Monday, October 18, 2010

Review: Harvest Moon by Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara, and Cameron Haley

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 452 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Luna; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041KLEX2

Goodreads synopsis: A Tangled Web by MERCEDES LACKEY 
Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, nothing’s ever simple—and the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake, leaving Prince Leopold without his new bride. At least until he braves the realm of the dead to get her back… 

Cast in Moonlight by MICHELLE SAGARA 
Barely a teenager, Kaylin Neya is a thief, a fugitive and an attempted assassin. She also has a smart mouth, sharp wits and mysterious markings on her skin. All of which make her perfect bait for a child prostitution sting in the city of Elantra—if she survives her first meeting with the Hawks! 

Retribution by CAMERON HALEY 
In the underworld, there are tricks to killing. Like executing rivals at crossroads so ghosts won’t follow you home. But sometimes retribution is hard to avoid—and now a supernatural hit man has a contract on Domino Riley’s life. Luckily she knows a thing or two about death…

This review is based on an ARC that I won from
 Harvest Moon is an anthology of 3 novellas centered somewhat around the theme of the Harvest Moon. The world in each of these stories comes from a previous series by each of the authors. Tangled Webs is based on Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series. Cast In Moonlight is based on Michelle Sagara's Elantra series, and Retribution is a prequel novella to Cameron Haley's Underworld Cycle.

A Tangled Web was a re-imagining of the story of Persephone and Hades. I have enjoyed so many of Mercedes Lackey's books that its a surprise to me that this story was my least favorite of the three, it fell a bit flat for me especially in comparison to the other two. I've read her other books in The Five Hundred Kingdoms series and I enjoyed how, in this novella, "The Tradition" can even force Gods to bend to its will. The Greek Gods themselves act like spoiled children which is entertaining. I think a lot of the problem for me was that there were so many things going on in such a short story that the characters, for me, fell flat. Persephone herself reminds me of a whiny and defiant teenager while Demeter acts like one of those selfish, clingy talk show mothers that doesn't want their child to ever leave home, and Hades comes off as rather weak. When you add to the mix the strong personalities of Brunnhilde and Leopold from Norse mythology, a  quest for Leopold to become immortal, and a mistaken identity kidnapping, there's a lot of plot to cover in such a short story. I would rate this one a 3

Cast in Moonlight was a compelling story set in the world of Elantra that I'm not at all familiar with having never read any of Sagara's previous work. Sagara writes this novella in a show don't tell style that had me rather lost in the first pages, not being familiar with the world, however, I was quickly caught up in 13 year old Kaylin's story. Through this novella, Kaylin Naya is captured trying to kill Lord Grammayre, finds herself reprieved from what she believed to be an automatic sentence of death, learns to face her many fears as well as embrace her magical ability and find her place among the Hawks in this unique world. I think this was a well written story and definitely got me interested in learning more about the world. There were a lot of characters introduced, but the main ones I felt were fully realized and the story itself was interesting and enjoyable
I would rate this a 4

Retribution was a hard hitting rather violent novella that introduces us to Dominica Riley, a tough as nails heroine that fits right into the Underworld of gangsters and sorcery. Actually, combining magic and gangsters was an interesting concept to me and I'm certainly left wanting to read more about this world. This short story, while violent and dark, was also an action packed page turner for me beginning with the first line "I was twelve years old the first time I killed a man" That certainly caught my attention and the story itself was a good introduction to The Underworld Cycle. This was my favorite story of the three, possibly because I enjoy the darker elements in my Urban Fantasy. Retribution is certainly appropriately named and was the main focus of the story, the desire for retribution, what you're willing to do, and the consequences. I look forward to reading more from Cameron Haley.
I would rate this one a 4

Overall, this was an entertaining read and an exciting glimpse into three amazing series by three great authors. I will definitely be continuing to read Lackeys 500 Kingdoms series as I have enjoyed all of the previous books I've read in that series. And now I have two more series of books on my to read list, I'm especially excited to read more from Haley. I'm giving Harvest Moon an overall rating of 4. 




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The Phantom Paragrapher said...

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Mad Scientist

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