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Moonstruck is a direct and immediate sequel to the novel Moonstruck – to the point where I can't imagine this story working at all in a stand alone capacity. That said, go and read/listen to High Moor, because it's pretty awesome.
When I say direct, Moonstruck begins mere hours after the closing dramatic events of High Moor, and wastes no time at all in moving the story forward. High Moor was a deeply assured and well plotted action horror thriller, and Moonstruck takes that ball and runs with it. At the emotional core of this book are a love story and a revenge narrative, which put two not unsympathetic groups onto a brutal collision course.
The plotting was a high point of the previous story, and for my money it's even tighter here – the narrative is dense but lethally easy to follow, and there is a real pleasure and tension in feeling the various characters and factions driving towards each other. Knowing just what the werewolves are capable of actually increases the pressure in this regard, and as with High Moor, Reynolds does a superlative job of building a scene to a dramatic climax, then cutting away to another character or group. It's confident, assured storytelling, and that confidence is well earned.
This novel also contains some truly spectacular action horror sequences. There's an attempted hijacking of a moving police van which is just an exemplar of how to create a cinematic action scene in prose – not a word overused or out of place, tension building to a brilliantly realised explosion of violence and chaos. Similarly, the violence of the werewolves against humans is unflinchingly portrayed. Another element I found as a step up from this work to the previous one was the occasional overuse of certain phrases, during the fights and the werewolf transformation scenes, seems to have been addressed, leaving the eye (or in this case, the ear) nothing to snag over as the relentless horror unfolds.
Any downsides? Not really. I missed the kids from the last book, but their story had been told. I guess the only other thing is that, as with the last story, this one ends on a brutal cliffhanger, that will leaving you howling for part three.
Chris Barnes does another bang up job as narrator – in fact, if anything, this is a more assured performance than the last audiobook in this series. Whilst Chris still seems to struggle a little with the American accents, he's clearly working hard at it, with a noted improvement over the last instalment. As to the rest, there's a feeling that Barnes has really gotten into the character work here, finding the essence of each person and bringing to each a vocal performance that is distinct, without ever overpowering the reading. Again, there is sparing but appropriate use of sound effects on voices when characters use phones or radios to talk, which adds a layer of verisimilitude to the reading. Like the writing, this is assured, skilful narration from a performer clearly dedicated to his craft. Superb stuff.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
High Moor 3: Blood Moon picks up right where Moonstruck left off. Daniel moves in with John and Marie, and together, they have to rescue their pack alpha and Marie’s brother Michael from a military hospital.
Thanks to the actions of the now-deceased Connie Hamilton, all of Europe knows of the werewolves’ existence and in order to survive, a battle ensues between werewolf and human. Ports are closed and airports have special anti-werewolf security devices installed. There is no escaping Europe for the werewolves and whether the beasts are to be studied, killed or captured, all are at risk.
As Michael is held captive by the military, Lukas and Krysztof begin their ploy to help Krysztof take over as pack alpha. After he becomes the alpha of the pack, Daniel is given a mission. When he finds Marie, Michael and John, his orders are to kill them.
Things begin to unravel for our werewolf friends as Daniel, along with other werewolves, plan a brutal attack on the town of High Moor and Michael and Marie try to stop the pack from tearing itself apart.
I won’t go into any more plot points, because I truly feel you need to experience this for yourself. It’s that good. Reynolds does a tremendous job of putting us right into the action in the final installment of the High Moor trilogy, and this book has everything that made the first two great: gore, violence, lovable (and not-so-lovable) characters, hyphens, plenty of “f-bombs, “and more than enough action throughout. If you’ve grown to love these characters half as much as I do, go into this book knowing that no one is safe.
I was a little concerned about this High Moor audiobook. It was a long time between the release of High Moor 2: Moonstruck and this third and final book in the series, Blood Moon, and I was afraid the narrator, Chris Barnes, after recording several other books in the interim, would have a hard time getting back into the heads of these characters after such a long hiatus. My worry was completely unfounded.
There are a lot of characters in High Moor 3. Some are British, some are German, and some are from other countries. Barnes nails each accent of each character perfectly. Michael, John and Marie sound just as I remembered them, and even Daniel, Lukas and Krysztof are perfect. The listener is never left wondering which character is speaking at any given time. Barnes brilliantly adjusts the volume and pacing of his narrative to match the scenes in the book and you feel everything the characters feel.
The end of the book was sad when I read it. I cried and I’m not one who cries easily. When I heard the raw emotion emanating from Chris Barnes as he read the end, well, let’s just say he upped the emotion factor 10-fold.
Werewolf fans and fans of brutal, gritty horror need to listen to this book. It will be the best 10 hours you've spent in a very long time.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Fantastic, Brilliant, Epic, Amazing, and any other word I think think of to describe this book!!!
I re-listened to book 1 and 2 before diving into this and I'm so gad I did. It brought a lot of the details fresh into my mind. Anyway, this starts straight after book 2 ends. Everyone now knows that werewolves are real, thanks to Connie, and the government are intent on wiping them out. Drastic measures are taking place and any werewolf found is thrown into a camp. Of course, the wolves don't take this lightly so war is inevitable.
It's hard to say too much about the plot in case of spoilers, but I will say that it's as deliciously dark as ever. As I said in previous reviews, this isn't a shifter book, this is a down and dirty and gory read. The wolves are brutal and tear people apart. This edition is as action packed and tense as ever. The author also adds in a pretty intense and sad event that tore my heart out. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through.
The characters, as always, were well written and developed and it's phenomena that the author can make you care so much for so many characters.. All our favourites are back and in trouble, as always ;) We even get some interesting new ones.
I started listening to this and couldn't take out my ear phones. The pace of the book is incredibly quick but so engrossing. There is so much happening in this book that I know I will relisten to it soon, just to savour it all again. The series as a whole is incredible and this author is one to watch. A satisfying conclusion to the series, though I do hope we haven't seen the last of these characters.
Once again, Chris Barnes performance was flawless. He has such an amazing range of vocals and accents, which he portrays in this perfectly. He was able to inject the right amount of emotion at the right time,to make this story come alive. An excellent performance for a brilliant book!
*I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affects my thoughts.*
3 of 3 people found this review helpful