Blue Moon Rising

I’ve finally finished reading Simon R. Green’s Blue Moon Rising . It was a pretty good read. It’s a story about a Prince who goes on a quest to kill a dragon, as the legends and stories say he should. He instead meets a dragon that is trying to get rid of a Princess. He “saves” the Princess and befriends the Dragon, and along with his Unicorn steed, the four return to his castle. Along the way they face the Darkwood which is filled with demons that they must battle.

The story from then on centers around the royal family trying to find a way to drive back the spreading Darkwood before it engulfs the Forst Castle. Rupert, our unlikely hero, being nothing more than a Second Son is sent BACK into the Darkwood to find and bring back the High Warlock. His magic is supposed to be their last hope against the Demon Prince.

Meanwhile, Harold, the first born, is dealing with political issues. Three Barons known as the Landsgraves are conspiring to make Harold King before his father has stepped down. They basically want Harold as their little puppet.

The story is fairly simple. However, the opening of the book seems out of place. It’s as if Green wasn’t sure how to lead up to the main action of the storyline, so he simply threw the characters together in whatever setting worked and let them run around on their own. It’s not until they’ve returned to the Castle that any real character development takes place.

The characters’ relationships are all very forced and unnatural. In the beginning, Rupert and Julia are strangers, and Rupert and the Dragon are strangers. Yet, their relationships develop into the best of friends without any development. It’s like Green snapped his fingers and said, “They ought to be really good friends right off!” The only other explanation to the awkward relationships between the characters is that Green’s time lapses are not at all obvious.

Another thing that irritated me about the book was how several phrases were used again and again. Had these phrases been character specific they would have just built personality for each individual, as if attributing unique mannerisms and such. However, these phrases show up again and again spoken by different characters each time. It brings much attention to the author, as it sounds more like his most commonly used phrase appearing in the story.

Also, the end of the book becomes a bit redundant as the characters battle the demons. Every battle is a repeat of swords rising and falling and demon blood being spilt and human numbers dwindling. There’s really nothing important that you can’t just skim over. Aside from the battles being empty and the few nitpicky things, it’s an entertaining read.

However, this book still only gets a 3 out of 5 from me.

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Comments (1)

B.C. TietjensFebruary 2nd, 2010 at 1:55 PM

While I agree that Simon Green’s “Blue Moon Rising” is an entertaining read, I find that is the limit of my ability to coincide with you on this review.

Rupert and Julia’s characters are quite simply brought together by stress and hardship, mostly to do with passing through such an awful place as the Darkwood. The Dragon is a needed addition as both (forgive the pun) firepower and wisdom. The Unicorn provides the comic relief. Without these companions, Simon makes it clear that Rupert could not have braved and survived the Darkwood a second time.

The repeated phrases throughout the book are largely a product of Simon’s upbringing in a country other than the United States of America, and many of them are quite common in his area.

As a prelude to the Hawk and Fisher pulp series, Blue Moon Rising manages to stand on it’s own as a worthwhile text.

The battles, far from being empty, are far more about the characters and their own feelings, thoughts, and internal struggles than they are about actual combat. Therefore, if one is not paying attention to the characters, it could easily been seen that the battles are ‘nothing to write home about’.

This book is about character. It’s about honor, valor, refusal to quit even in the face of certain defeat and demise. Most of all, it’s a story about love.

I give it a 10 out of 10, and brook no argument on personal tastes.

Thanks for your review! I enjoyed reading it.

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