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Disclaimer: The author sent me a free copy of her book in exchange for an honest review. This, however, did not influence my review in any way.
More of a 3.5.
This has got to be my nth paranormal book this year. But I'm not complaining. The Paranormal genre may be one of the most overused out there, but it is one of the most flexible, too. The possibilities are endless and if one has a good imagination, they can make a new vibrant and supernatural world of their own. Black Moon by Jessica McQuay is no exception - you can find most of them supernatural beings here!
Paige was a geeky, quiet and discreet student, running for Valedictorian. Yes, was. Her life turned upside day when one day, she started noticing new things about herself. Suddenly, white light emitted from her palms, and if that wasn't freaky enough, she found herself hearing other people's thoughts, too! Not someone to lie and hold back vital information, she confided in her mom the experiences she was undertaking, only to become even more confused. Turned out, her mom wasn't really who she was... what would that make her, then?
At first glance, a reader (especially someone who has read a lot of paranormal books) can tell that the beginning started like any other - a girl finding out she's more than what she thinks she is and embarks on an adventure to discover out more about herself. Something like this can get tiring after a while, but most of the time, characters make up for it. While Paige was quite interesting, I didn't really feel attached to her at all. I think it has something to do with the fact that there wasn't much internal narration (by my standards, anyway) going on. There were a lot of "she did this, and did that, and then did this" that it affected my experience of getting to know the heroine. Here's an example...I grabbed my jacket and my back pack, which I packed with snacks, water, and a few other things that might come in handy for the day, and I headed out the back door. I crossed my backyard and disappeared into the tree, making sure to follow the small but distinct path worn into the dirt. I walked for ten minutes until I found the place I was looking for. A place I'd been going to for years to be alone, to think, to get away.
There's nothing really wrong with this style of writing, but I personally find it a little tiring to read. Nevertheless, it's just a detail, and not something to get worked up on.
While the introduction was enjoyable (with Paige realizing her capabilities for the first time), I honestly found it a bit too fast for my taste. She learns of her powers, tells her mother, and then her mother reveals to her who and what she really was, and the succeeding acceptance of this truth comes earlier than what I expected. I felt that the whole revealing and accepting situation could have used more tension, build-up and escalation in order to create some sort of "excitement" for the reader. I was *still* in page 30 and Paige and I already knew of her background. While I didn't find it that disappointing, it felt like a rollercoaster because it was over before I knew it. Get my drift?
Because of this, I felt that the relationship between the Mother and Paige was a little superficial. Yes, the flow of the story was good, but the dialogue between the two at the beginning seemed a little stiff. Again, this may come from the fact that too much information was given right away. There were times that I felt the chain of events were too rushed... and the main character too... undecisive? I felt a bit uneasy that Paige wasn't willing to go to the other dimension at the beginning, and then after a few pages, she suddenly wants to with all her being. O_o
Aside from that, the paranormal world that the author has created seemed extremely colorful and animated. While I don't like too much details regarding what the character was doing every second, I always welcome details of world-building. The faerie world was illustrated beautifully and vibrantly. I wouldn't mind living in such an environment myself!
And to be honest, the "romance" here made me feel a bit... anxious, too... but it's just the first book, so we'll see!
Overall, this is a good story with a promising plot, but I think it should try to slow down a bit because I think it's revealing too much too fast (I always think that "less is more"... the less you give, more room for imagination, that kind of thing). There was little room for mystery, which could have been great for paranormal stories like this.