book reviews · fantasy YA · urban fantasy



by Steven Savile

Ashley Hawthorne thinks of herself as the Cuckoo Girl. No matter where she is it feels like she doesn’t quite belong.

Everything changes when her eccentric aunt, Elspeth Grimm, leaves her the key to a safety deposit box in a bank that was destroyed during the Blitz. That box contains the first part of her true inheritance: an umbrella, a battered old notebook, a pair of aviator’s goggles and a locket. Each of these gifts is a unique part of who she really is.

Elspeth is a Grimm, a descendent of the brothers who purged this world of monsters by trapping them within the Concord. She is the Oracle. A keeper of all the knowledge we have amassed about the creatures of the Fae and other worlds. And someone intent on destroying the Concord has murdered her!

When Ashley looks through the goggles that night she sees curious creatures on the roof of the house across the street watching her. To the naked eye they look like crows but they are not. It is the first glimpse of the other place—the place where she will finally belong.
The journal is crammed full of things, but there’s no actual writing in it. Ash decides she’s going to use the book as a journal, and begins the first entry: My name is Ashley Hawthorne. The ink fades so she writes it again. My name is Ashley Hawthorne. Again the ink fades. She tries again and again until the ink scratches out an entirely different first line: That is not who you are!

Blackwater Blaze was on a hunt. With his powerful sense of scent, every mission set upon him is accomplished. But when he encountered the Juggler, he knew he was fooled. Not only was he witlessly led to the pungent odors of humanity, his pack was killed and was also unsuccessful in finding the girl that the Wolfen King had wanted.

Ashley Hawthorne, a simple girl with a simple boring life, always thought that she just wasn’t anything special. But her life changed when she received an inheritance from her aunt, Elspeth Grimm. A key to her past and future that lies in her present. The key to a box that held the most important things that defined her true identity, her true life, for what she really was.

I think I’ve just read my newest favorite fantasy tale this month. Moonlands by Steven Savile is an outstanding read full of colorful characters & magical euphemisms. It was interesting to note that what started out as intriguing, ended with an ear-splitting bang! The shocking twist and ending left me craving for so much more! I hope there’s a second up in the horizon!

By the way, it’s always been said not to judge a book by its cover. Seriously though, this new cover of Moonlands is what really attracted me most. There’s something about the girl (Ashley) that was indeed captivating and intriguing at the same time.


Steven Savile (born October 12, 1969, in Newcastle, England) is a British fantasy, horror and thriller writer, and editor living in Stockholm, Sweden. His published work includes novels and numerous short stories in magazines and anthologies.

website :
genre: Horror, Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy

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