Review: In The Pale Moonlight by Sunny Moraine

In The Pale Moonlight by Sunny MoraineHow did I get it: The author asked if I would read and review her short novella so here goes. If you’re interested, click on the cover above to order a copy from Liquid Silver Books.

Why did I get it: I love how Sunny writes* and so I was more than willing to take a look at this. And someday when her awesome book is out, I’ll review that here too!

How I would rate it: 4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars

My Summary: I’m just using the blurb from the book:

Moonlight can show a great deal more than sun… For years, Rhys has lived alone on his isolated patch of land, far from his brothers and sisters, shunning all human company. For years, it has been enough for him to hunt alone, without a pack or mate, and for years he had been sure that it would always be that way.

But certainties can play tricks on a certain mind. One night, Rhys finds a young man, James, huddled in a ruined hut on his land. And when–against his better judgment–he agrees to offer James shelter in his own house, everything begins to change. Haunted by a past he can’t escape, Rhys finds himself far too tempted by the presence of young human flesh. James becomes far too curious about his mysterious host. And one fateful night could seal the future for both of them, the moonlight revealing too much to be denied.

My Review: I don’t think I’ve ever read short fiction by anyone else that always seemed infinitely longer than it really was. Sunny Moraine has a gift for words and is quite a storyteller. For me it is easier to get lost in the worlds she creates than to keep track of the page numbers she gives her pieces.

There was such a haunting, brooding, fairy tale mood to the piece that was really intriguing and so well done. It was very easy to care both for Rhys and for James especially since what was going to happen to James and to Rhys was always unclear. This uncertainty added a richness to their relationship and the decisions they both had to reach for themselves in regards to their place in the world as well as one another.

Do I wish it had been a bit longer? Well, of course. I tend to prefer longer pieces, but I still felt I got enough insight into the world to get the motivations of both characters. Maybe it would have been nice to have everything expanded upon in terms of James or just more on Rhys’ and James’ after they’d made a few big changes and decisions. So definitely I felt like a few pages wouldn’t have hurt, but I didn’t feel like anything major had been left out or that the length made the reading less enjoyable somehow.

Looking at the reviews on GoodReads, a lot of low ratings seem to result from this being a dark piece so definitely that’s something to keep in mind if you prefer your were-creatures de-clawed and de-fanged. I’m not sure why it garnered this piece 3 stars in a lot of cases though, but then I love darkness in fiction. I am a fan of stories were there is a real danger from supernatural creatures, especially werewolves, mage wolves, or shape-shifters.** Regardless of that though, the dark qualities to this piece were really appropriate and made the story very powerful for me as a reader.

In conclusion, if you like M/M fiction, definitely give In The Pale Moonlight a shot. It’s short, kinda hot in the middle, and really well-written throughout.

* Click here to see my review of Hieros also by Sunny Moraine.
** Personally don’t see why we all can’t just call them werewolves but to each their own.

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About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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One Response to Review: In The Pale Moonlight by Sunny Moraine

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