CM . . .
. Volume XIV . . . . August 31, 2007
Stella and Drake Livingstone and their next-door neighbour, Sherman Glutz, have been chosen to save the world from darkness. Umbra, The Shadowmaster, has imprisoned Aura, The Source of Eternal Light, and, unless Aura is rescued, darkness will fall permanently across our world and others. Stella, Drake and Sherman learn of this from Miss Parks, their substitute teacher who turns out to be the Keeper of the Earthly Light. They must travel through the last light of a solar eclipse to the world of The Halfstone, which has been divided in half between Aura and Umbra. There, they and their allies from the Bright Side must travel through the Blacklands to find Aura and save her from Umbra and his dark creatures.
Shadow of the Moon was an excellent book. The pace of the story is quite fast and almost seems too fast at the beginning but still gives readers all the necessary information and background that they need. The setting is split relatively evenly between our world and the world of The Halfstone. This is excellent because the book rests very heavily on the central characters, and this structure gives readers a chance to get to know the characters before they end up in The Halfstone.
The central human characters are 12 and definitely acted like 12-year-olds. They do not agree on everything, especially Stella and Drake. Drake resents his twin sister because she is the smart one. Sherman has his own issues, including a lack of friends at the beginning. Stella is the initial leader of the group and did wear a bit thin in this role as she came across as the ultimate perfectionist know-it-all. However, as the story progresses, the roles within the group change according to the situation, and Stella loses this aspect of her character. All three characters develop and change as the story progresses.
Marina Cohen’s writing flows wonderfully, with great use of language. With very few words, she is able to convey the Shadowbands as dangerous, describe the creatures of Halfstone and settings and move the story along. The settings are all spectacular and well thought out and appear vividly in the story. Readers can easily picture the settings and the creatures in their own minds as the story progresses. Some of the characters, such as the Seers, are quite startling and unexpected, which adds immensely to the story. The story, itself, flows well, moving between the three human characters, as well as Umbra and Aura. The ending is not completely what one would expect and shows the strength of Marina Cohen’s writing.
Cohen has created a wonderful story, with great characters, settings and plot that older children will enjoy.
Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a student in the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at UBC, Vancouver, BC.
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