Review: Black Moon by Jessica McQuay

Posted March 17th, 2013 in book review / 14 comments

Black Moon

Paige Tailor Series, #1

by Jessica McQuay

Publisher: Cambridge Press (October 2012)
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
Format: eBook (240 pages)
Source: Read 4 Review
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)

“Am I losing my mind?”

Paige couldn’t help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her?

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she’s always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?

At A Glance
Black Moon is an odd book that’s hard to review. I enjoyed reading it but was also left scratching my head in confusion when it comes to the plot.

The Good
Okay, so the cover is what drew me to this book at first. Then I read the blurb and was like, “Fairies? I am all over that.” But Black Moon ended up being nothing like I imagined. This is a self-discovery or coming of age story. Paige is a loner. She has no friends and no connection to teenagers like her. But when her mom tells her of her fairy heritage and takes her to a type of fairyland, Paige really starts to grow into herself.

Paige is a brat in the beginning of the book. But as her time in fairyland grows, the more Paige learns who she really is. She learns how to handle fairy politics, how to fight, and how to use her magic. And from Paige’s new found self, she learns to ask questions. Questions about what these fairies really want from her and the truth about her family. Paige doesn’t let anyone dictate her life. She fights for what she believes in no matter who she is up against. And when her magic and fighting mentor joins her on her crusade, that’s when things really got interesting.

Naialah was the best character by far. She is really snarky and a little condescending, but in a fun way. At first, Paige hates her, but Naialah proves to be her best friend and confident. Naialah has a past that we are not privy too. She is not quite fairy which is suspicious. She is something else and it kills me not knowing. I want to find out what secrets she is keeping. I love a good mystery. Plus, she is so scary but sweet all at once. It’s so interesting seeing her freak out with power and magic one minute, then becoming so caring and loving the next.

I loved the world Jessica created in Black Moon. The descriptions of the fairyland were amazing. I could picture everything with clarity and vibrancy. I would love to learn more about the fairy people in the next book.

The Bad
My biggest gripe with this book was that the plot was not well structured. It was pretty aimless. The beginning was okay, the middle was meh, then the ending picked up. As for a solid plot, there wasn’t one. This is more a story of self-discovery, which I don’t mind, I just didn’t expect it. And, really, it seemed like a waste of a great concept. This book had so much more potential.

Another huge annoyance was the descriptions. Every single action Paige performed was documented. We read about her taking a shower, drying herself off, brushing her hair, brushing her teeth, getting a soda, drinking the soda, going into the office, turning on the computer, waiting for the computer to load up… I think you get my point. So tedious and so unnecessary. It drove me crazy.

There was a decision made by the end that I did not agree with. Paige and Naialah go out on a mission but decide to not 100% complete it which is only going to cause more trouble later. It was just a silly choice to make.

The Snuggly
There is almost no romance in Black Moon. But the few moments of interest we see is between Paige and Naialah. I wasn’t expecting that. I loved Paige’s confusion with this turn of events. She is confused by her attraction to Naialah and it really worked well for the story. I am assuming she didn’t know her sexual orientation until now. I would love to see Paige grow more comfortable with the woman she is becoming.

Final Thoughts
I would like to read the second book of the series, which is a good sign. I need to see what’s going to happen next, especially with Paige and Naialah. But I hope their is more a structured plot next time. Recommended.

I took in the strange, exotic land as we followed a trail in what I assumed was Varulean’s version of soil. It was a rich deep brown color like the red brown of an almond. It didn’t feel like soil though. It had a spongy texture that reminded me of moss. With each step I felt like the ground would thrust me upward like a trampoline. I had the urge to take of my shoes and feel the strange texture with my bare feet.


Then, just like that, it was chaos.
I heard a howl come from somewhere in front of me and before I could make out which wolf the sound had come from, they were running towards us. Panic flooded my mind. I stood frozen, unsure of what to do…

Picture from LadyDragonfly

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14 Responses to “Review: Black Moon by Jessica McQuay”

  1. Jessica McQuay

    Thank you so much for the honest, thorough and thoughtful review Jennifer. =)I truly appreciate all of your feedback and I’m glad that you’re open to reading Book 2. I’d love to give you an ARC when the release date gets closer, if you’re interested!

    Thanks again!

  2. Beth Winokur

    Great review. This books sounds interesting… I like self discovery books but have a hard time with storys that don’t have a clear goal (plot). Anyways, it’s always nice to read your book reviews. I’ll have to put this on in my to read shelf 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Hehe, awesome. I need to introduce you to some Goodreads Read 4 Review groups because that’s where I got this one for free. As long as you write a review, you get a whole bunch of books for free.

  3. Jaclyn Canada

    I would have been drawn in for the same reasons you were. What an excellent review! Very detailed on both good and bad to be found. I enjoy watching character growth, but would’ve been put off by all of those descriptions and lack of plot as well. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Jennifer! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    Great review Jen, I’ve read a few books of late that had the same plot/story-line issue that just didn’t develop and could have been awesome.

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