I have always thought that witchcraft and witch stories belonged to the past and those stories or films about witches mostly illustrate ancient times when witches were considered to have supernatural powers. On the contrary, A. W. Gryphon changes this tradition by setting her book “Blood Moon” in modern times, in 1990s and early 2000s. I assume that of its unique aspects this is the most striking one that drifts the readers into the story.
Since A. W. Gryphon is very much into witchcraft she is really successful at taking her readers to a journey through the life of witches. She is really well-informed about the topic and this makes her witch story even more credible. Blood Moon is not just a simple book about witches in which supernatural things happen and women fly around on brooms. The book offers much more than that. There is a witch story but also there is the timeless tale of “the one”, there is also love, mystery and suspense.
At the beginning of the book, there is a prologue in which the history of the witches and some terminology about witchcraft are explained clearly and in detail such as; Samhain, The organization and Wicca. This prologue makes even the most unfamiliar reader interested in the story. We learn many new customs and celebrations about the witches and we may even say that the prologue itself is very informative.
Throughout the book, we observe Amelia Pivens Kreutzer’s life, starting out as a young girl in San Francisco and until the day she finds out that she is a very special girl granted with great power, the power of “the one”. The book has a roller coaster effect on its readers where at some points it takes us really down and at some points so high up that we can’t help but feel as if we are reading a fairy tale. However, this fairy tale effect never lasts long and there is always a shocking, unexpected event which imprisons the reader in the book. It is a book which is difficult to put down before it is complete.
Another great point about the book is the well-formed characterization. Every character is introduced to us through an event yet they are explained in great detail later on. The characters are all round characters that contribute to the complexity of the plot in which the reader feels himself webbed by the swift changes in characters and tries to resolve the mystery. Character development is really strong and a number of antagonists make the story even more interesting.
The next thing that should be mentioned about the book is the unusual use of time. While some chapters cover years, some of them cover only days or even hours. As the story gets more complex and reaches the climax, each chapter gradually slows down, hence dedicating almost each line to tiny details. The author is most probably aiming to make her readers enjoy every single moment of the book.
I believe, “Blood Moon” by A. W. Gryphon belongs to every fiction lovers’ bookshelf. One does not have to be into witch stories in order to enjoy this book as it offers much more than a simple witch story. It is easy for everyone to relate themselves to the book in one way or another. Considering that this is A. W. Gryphon’s first book, one might expect it to lack what makes a good novel, yet A. W. Gryphon proves this wrong. I’m looking forward to her upcoming books and I feel privileged to be one of the few people who have been given the opportunity to review this great work.
By Basak MUMCU CIVLAK