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A Creature of Moonlight Hardcover – May 6, 2014


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054410935X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544109353
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Marni lives in a shack at the edge of the woods with her Gramps, where she tends flowers, as she's done for most of her life. Yet change is afoot. As she's come of age, more and more male visitors have come to sit on the porch with Gramps while Marni lingers in the shadows. Perhaps even more disturbingly, the woods have begun creeping in inch by inch into the surrounding villages—but notably not around their own hut. If there was ever a time Marni should ignore the siren call of the voices in the woods, it is now, but she continues to escape there. It was these woods, after all, that had lured her princess mother away from the castle. Her mother was not the only girl lured by the voices, but she was the only to return—carrying the illegitimate "Dragon's" daughter and ultimately ending her own life, thereby sentencing Marni and her Gramps to a life of exile. Unexpectedly, Marni is thrust into life at court, and she must fight desperately to keep her independence while unraveling the mysteries of the encroaching woods and her birth. This book's greatest strength lies in the vivid woodland scenes and the rich detail that describes the mystical pieces of Marni's tale. The plot, however, plods along a bit, and, in the end, readers might wish that a little more had lurked beneath the surface. Fantasy fans who enjoy reveling more in the vision of a fantastical land and its creatures than an intricate and fast-paced plot will find much to love here.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ

From Booklist

Marni is the sole heir to a kingdom surrounded by a dangerous wood ruled by a powerful dragon and full of fantastic creatures, alluring magic, and trees whose seductive song lures young girls to abandon village life and run away to the forest. But instead of taking her rightful place on the throne, Marni is doomed to live in exile: her father is the dragon, and her mother was murdered for her transgression. When Marni’s grandfather—her sole protector—dies, and she’s sent to the court of her uncle, the king, she gets a taste of what a purely human life would be like. She can’t resist the call of the forest though, and soon, despite diligently planning to avenge her mother’s death, she seeks out her father in the woods. Told in a languorous, breathy first-person narrative, Hahn’s debut novel follows tenacious Marni as she tries to find a home between two vastly different worlds. Patient fantasy fans will appreciate this lyrical, character-driven story about a unique girl learning to find her place in an inhospitable world. Grades 8-10. --Sarah Hunter

Customer Reviews

So well written, and a wonderful story.
Hai Ngo
Still, I didn’t feel satisfied with the end of the book, because although some questions were answered, there’s just a lot of loose ends left open.
Unity Dienes
Maybe I am too old to be reading this book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE on April 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A CREATURE OF MOONLIGHT was an exquisite fantasy filled with beautiful language and heart-wrenching choices. It is a story in three parts.

In the first part, Marni lives with her Gramps in an isolated area growing flowers. As the story unfolds we learn that Marni is the niece of the king and that her Gramps gave up his throne to take care of her. Her mother had run into the woods and come back a year later with a baby. Marni is a dragon's child. The dragon is sending his woods to try to bring her back home. The woods near her home is filled with all sorts of magical creatures. Now that Marni is growing older, she is beginning to attract the attention of the peasant boys from the nearby village and the lords from the King's castle too.

In the second part after her Gramps's death, Marni is taken to the castle where she has to deal with an uncle who hates her and courtiers who all want something from her. She has formed an alliance with the Lord of Ontrei who keeps asking her to marry him. This isn't what Marni wants though. She is just trying to find her footing in this strange environment. But when the trees keep moving closer and closer to the castle, her uncle decides that he needs to kill Marni as he killed her mother.

In the third part, Marni escapes into the woods and meets the dragon who is her father. She also finds out what happens to all the young girls who run into the woods and are never seen again. But there is something in Marni that won't let her embrace the fate of those young girls. Her future lies in the world outside the woods.

This story was so lyrically written that I was swept into the story and read it in just one day. There was so much lovely language to savor. I really liked Marni despite her bitterness and her desire for vengeance. I ached for the very hard choices she had to make.

Fans of fantasy won't want to miss this amazing story by a debut author.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miss Print VINE VOICE on April 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The villagers have been talking of the woods all summer. More than usual. Farther from the woods than usual.

It's one thing, now and then, for a stray bit of the woods to encroach. A well lost here, a path obstructed. Such things are to be expected.

This summer is different. The entirety of the woods seems to be moving in leaps and bounds, creeping closer than they have in years.

Marni knows the woods are dangerous place--a place of magic and wonder that often draws girls to it only to swallow them whole. Still, time and again, she finds herself sneaking there--away from Gramps, away from the prying eyes of the villagers who buy their flowers, away from the life that was snatched from her the day her mother was killed.

Marni has always walked a narrow path between the life the was stolen and the life she has with her Gramps. But now, with the woods moving closer and promises being made, Marni will have to decide where she will stand in A Creature of Moonlight (2014) by Rebecca Hahn.

A Creature of Moonlight is Hahn's first novel.

Hahn masterfully weaves a world here where magic is as beautiful as it is dangerous--a world populated with calculating lords and kings as well as dragons and Phoenixes. Marni is a fascinating narrator, one who views both the humans and the woods with a healthy sense of skepticism. She is a strong heroine with a strong sense of self and an even stronger desire to secure her freedom.

She also has a very strange twang to her entire narration that is more reminiscent of a novel set in the Depression Era west (or just the West) than it is to this bit of higher fantasy. Marni reckons about many things and is none too afraid to say so neither.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This had a really strong female role model. The fact that she loved and took care of her disabled grandfather, and was happy just being home and being herself was great. She went from living with her grandfather in a small house growing flowers to sell, to living in a castle, to the forest to meet her dragon father. She became a strong woman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aa-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A CREATURE OF MOONLIGHT is beautifully written from a wordsmithing point of view. However, I couldn't get into the story. It was the weirdest thing. I loved reading about Marni's experiences in the woods and with her grandfather. Couldn't care less about the whole go-to-the-castle thing. Loved her as a strong woman; meh about the struggles to 'find herself'.

I can totally understand the 5-Star reviews. And I would recommend this book based on the fact that Rebecca Hahn's writing is quite charming --and one ought to get acquainted with her-- but this story just sucked for me. It dragged. It lacked purpose. It dallied with my affections. It failed to deliver.

So, I would give it 2 Stars for how excited I feel about it. 5-Stars for the Wordsmithing. 3 Stars for the plot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Unity Dienes on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I liked the basic theme of the book, of the girl figuring out her role in the world. A girl who’s half dragon made for an interesting take on the coming-of-age story, and I enjoyed watching Marni develop an understanding of what she wants out of life. Still, I didn’t feel satisfied with the end of the book, because although some questions were answered, there’s just a lot of loose ends left open. This is clearly intended to be the first of a series, and I’m not sure I’ll take the time to read the sequel to this one.

This is beautifully written, but a little slow. It takes a while to get to anything exciting, and even the exciting parts are written in sort of a dreamy, distant style. I did not like how the narrator uses a dialect that includes poor grammar—that means the faulty grammar is not just in the dialogue, but throughout the descriptive paragraphs at all. Poor grammar annoys me, so it was a little hard to get past that. Otherwise, though, the descriptions and figurative language were fresh and interesting.

I have mixed feelings about the (non) romance and how it is portrayed. On the one hand, it was nice to see the author rejecting the easy solution to Marni’s problems, and it was a strong girl-power theme that she totally rejected the idea of marrying, either because she liked the guy or because such an alliance would be advantageous for her. On the other hand, I do love a nice romance, and it was utterly unfulfilling to see the apparently mutual attraction go nowhere. I suspect someone who really loves romances will dislike the book for seeming to play into the romantic genre while utterly slamming it down in no uncertain terms.
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More About the Author

Rebecca Hahn grew up in Iowa, attended college in Minnesota, and soon afterward moved to New York City, where she worked as an editorial assistant and wrote A Creature of Moonlight on the side. She now lives in Minneapolis, with the winter cold, the wide sky, and many whispering trees.

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