Book Review: Night of the Purple Moon

Night of the Purple Moon
Night of the Purple Moon
By: Scott Cramer
Published by Train Renoir Publishing
Release Date: March 25, 2012
Genre: YA science fiction
188 pages 
Buy it on Amazon, IndieBound
 or Barnes and Noble
Source: e-copy kindly provided by author

My thoughts: 

I was excited for the opportunity to read and review this title. The premise is intriguing; as every good science fiction premise is, it's just realistic enough to make the reader consider the inciting incident possible in real life.

This review is a little more difficult to write than some, because there are so many good things in this book, yet there were also some things that didn't work for me. I struggled with the way the onset of puberty was portrayed as being somewhat uniform in age of the child and how quickly it develops. As a professional who works with adolescents every day, I know that kids develop in wildly different ways. There was also one particular character trait that was highlighted early on in the book in a way that led me to believe that it would play a major part in the story arc, and then it didn't. There were other little bits of story that were simply unrealistic; for example, one kid is making a sandwich months after perishables and electricity were long gone.

Having gotten all of the thorns pulled off the rose, please let me tell you why the story kept me reading, and had me finishing quickly. I really enjoyed the description of the setting. I've never visited New England, but I could easily visualize this beautiful little island. I loved how the children in the story came together and created a plan to help each other survive- then executed it with little complaint. I also liked how the scientific information, such as the process the CDC goes through to create a medical solution to an epidemic, was woven into the plot. One of the best parts, though, was the contrast between this little band of children and other groups that were less compassionate and organized- a perfect device for reminding the reader that, as bad as things were for our heroes, it could be a lot worse.

One last word on the rating I chose for this book: my choice was based on the description, "quite good," rather than the numerical score. Of all our ratings, I simply felt this was the best description of how I felt about my reading experience. If you are at all interested in the premise of this book, please don't let the number attached to this review stop you from giving this book a try. For readers interested in astronomy, island life, and fictional worlds where children have to fend for themselves, this might be just the read you are looking for.

Summary from GoodReads:
The epidemic strikes only those who have passed through puberty.

Abby Leigh is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple. For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon.

But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure.

On a small island off the coast of Maine, Abby must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her -- adolescence.