Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Boooks
Source: Won the ARC from a contest
Cover: I wasn't wild about this cover when I first saw it. I walked into a bookstore a few days ago and saw the finished version and it was shiny! It isn't like that on the ARC but the finished cover is gorgeous and something I would have picked up all on my lonesome. I love the moon being the second "o" in well, moon and the trees plays such an important part in the book it'd be hard to see a cover without them. All in all, I rather love this cover!
First Sentence: "I was covered in blood when the police found me."
The Mini-review: Low Red Moon is a great, quick read but because of its break-neck pacing, a lot of things are left behind and it goes too fast to look back.
The Blurb from the Cover Jacket:
Her parents are dead. She can't remember what happened. And now she's in love with the most dangerous creature in the forest.
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is the she saw silver-- deadly silver, moving inhumanely fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together,
Then Avery meets the new boy in school-- Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. Ben is a werewolf, but Avery trust him-- at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash an inhuman silver. And she ;earns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.
Low Red Moon kept me moving through the pages to see what would happen next. The murder mystery aspect and the werewolf aspect were incredibly well written, thought out and interesting. You'll find though that overall, I just wanted more of all of it.
I really like the aspect of mystery in this novel. It was set in the back woods of a small town where a brutal murder had taken place. Enclosed among those trees, as familiar to the heroine Avery as her own hand, lies the answers to the riddle that she can't figure out how to put together again. This aspect was written so well that I ripping through the pages to get to the ending. I won't say that I didn't guess who the murderer was. I would have liked a few more likely suspects but was overall happy with the way the story ended and the person whodunit.
Unfortunately, Avery Hood was lacking as a main character. I was really disturbed that she went to the funeral and openly admitted that when someone said the deceased girl loved the woods-- and that was all they could say about her-- that Avery acknowledged that it could have been the same for her. She just didn't feel that well rounded out. She was in art but she wasn't good at it. Her and her grandmother couldn't figure out what to do on a day off because she had no other interests other than walking through the woods that surrounded the town. Even if she had, say, loved bird watching or collecting the caps of acorns, at least it would have been something to make her feel more real. I liked her and she was pretty smart but I'd like to have known her better.
I felt that same way with Ben. The back of the novel describes him as "mysterious" but there wasn't enough time for him to be a mystery because everything happens so fast. He had the potential to be swoon-worthy (and was at times) but I wished I'd known him better before the two of them couldn't keep their hands off of each other.
This novel needed at least another 50 pages to allow me to really believe in Ben and Avery's relationship. This has been a common complaint I've read in reviews and it was the same for me. By the second time they are speaking they're all over each other. The writing there was definitely H-O-T and something the author was really good at but I'd have liked them to slow down and build something up before all that hotness descends.Seriously, this is a book I'd blush at reading in public because some of the make-out scenes where that hot and heavy.
I enjoyed the references to Red Riding through out the book. Avery Hood was a great way to throw in the name and Ben being the Big Bad Wolf whom she falls for was a nice spin on things. Also, Avery goes through the woods (or out of it) to live with her grandma and the hunter even comes into play. I really did enjoy that!
The werewolf aspect was also another highlight for me. I'd have liked to know more about it because Devlin really did put a fresh spin on the genre. Her werewolves could choose to change, weren't ruled by the moon phases and could feel others emotions which I thought was really fascinating. Again, a bit more time with this would have really enhanced my reading pleasure.
Sometimes the writing got a little spotty. It might have been changed from the ARC version but some of the sentences seemed a little rushed. I also noticed a lot of places where the same word was used a lot. For example, something was similar to: "He stared at me and I stared right back. We stared at each other like there was no one else in the world to stare at". That wasn't a real passage but there were similar things to this. There were also passages that were really confusing. For example:
"I didn't see any holes, but Renee gave me some weird-looking thing I recognized. "Dad had one of these," I said, and remembered him outside putting on the last addition, the sunroom that was still in progress. He'd stood outside to plan it, careful to go around the tree roots as he walked, and when he dug holes in the ground that I could see into, I saw that he'd left all the tree roots curled up safe and tight... "Don't hold it like that," Renee said and came over to me. She put her hands over mine and moved them around, down."I read that page three times and still did get what the "weird-looking thing" was that she recognized. There were several places like this in the novel that were just confusing. But like I'd stated before, there were others that were beautiful and I really enjoyed each word.
I'll say it again, had this book been about 100 pages longer, I think I would have had a lot less problems with it. There were so many good things here that just needed time to grow. If you're a fan of paranormal romances then go on ahead and pick up Low Red Moon. Just expect it to whip by you faster than the moon can rise.