Chameleon Moon Review – πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

Before I get into my (hugely delayed) review of Chameleon Moon by RoAnna SylverΒ I have to talk about how I found this book first.

I’m a big fan of tumblr, specifically, I enjoy wasting time on tumblr. It’s a great source of procrastination. Sometime in early 2014 or late 2013, I saw a post go around with a picture of our friend and author RoAnna Sylver literally on the floor, unable to get up because they just received word of their manuscript,Β Chameleon Moon,Β being accepted by their publisher. And I was knee-deep in revisions on my own book, and what Sylver just experienced was exactly what I wanted and probably how I would respond (except probably with plenty of screaming too). So, excitedly, I followed Sylver’s blog and waited until October 2014, when it would be published.

I didn’t just follow Sylver’s blog because they had what I wanted. I was incredibly excited by this book’s release because of how they described it: a book where there was so diverse a cast that there was not a single straight, while cissexual character, which is so prevalent in all books. (Of course, there’s nothing wrong with straight white cissexual characters in fiction. But when that’s the only flavor of character you can have, you get pretty tired of it pretty quickly.) The book doesn’t shy away from mental illness or disabilities, especially when a core point of the plot centers around a “miracle” drug that supposedly can cure anything, nor does it shy away from gender and sexual identities of the wide cast of colorful characters.

AndΒ Chameleon MoonΒ delivered.

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There are few books that I hold in high enough regard to give them a five star rating. The only othereoncoverΒ book I’ve ever done that for isΒ Name of the WindΒ by Patrick Rothfuss.Β I had a lot of trepidation going into this book, but I came out of it feeling like a kid again; like I had been a part of that story and that I could do anything. But there’s so much more toΒ EonΒ than just making me feel like a hopeful reader that can’t get to the bookstore fast enough for the sequel.

Spoilers below.

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The Lost Hero Book Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ°

I recently finished The Lost HeroΒ by Rick Riordan. I’ve always been a fan of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series and so I decided to go ahead and read the sequel series,Β The Heroes of Olympus.

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Name of the Wind Review – πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

As part of my Three Week Read, I read Name of the WindΒ by Patrick Rothfuss. With over 700 pages (I read the pocket sized paperback; the hardcover is closer to 600 pages) of fantasy and a rich world, see why I gave it five stars.

Minor spoilers below.

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Allegiant Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†

I was recently pushed to finishΒ AllegiantΒ byΒ Verionica RothΒ before I read anything else on my daunting To-Read list so I can freak out over it withΒ Jessica Tuckerman.Β So I did and I still haven’t fully recovered.

Warning: major spoilers ahead.

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Dance in the Shadow and Whisper Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

For me, there are two great things in the world: books and free stuff. And when the two come together, it’s like poor college-kid bookworm heaven.18107213

As an avid tumblr user and writing advice junkie, I follow my fair share of writing blogs and authors on tumblr (some are well known, like Neil Gaiman and John Green, others are folk in the publishing business and others still are just other aspiring authors with a knack to help others). Among the 250+ blogs I follow, are authors Sarah Godfrey and Victoria DeRubeis ofΒ Keyboard Smash Writers. Their blog is pretty nifty, but I’m here to talk about their book(s), not just their website (though you ought to check it out, it’s pretty damn great).

Back to free things! Sarah and Victoria, co-authors ofΒ The Marionettes of MythΒ series, wrote the first installmentΒ Dance In Shadow and Whisper, about a year ago and over Christmas/through the New Year, they offered a “buy one get the other free” type of deals and, having been meaning to check it out anyway, I figured it was the perfect chance, and I haven’t regretted it since.

A Basic Rundown of the PlotΒ 

Kali is a demon who lives in Pittsburgh, with her two brothers and her fathers. She’s been trained her whole life to take on any threat, but there’s one threat she’s never been trained to face: a human high school. Kali is given a mission to go to a humans only high school in the city in order to find and protect a human boy named Jason, who is thought to be more than he looks as well as a subject of an age-old legend. She and Yuuhi, a vampire sent by his own people to partner with Kali, face obstacles like gym class and murderous supernatural folk in order to keep Jason safe.

The Characters

Kali, the ever obedient, is a well oiled machine and a strong person. Literally. She’s been around for hundreds of years and it shows; she calls cell phones “cellular telephones” and doesn’t know what a drag queen is. But she’s strong and clever and witty.Β Yuuhi, the ever brooding, is tall, cold, and mysterious. He’s got more walls than China and a shoulder colder than a Russian winter. Both of them are dynamic characters; neither of them remain the same as when the story starts. Both have drastic changes in personality, mindset and character and it’s one of the most dramatic and enthralling part of the book.

In regards to the tired vampire/demon/supernatural trope, Godfrey and DeRubeis subvert just about everything you could think of. Yes, the vampires still suck blood and they shy away from sunlight, but they’re truly undead and have more powers than just sparkling and circumstantial superpowers. The demons are rough and tough and animalistic; their bodies are so much denser than anything else that they’d sink like stones immediately in any body of water. We don’t see much outside of the vampires and demons, with the occasional mention of a shape-shifter, but when it comes to the creatures we do see, it’s a fresh twist on a classic.

The Writing

It took me three months to get through this book. Of course, I was juggling the start of a new semester, three other books, and my own projects, but it still took me longer to get through it than it usually would. There were some parts that dragged and lulled, where the exposition was heavy and the plot stagnant. It’s obviously expected to be that way; not every part of a story can be high action and fast pace, there must be contrast. In certain parts, I almost felt like there were details in the wrong places and emphasis on things that didn’t make sense. Sometimes too many characters were introduced at once and wouldn’t be mentioned at all over the course of the next few chapters and wouldn’t even reappear until another few chapters after that.

But there were parts where I couldn’t put it down, even during class. There were scenes that were succinct, clear and had the right amount of magic to keep me engrossed and made me want to hiss at anyone who dared interrupt me. There were analogies and metaphors that were clever and new, and few things were stereotyped. There were scenes that were gripping and dripping with raw talent that I was almost insulted that I hadn’t paid more for the book.

As many good things do, the story started off with its feet on the ground and it was heading forward at a comfortable and fast enough pace. It sagged along the way to the middle, but itΒ picked up and didn’t stop until it had to, and I kept searching for more.

The Final Verdict

Dance in Shadow and WhisperΒ started with some pretty high expectations from me, and it didn’t disappoint. I was enthralled, and connected more and more with the characters as the story went on. Due to some setbacks in formatting (which can’t always be helped) and a few dragging spots, I giveΒ Dance in Shadow and WhisperΒ four stars out of five.

Dance in Shadow and WhisperΒ  was self-published by Sarah Godfrey and Victoria DeRubeis on June 19th, 2013.Β It is available as aΒ Kindle e-bookΒ on Amazon and as aΒ paperbackΒ from B&N. Read more about it onΒ Goodreads.