- File Size: 382 KB
- Print Length: 212 pages
- Publication Date: March 25, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007OVUPXU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy, Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 212 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 13 - 18|
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"A must read for adults and teens alike!"--AMAZON review
"An emotional tale of a family's struggle to remain together, love one another and survive."--AMAZON review
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Abby and her siblings are outsiders on Castine Island, despite their grandparents residing there most of their lives and their father growing up on the island. Recently moved from Cambridge and living in split households, Abby wants to go back home.
The world is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the purple moon – caused by a purple comet entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This has been an expected and seemingly safe thing. Even a special purple beer was made by a national beer distributor, and pizza places are delivering purple pizzas. It’s a pretty big deal. However, the following morning Abby and her brother Jordan make a chilling discovery: their father is dead. They see a delivery truck crashed into the lawn across the street, driver slumped over. The new kids next door have come over with the same news of their parents. Something in the bacteria of the comet – released into the Earth’s atmosphere forever – killed off all adults who breathed it. Quickly, the kids of Castine Island come together to make decisions about what they will do…how they will survive, and how they will teach the younger kids the necessary things so they may continue when the big kids have succumbed to the comet bacteria.
Abby Leigh – a 13 year old red-head 7th grader on the island, Jordan and Touk’s older sister
Jordan Leigh – Abby’s younger 6th grade brother; has a lot of friends on the island
Toucan Leigh – Abby and Jordan’s toddler sister
Emily Patel – a sweet Hindu girl; sister to Kevin
Kevin Patel – a kid genius, brother to Emily
Toby – the school bully; rude and crude
Chad and Glen – Toby’s croonies; they follow in Toby’s shadow
Mel – Abby’s friend back home in Cambridge
Timmy – a youngster of six or seven found by Abby on the mainland
Mandy – a hardcore, aggressive pre-teen part of a motorcycle gang on the mainland
Stars burned fiercely in the coal-black sky. The outlines of the moon’s craters were crisp. A bright dot moved slowly across the sky.
Before stepping outside, she looked at her sister and brother as if it might be for the last time. She swallowed hard and tried to drive this sad, frightening thought from her mind.
A quarter mile off shore, they had a good vie of the mansion. Laundry hung on the lines, and hundreds of rain buckets sat empty on the lawn. Cars filled the driveway and lined the road. Smoke leeched out of the mackerel smoke house. The American flag fluttered in the breeze. It looked like the circus had come to town.
Eddie crumpled to his knees and sobbed. Abby did not think it was possible for her heart to break further, but Eddie proved her wrong when he pulled back the covers and climbed beside the girl he loved.
A wave of grief washed over Abby and she felt her heart explode. The shattered pieces settled into the darkest part of her soul like snowflakes. She sank to her knees, inwardly tossed and tumbled by turbulence. She heard mournful sobbing in the distance and realized she was hearing herself.
The thought took root in her mind. She, alone, was responsible for her feelings. She had no control over the surroundings. Why should she allow the surroundings to control her feelings?
The Highs and Lows
+ Plot. The plot is something entirely different and original. How can the children of the world survive this new apocalypse? Anyone past puberty is dead* and those who are hitting puberty break out – clear signs that they will not last long.
*EXCEPT, NOT. ONLY THE ADULTS WHO BREATHE THE MURDEROUS PURPLE COMET BACTERIA.
– Puberty. I teach sixth grade (age 10-11), and I can definitely speak to the fact that almost all the students I have taught hit puberty by seventh grade (age 11-12). There are several characters grouped together who are right at puberty age (or past it), and that was used as a ticking time factor, but I found it somewhat illogical and unrealistic.
+ Toucan. Is adorable. I want one.
+ Heartfelt. As the Castine Island kids band together and work out a plan to survive, there was a budding romance between the Leighs and the Patels: Emily and Jordan, and Abby and Kevin. The way that Jordan cares for Emily throughout everything and the reverence he has for her is phenomenal in a kid so young. Emily is a lasting impression for Jordan, and Abby comes to realize just how much Kevin means to her.
+ Kevin Patel. The kid is a genius. He helps the kids of Castine Island in so many ways. He sets them up to be successful and survive these dark, uncertain times. He even teaches the younger kids at the public library!
– The Bacteria. The bacteria is like the boogie man. You can’t really see it or smell it. It can’t be identified but it is present in the atmosphere and things still have a purple haze. They do listen to the radio broadcasts from the CDC and learn about the bacteria: it affects those with elevated hormonal levels of estrogen and testosterone. The unknown feeling of a ticking time bomb leaves everything up in the air for the big kids. I was constantly wondering if (or when) one of them would hit puberty full-on. Of course, this only propelled the plot and built more suspense – and anxiety for the characters.
+ Descriptive Writing. There were wonderful descriptions sprinkled throughout the the novel. It was so sensory I felt like I was there. I had this little movie reel playing in my head as I read.
+ The Mansion. There are 26 Castine Island survivors plus two babies who decide to band together and take up residence at a mansion on the island. There is plenty of space, and this small band of (primarily) locals iron out specific jobs and duties. They take care of the island and themselves and no one is left behind or alone. They do everything they can to survive and make the island livable. I loved the different snippets of various characters at the mansion and seeing what jobs and tasks they were responsible for. These kids, from babies to pre-teens, grow up at the mansion. It is a symbol of hope and their future.
+ Abby. She is like the mother of all on the island. She has a lot of influence even though she’s not the oldest. During such a stressful time she maintained her calm and cool and took care of business for Castine Island and its survivors.
– Toby. He starts off as a total jerk, and decides to be a rebel. He and his band of croonies (Chad and Glen) do not live at the mansion and instead “live it up” scavenging the island and people’s homes. They also sneak to the mansion and take items and food, infuriating several of the mansion residents. Toby is the kind of character who makes it easy to hate him.
The Journey. Abby and Jordan journey to the mainland to save the survivors of Castine Island. Along the way they inhert two more members: little Timmy and hardcore Mandy.
There were genuine emotions – from multiple characters – that made the purple comet and all the aftereffects seem so real. This development of the characters and the plot could have been easily overlooked and kind of wiped on by as the novel progresses, but they are present and they are real. It gave the book heart.
Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip?
Buy it. Even if you don’t want to continue reading the trilogy, I highly recommend buying this one. I typically do not like to buy physical books, but this is one I do want to purchase and have on my shelf to re-read. This is just one you want to have around.
The main characters didn't really engage my sympathy and I had to stop reading from a lack of caring about half way through the book. Out of curiosity, I skipped to the last 15 pages to see how it ended, but after reading a few of those pages, I came to the conclusion I didn't really care how it ended.
The story line is about a group of kids living on a small island off the coast of Maine. The description of life on this island is realistic, although I find it hard to believe that most of the younger kids did not know each other prior to the cataclysm. Being on an island, it created a certain attitude of support in the face of crisis, rather than what was shown later when some kids went to the mainland. A similar story line was used on Star Trek (Original Series), where some scientists were trying to create a serum to lengthen lifespan. Instead everyone died once they hit puberty. Two differences: in the ST episode, the person hitting puberty first became a "grup", an insane aggressive creature, before it quickly died. Also, in the ST episode, the kids became more of a group along the lines of "Lord of the Flies", rather than the docile group they became.
The concept of the comet causing a doomsday event was interesting through its difference in cause. Normally in apocalyptic fiction, some group, laboratory, or government invented some terrible germ and it was released, either purposely or accidentally.
The description of the group as being very self-sufficient and organized strikes me as a little far-fetched, considering the age of kids we are talking about. That being said, there are kids out there that could probably do most of what this story shows.
As an early-teen novel, I think it is well-written and quite enjoyable. I saw no glaring problems in grammar, homonyms, and spelling. It is a Fairly quick read.
Overall, I give it 4 stars, on the understanding that it is written for a younger audience.
Top international reviews
Abby is a thirteen year old girl who, along with her brother and baby sister, have been forced to move to Castine Island when their father gets a job in the small, local library and Abby instantly misses her old life. She hasn't made many friends on the island and neither has her brother, Jordan. Though her brother has adapted well and loves to sail.
The world is excited about the Night of the Purple Moon, a unique event that happens when Earth's orbit takes them directly in to the back end of the comets tail and scientists predicted space dust consuming the atmosphere, though no one knew just how deadly it would be. That night, the majority of the parents and adults around the world are found mysteriously dead. Abby, her brother and sister, and many other children on Castine Island find a way to build a community and survive, though it is not without its hardships.
The beauty of this book is reading about the strengths of the children, how they come together and take on adult roles, they teach each other how to survive, they try and keep their education going and they work hard to keep their family fed. When they discover why the space dust is killing adults the children become fearful, because when they start changing, when their bodies transition from childhood to adulthood, time runs out and they succumb to the space dust germs.
Night of the Purple Moon was full of heartwarming moments, sad moments and sometimes truly brutal truths about death and the savageness of survival. It was a pleasure to read and I am sure I will be seeking out book 2 in the series. The only thing I am unhappy about is how long I have had this book on my kindle and not read it!(
Fast forward twenty four hours and it's a very different world. The space dust has brought with it a terrible virus which kills adults and older teens almost immediately.
Bereft of adults but relatively secure in their Maine island seclusion, the surviving local kids more or less form a community.
With the threat of puberty bringing death, a cure can't come quick enough for the older teenagers.
When they are forced to strikeout to the mainland their already dark existence, becomes much, much darker.
This is, quite simply, one of the best books I've read all year and is a fine example of post-apocalyptic fiction, suitable for the YA market. Perhaps a little too much for children younger than eleven or twelve.
Absolutely recommended. I'm looking forward to more from this author.
The author created likeable characters, easily identifiable, so I am looking forward to the next installment to see how the group get on.
Loved this. When I started reading I wasn't sure about it. The language felt a bit young and the rhythm jarred but it soon settled into a nice pace.
I found it shocking and exciting and brutal - and was all children which is what made me keep reading on. It had tones of Lord of the Flies and also 1984 (weirdly enough) for me, though I'm glad it didn't adopt a 1984 ending! Thoroughly enjoyed.
few were left and no one over a certain age had survived? This is an interesting and thought provoking story