Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Huntress Moon: book review



In addition to thanking you for stopping by, wish I could offer you a cup of java and some home made gluten free oatmeal-raisin cookies. Wonder if it'll ever come to that, when I can beam you over to my place and we can have a lovely real-time visit. Of course, that means I'd have to change out of my jammies... brush my hair... clean a path to the dining room table. Ah, scratch the beaming over idea.



Anyhoo, (sounds like a cross between a Canuck and an owl, eh) thought I'd do something different today. (Ha, like that's unusual)  I don't write a lot of book reviews, because, well I'm terrible at them. Every once in awhile, though, I read a terrific book and think "Wow, I have to share this!"

I have my favourite writers: Keith Pyeatt, I'd write a review of one of his psychological horrors any day. Christopher Hoare's regency romance novels and S/F are excellent. Vicki  Lee Smith's historical epic novels; except, I have to wait for her publish something first. I'm working on her. Meg Webster's S/F Fantasy. Jan Holloway's suspense, Martha Engber, literary, Judy Avila...
.

If you've followed my blog long enough, you know I'm a huge fan of award-winning dark suspense author, screenwriter, and workshop teacher Alexandra Sokoloff. I've been following her blog for a few years, (she shares her screenwriting tricks for authors) and last year I took her Three-Act Structure online course, which was absolutely fabulous. (Can't you tell I'm Canadian? What other nationality uses so many "awesome, terrific, absolutely and my all-time favourite: kewl! Also, the not to be forgotten: EH)

Told you I get long-winded, or as my dear old dad used to say, "Josephina, the laughing hyena" with verbal diarrhea.

With no further ado: HUNTRESS MOON. 


Here's what the online synopsis says:

FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization when he witnesses his undercover agent killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can't believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at the scene of a years-long string of "accidents" and murders, and who may well be that most rare of all killers: a female serial.

Roarke's hunt for her takes him across three states... while in a small coastal town a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach, and strike up an unlikely friendship without knowing how deadly she may be.

As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.


Now for the part where I try to explain why I loved this book so much. Since the synopsis does such a good job of describing the plot, I thought I'd skip that part and explain three reasons why I enjoyed HUNTRESS MOON so much.

One -- great writing.
Two -- appealing characters.
Three -- believable and riveting storyline.

HUNTRESS MOON is a lesson in voice, in creating characters that immediately tug at your heart and leave you with a suddenly and inexplicable urge to know everything about them. Roarke is definitely kewl and endearing, but the antagonist, Alex's female serial killer is a haunting portrayal of a woman coping with the most horrendous history any person could possibly deal with. Not many of us would have survived. 

Alex doesn't focus on the horrendous though, but instead shows through story the long-term effects of violence against women and children, a subject that she feels very strongly about and uses as the theme to many of her books. Her antagonist is broken, yes, but she's also intelligent, focused, clever, determined, and an equal to any man. In fact, she's the victor because every bad man she comes up against underestimates her. Think: Nikita, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Point of No Return, and the new series ARROW.

As a reader I was enthralled by the complexities of Alex's characters. As a writer, I loved her descriptions, her character's monologues, the setting, and the way she used set pieces to enhance my experience as a reader. I read the book through once, then read it again to study her techniques.

If your genre is suspense, you're going to love this book. Even if you don't read suspense thrillers, but you're excited about improving your skills as a storyteller, I can't recommend HUNTRESS MOON enough.

Alexandra Sokoloff majored in theater. She excels in her ability to create characters and story in a way that is so gratifying and even amazing because of the simplicity and beauty of her style. I, for one, love it when I can lose myself in a good story that is both credible and extraordinary.

I just learned recently that Alex is working on the sequel to HUNTRESS MOON titled BLUE MOON, and my first thought was: YAY!!!



In case my sense of humour was a bit too profound and you really do believe the above dining room is mine, here's my real workstation:

 
Okay, it's not always this tidy, but check out the view!

30 comments:

  1. Suspense thriller is definitely my thing. And Huntress Moon sounds great.
    That view is "to die for"... definitely conducive to churning out endless pages of writing!!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. Yes, I am a lucky duck, for sure.

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  2. Ahhh that writing view is so peaceful. By the way, why in the world would you have to get out of your jammies for visiting writers?! We'd be in ours too (and my hair in a messy little top knot that no human being should ever be exposed to).

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    1. Of course you're right! What was I thinking. It's back to beam me up, Scotty. I have whip creme for our hot chocolate too!

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  3. Huntress Moon sounds wonderful, Joylene. Thanks for the tip. And imagine how thrilled I am to read my name in this post as a favorite writer. You know that feeling is mutual. Not to go all Annie Wilkes on you, but I may just be your biggest fan.

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    1. Haha, haven't heard her name in a few days. Did Kathy Bates do a remarkable job or what. Keith, you're the best. Hugs to the family.

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  4. Who says you're "terrible" at book reviews? This one sold me; I'm buying HUNTRESS MOON stat! And you didn't fool me for one minute with that first room, either. ;)

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    1. LOL Honestly, Carol, I've been telling people I could never pull the wool over your eyes. See! You're going to like Huntress Moon. I was completely captivated!

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  5. Excellent review. I have it sitting in my 'to be read' section. Will move it up on the list. Thanks!

    Love the view. I'd like to spend an hour just sipping hot chocolate and enjoying that. I'd be very quiet -- you wouldn't even know I'm there.

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    1. Haha, I'm mean, Yolanda. I'd put you to work proofreading. Thanks for stopping by, eh.

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  6. Hey Joylene,

    How's it goin', eh? This posting really takes the biscuit. "Huntress Moon" certainly gets my interest thanks to your articulate review. And I guess we should be over the moon in regards to "Blue Moon". I did a blue moon, once. Yep, stuck my butt out a bus window or a really cold night, eh. Made an ice of myself.

    What a view! The one out the window aint too bad, either. The workstation, the place that your words of wonder delight your starstruck fans. Take care, eh.

    Gary

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  7. Would love to have a real visit with you! :) That would be great fun. Thanks for the review, I appreciate your insight.

    Have a great weekend,
    Karen

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  8. Beautiful view! Great review, and I would love some gluten free cookies (except I can't have corn, rice or soy either so I make some odd gluten free stuff).

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    1. Homemade bread fresh from the oven? With globs of melting butter. Sound good? Thanks for visiting, Tyrean.

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  9. Huntress Moon sounds an interesting and intriguing story, thanks for posting about it!

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  10. Big fan of dark suspense. Wow...those cookies got my mouth watering. But your view is breathtaking! Just gorgeous. Inspiration must be easy to conjure.

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  11. This is an excellent review. I enjoyed this very much, thank you!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  12. Huntress Moon sounds like my cup of java! Great review, Joylene. I'm hooked!

    And speaking of coffee, I hope we meet one day in a lovely coffeehouse so I can thank you for your beautiful words. I was hit hard. You knew this and said the right things at the right time. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

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  13. Hey, awesome review! I love hearing how other writers analyze the books. I agree, it really is a great way to writers to learn and improve.

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  14. Charged my Kindle during the night. Just purchased Huntress Moon. Know it's going to be a delicious read!

    BTW, your work station is gorgeous. Love that view. Hmm, if a fluke storm unearthed a child's toy . . . .

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  15. Hi Joylene .. I love your workspace view ... you'll miss, but I'm sure find similar ..

    Yes - this is the 2nd one that popped up .. the first was the November Miss You blogfest?!

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. That's a bit strange. Thanks for stopping by, Hilary. Have a lovely Sunday.

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