Thursday, 5 May 2011

Reviewed by Jen: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin.

Product details:
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.
Release date: February 7th 2011.
Paperback, 256 pages.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Reviewed by: Jen from X-treme Readers

The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

When I chose Ivy Devlin’s Low Red Moon as the first book I would read for my guest review I had no clue that Devlin was actually the pseudonym of best selling YA author Elizabeth Scott.  One of the things I have always loved about Scott’s writing is that she is not afraid to break new ground by exploring various genres.  Her novels cover a vast array of topics from love to sexual abuse to suicide bombers and now she has delved into the realm of paranormal romance.  What interested me in Low Red Moon is that it is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and a murder mystery all rolled into one.  I enjoyed the book, but ultimately there were a few minor glitches that prevented me from loving it.  I think this is a bold start to new series that will leave paranormal fans begging for more, yet lacks some of the depth that Scott portrays in other works. 

Seventeen -year old Avery Hood has just witnessed the murder of her parents.  The scene is devastatingly bloody and Avery’s mind has blocked out the important details needed to solve the crime.  All she remembers is a slash of silver that destroyed the only people in the world she loved.  Now an orphan, Avery is forced to move in with Renee, a grandmother she barely knows.  Unable to handle the awkward silence at Renee’s house, Avery decides to return to school where she meets Ben, a mysterious (and hot) new transfer student.  Ben’s reaction to Avery is less than friendly and she assumes that his frosty demeanor is due to the rumors circulating the school about the murders.   After a few chance encounters in the woods Avery learns that Ben is keeping a dangerous secret.  Although she is drawn to him, she also fears that he may be the missing link to her hidden memories about the night her parents were killed. 

One of the story lines I struggled with was Avery’s constant longing for her parents.  I felt that at times her emotions became redundant. The main reason for this is that Avery’s parents are never presented as dimensional characters apart from their daughter’s memories.  They are dead at the beginning of the book and there are no flashbacks to show the reader who these people really were.  I would have liked a glimpse into Avery’s life before the tragedy in order to fully comprehend her loss.  Another aspect of the book that I felt could have been played out more was the romance with Ben.  It happened too fast. There was not enough build-up leading to their first intimate encounter, which I think would have justified why Avery fell so hard for him. 

The setting of the story is what intrigued me the most.  It takes place in a small, quaint town that is in the middle of an enormous forest.  Until the deaths of her parents, Avery has lived a somewhat isolated life deep in the woods that surround the town.  There are legends that suggest that the wolves, which can be heard howling through the night, are not all entirely wolf.  These legends become entwined with the mystery surrounding the murder of Avery’s parents and definitely add a healthy dose of creepiness to the story.  I thought I had the murder mystery figured out relatively early until the end threw out a twist I never saw coming.  Suddenly, the entire story was turned upside down!

Although I did feel there were a few minor flaws with the story I do not think they are anything that will prevent die-hard paranormal romance fans from loving this new series.  As the first book Low Red Moon has a lot to accomplish in setting the stage for the books that follow.  Now with that task complete, and the problem of who killed Avery’s parents solved, reader’s can definitely expect an enduring love story that breaks the barrier of human possibilities. 


  1. Excellent review :) I enjoyed this even though paranormal stories aren't normally something I read. I especially agree about the insta-romance with Ben though!

  2. Awesome review! The strange thing is that I have the book sitting on my shelf since months and I had no idea that it is the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood or that Ivy Devlin is Elizabeth Scott!
    I am kind of tired of the mysterious and hot male protagonist - it's the same in every YA PNR :(
    Thanks for the review!

  3. I actually bought this one a while back, but read a few really bad reviews and have not bothered reading it. I did not know that Scott wrote this,which makes me think maybe I really ought to give it a try. Thanks for the review and making me rethink reading this one.

  4. Great review, Jen!

    To me, Ben sounds a little samey too - These YA authors need to mix it up a little with their hot male protags these days. A lot of them just seem to be a slightly lesser version of Edward Cullen! :D

  5. I had no idea that Elizabeth Scott wrote this. Where have I been? I adore her writing style, but I've read so many bad reviews for this book, I dismissed it; however, now that I now she wrote it, maybe I will give this one a try. I do enjoy paranormal romance and parts of it sound promising. Thanks for the honest review!

  6. I'm so glad everyone likes my review :-) There was a little bit of pressure in writing for another blog! I was actually quite surprised that this was written by Elizabeth Scott. I honestly thought it would be a teen author. One of my student's who loves paranormal books (and is a boy!!) is reading this right now and loving it. I think this is one of those books that as an adult I just had a hard time connecting too, but teens will enjoy.


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