THE MOON SHINES RED
Heart of Darkness
✬✬✬ 5 "UNIQUE" STARS ✬✬✬
I'm quoting the author when I say, this whole book is one huge spoiler so I'm not going to talk about the plot...a lot.
Often when I close one book and start a new one I feel a bit disoriented. Going into the first of a fantasy series can be quite overwhelming to begin with. More often than not it's an information and name dump that makes your head spin. Many authors totally ignore the fact that most readers don't remember the names and details a couple of pages later. This is NOT what's happening here. Pamela Sparkman uses names and details only where needed, you transition right into the story.
The character development is well done. Ms. Sparkman creates a multi-dimensional cast of personalities.
Let me begin with the heroine, Elin, who is a sweet and brave young woman, with a compassionate heart and lots of spunk. She doesn't trust easily but there is an instant connection she feels with the hero. Elin has a unique gift, she can see the happy memories of people which I found to be a refreshing change. In stories such as this one you often have a character who can see the horrors of people.
Lochlan, our hero, is heartachingly lonely. He has a cross to bear that is inconceivable, you wonder how he has become such a good person. His anguish is in every word. Lochlan doesn't mope though, when danger touches both of our main characters' lives he has his work cut out for him and takes charge. Lochlan is a good man who is loyal to those he loves and relentless when he needs to protect them. The farther you get into the book, the deeper the feelings for Elin become, the more you feel how desperate he is. It's a testament to this author's writing that you physically feel Lochlan's loneliness and yearning.
The side characters are so vivid that it's almost a crime to call them that. The villain of the story is fantastic. He is a conundrum of callousness, cruelty and kindness and compassion. I know it's hard to believe but trust me on that...he is an awesome bad guy. Searly is Lochlan's most trusted and beloved friend. The guy always looks on the bright side and not a lot can dim his light. He holds my heart hostage because he was pure kindness and love.
The story is written like a scavenger hunt. Hints are laid out throughout the story. You follow bread crumbs, solve a puzzle and that opens up a whole new lot of questions. Most of them - important for this story - if not all, are being neatly tied up and answered in this installment.
One thing I should mention are the POVs we have here. Every chapter from Elin's point of view is written in first person, every other character's POV is written in third person. I didn't have a problem with it at all, it didn't take away from my enjoyment. After the first two, three chapters you have adjusted (if you actually need to) and won't even notice anymore.
I'm a first time reader of Pamela Sparkman. Yes, I must have lived under a rock because this lady knows how to write. Her proficiency at spinning a gripping tale is comparable to a lot of veteran writers so she must have honed her skill. Let her take you away in The Moon Shines Red, away into a land full of magic and adventure. I promise you'll be utterly enchanted and charmed.