Alegria and Joao are going to get it on!
Or not though because it is the Steph Meyer thing so thus, they’re going to hotly not have sexings.
Nonetheless, the first obstacle is getting through the book.
It is difficult to get through the book not just because of the plotline. The typesetting is pretty bad and might discourage readers from trying it out. I was wondering why did all the text need to be squeezed in such a manner as if they were trying to save paper or something. They actually could have the same number of pages if the book was edited with the unnecessary frills cut out and actually have better kerning/spacing/etc.
The second bit that made reading this tough were the footnotes.
This book has footnotes.
S.M. De Silva is no Terry Pratchett and when she put said footnotes in the book, they weren’t terribly useful. I can see why she wanted to put them though, it was meant to be witty on Alegria’s point of view but sorry. It failed for me.
It felt like I was trudging through hundreds of pages when I merely read fifty pages or so. Those who know me would know I can read books through hundreds of pages like fwoosh. As I went stubbornly reading onwards trying to find something positive, I said to myself, “Whyyyy? Whyyyyyyy? This would be so good if she just rewrote this scene! WHYYYYyyy?”.
And of course, I did find something positive about this. Just a hundred pages later. I’m not sure if other readers are going to be as stubborn as me to find the gem of the story which is sad because once the writer got into it, she REALLY got into it! I can’t help but think part 1 and part 2 of the book because the difference is alarmingly obvious. Things start to fall into place here!
Part 2 has Alegria training under Rhiann (a very fiesty vampire!) to protect herself as all of them try to figure out who’s kidnapping her sister and also knowing more about the were-panthers that are in the vampire prince’s employ. When she gets to know these guys, it’s pretty cool because said characters are written in more believable ways.
On a random note, to whoever reads the book (or if you’re the writer reading this review…) leather catsuits squeak by the way. It looks awesome but in real life, it just is icky disgusting to wear them when fighting due to perspiration and whatnot. I had a feeling that particular scene was just wanting to dress Alegria up in a catsuit for fun though since heh, fiction has unlimited wardrobe budget.
Plotwise, Alegria does one of the stupidest things ever but redeems herself in the ending. There are a few cut scenes to what happens somewhere else that makes me think of a B-grade movie or soap opera by the suddenness of it. The ending did get me going, “WAIT, WHAT? HEY, when is book two out?” and “OMG, I hope she gets an editor or a better layout designer”.
The plot when you get into it is pretty engaging but unnngh. I can see so many points that can be re-editted to make this awesomer. It felt like a tease because the story only got really good when it was near the end. I hope book two whenever it gets out will be done much better as how the “part 2” of this book was promising to be.
If anyone knows the writer, please tell her that if she needs an editor, I would know not just one but a few. Heck, even I could help edit it. And that a fiction editor is different from a magazine/article/non-fiction editor. This is important because she needs a proper fiction one.
Or that if she needs a page layout designer, I’m available too (my contact’s on the about me page). If not me, I still know others who’d have the actual skill of doing so. This isn’t a self promo post but seriously, if help is needed, I know people because it would be TRAGEDY if the next book repeats the same mistakes. It’s a good plot but it needs fixing up! Please let book 2 be something easier to read on the eyes and have less frills.
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