Crimson Moon by JA Saare
Review copy provided by author
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PJV's QUICKIE POV: Not often in my reading journey have I come to experience something so very different from book to book as I have come to experience with J.A. Saare's writing. I read Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between earlier in the year and I would swear that another author wrote Crimson Moon another good author, but I'm still kinda reeling from the experience of both books. I believe this makes for a fantastic author, because you really don't know what to expect. Maybe it is because I get stuck in series so often - that the author's voice is always so similar from book to book, or characters run into each other because they are so alike. I guess what I'm trying to say is if you've read Saare before, expect to experience a new side of her personality with Crimson Moon, - the evil twin wrote Dead, and the innocent twin wrote Crimson Moon.
REVIEW: Emma was all alone in the world, orphaned, abandoned and raised by her grandmother, whom she has recently had to put in a home because she doesn't even know who Emma is anymore her Alzheimer's is so bad. In this state of mind, Emma is going through her life in sort of a holding pattern, unsure of her next move - when out of blue, zombie/monster type creatures attack her and she is literally swept off her feet by her "wolf in shining armor" Caleb.
There is almost instant attraction once Emma settles down from her near miss and the newly acquired knowledge that her father is a very powerful vampire and the reason she is being attacked is because of some power play within the vampire world. During the adventure that plays out within the pages of Crimson Moon, Emma and Caleb form a bond and begin the descent into the territory of love. But, they might not get their happily ever after. As more and more of the vampire and werewolf world are revealed to Emma she starts to realize that you really can't live in both worlds - and the world she wants to live in might not be an option, no matter how badly she wants it.
Saare introduces the familiar world of the werewolf and vampire in a very unfamiliar way. A very unique take on all things furred and fanged I really felt like something like this could exist, which is always interesting! There was a lot of witty one liners and entertaining character inner dialogue which kept the tone lighter, but didn't detract from the overall dark tone of the novel. On top of it, this book also had a rather charmingly innocent main character. This is usually a huge turn off for me - I'm not a fan of naive, innocent or virgins --- bah - but while Emma was innocent she wasn't that pudding type of character that you find a lot in romance novels. She had a backbone and intelligence and the depth of the character showed through, making her more real than other romance heroines that I have read. In the PNR genre especially I find that authors tend to fluctuate between two very different characters - the snarky ass kicker, or the wilting virgin violet. While Emma could be shuffled into that virgin category, I wouldn't describe her as a wilting violet.
I was rather impressed with this book, if you can't tell, and I recommend it to PNR fans for a more lighter read than the usual black leather and throbbing --- umm pectoral PNR novels. This one does have some hot scenes, but the main focus is really just love and the trials and tribulations that surround falling in love. It was almost reminiscent of a paranormal YA novel. Sticky sweet, with a light watermelon flavor.
There are very few books that I find perfect and this one while very good, I did have a few issues with, but nothing major. There were a few scenes that I thought didn't move the plot along and thus dragged and I skimmed. This seemed to happen a few times and while it advanced the Emma/Caleb interaction I found it was unnecessary. Nothing major though, a great read and I'm looking forward to the second installment.
RECOMMENDATIONS: This is like the perfect book for people to transition into PNR with. Have you just been reading teen paranormal stories, ready to move up from Twilight to the big girls? Give Crimson Moon a try...you just might like it.
3/4 BWB Rating