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Low Red Moon

Review

Low Red Moon

Seventeen-year-old Avery is still reeling from the death of her parents, and not just because she misses them horribly. She was apparently a witness to their violent murders, but doesn't remember a thing. What she knows of that night is what she's been told: "That I was sitting on the ground outside my home covered in blood. That I was sitting with my parents' bodies, holding their hands in mine. That I'd tried to put what was left of them back together. That all the blood on me came from me trying to make them whole when they were broken. From me trying to put them back together."

Her memories are hazy at best, coming back in fits and starts, when dreams or conversations bring that horrific night more vividly to mind. But even those cryptic memories hardly help her make sense of her grief. A flash of silver? A river of blood? These supernatural images --- not to mention the eerie shade of red that her hair has turned overnight --- make Avery wonder if there might be some non-human explanation for her parents' murder.

Even though the police are encouraging her to try to remember what happened, Avery has enough to do just to keep going most days. She's still the new girl at school, having a hard time fitting into social structures after years of being home-schooled. She’s having to learn to live with her grandmother, Renee, with whom her family has had a distant (at best) relationship before. And she's in danger of losing the quirky, sustainable house her father built on the edge of the forest --- the same forest where her parents were killed.

Ben, the beautiful new boy at school, is complicating matters, too. He appears to know things about her and her family that would be impossible to know. He seems utterly at home in the forest, but warns Avery that her life is in danger there. He might know something about her parents' death, but he's not talking. Nevertheless, Avery finds herself powerfully attracted to this enigmatic young man, even though she senses that getting involved with him might mean putting herself in danger.

Comparisons of LOW RED MOON with the Twilight series are probably inevitable. Although the atmospheric setting and forbidden love affair certainly share elements, Devlin (the pseudonym of author Elizabeth Scott) has created a novel that is both sexier and more grounded than Stephenie Meyer's series. Avery is a compelling and, for the most part, convincing character, struggling to cope with her own grief even as she tries to make sense of the unbelievable deaths of her parents and the terrors that still menace her. Her occasional passivity --- except when it comes to Ben --- can be frustrating. But the chemistry between the two of them is palpable, and the conflict between Avery's memories and her desires results in a tense and compelling narrative.

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Reviewed by Norah Piehl on October 18, 2011

Low Red Moon
by Ivy Devlin

  • Publication Date: September 14, 2010
  • Genres: Paranormal, Romance
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1599905108
  • ISBN-13: 9781599905105