Title: Long Snows Moon
Author Name: Stacey Darlington
Publication Date & Length: June 1, 2013 – 198 pgs
A young socialite finds herself hurled from her comfort zone of luxury and self-denial into the esoteric world of animal magic. When her pet wolf/husky hybrid, Long Snows Moon, plummets from her car window to the forest below, Devon Danforth must explore the haunted woods to find her. During her drunken stumble through the forest, Devon finds love in the arms of Jameson Jordan, the Native American girl she met as a teen during a family skiing vacation. During her sexual awakening, Devon discovers her own animal nature and her wild family lineage.
I’m struggling with what to rate this book and how to explain my rating without spoiling the ending for anyone who wishes to read it. This book is fantastic until the last 15% of it. That’s when it gets weird, and honestly, it stops making a lot of sense.
First, I couldn’t put this book down. Even snuck it in at work to read when I shouldn’t have. The two main characters are beautifully written, and their love story is epic. There’s a secondary love story going on between Claire and Analise that becomes far more prominent at the end. For a story where the two love interested characters don’t meet until 40% of the way through the book, I felt completely compelled to keep reading.
Both Jameson and Devon (the main characters) have special gifts that allow them to commune with the spirits of animals. Jameson has known about hers for the majority of her life, but Devon is just discovering hers. The discovery and relationship these two women have together is beautifully written. This is the part that kept me reading.
If this is what the book was, it would have rated 5 stars. If they Indian aspects of this story had remained as they were, it would have hit my top favorite books of all time. Right up there with Scott O’Dell. I love Indian stories. They’re something I’ve always read throughout middle school, high school and into college. I wish I had known more about where specifically this story takes place in concerns to the Indian aspect of it.
There’s language that doesn’t make sense to me, calling Indians First Nations instead of Native Americans, for example. Where I’m from, neither of those names is acceptable. It is Indian, and if Jameson is part Lakota like claimed, then it would still follow this line of thought. I grew up around Lakota and many other tribes—so this bothered me some.
The second thing that really bothered me was Devon’s staunch veganism that was not veganism. For someone who won’t eat anything that screams or bleeds or could potentially scream or bleed, she makes a lot of mistakes in what she eats. Pancakes, for instance, are made with eggs, and she agrees to eat them just after stating she won’t eat eggs in general.
The reason this book is not at the top of the list in my overall reading and does not rate a 5 star is because of the ending. Almost none of it is foreshadowed. The only part foreshadowed is the part about Devon—the rest was a complete shock, and honestly, ruined the book for me. The epilogue makes no sense at all and doesn’t fit with the rest of the storyline (none of the animals were violent until then). Without the foreshadowing, it leaves the reader reeling in a part where the story should be concluding not blowing up.
There are aspects of the story that aren’t wrapped up…like why on earth Devon was forced to marry Trevor. There are aspects that needed to be put into the novel far before the ending; yes, it might have ruined some of the mystery surrounding Devon, but the emotional journey she took would have been compelling enough. The added story about Claire and Analise was unnecessary to the plot of Devon and Jameson. It could have been cut down and shown only from Devon’s point of view and still made a strong point.
This ending shoved an urban fantasy world into a paranormal romance plot, and it did not work well.
Due to the ending, I would rate this book a 3.5. It’s hard to see the two worlds created meshing without a lot more significant transition between them. There needed to be far more foreshadowing in order to make it comprehensible. I honestly loved this book until the last 15%. Before that, it was one of the best books I had ever read. Now…now I’m just not so sure how to feel about it. I feel duped by an inserted plot that makes no sense.
This book could have used one more edit. The grammatical errors with commas were prevalent throughout it, and the rest of the errors became more abundant as the novel went on. I was going to knock down my 5 star rating .5 because of this.
Averaging the two ratings, I still give this book 4 stars. It is well-written, the story for most of the book is compelling and fascinating. It is the ending that dropped the rating—not because it wasn’t good or interesting, but because it didn’t make sense to the rest of the plot already set up (the Devon part made sense). I really wanted it to be in my top ten books of all time.
I loved curling up into this book and its woods and its dark nights and sunny days. Jameson Jordan, half-Native American, lives alone and communes with the animals. But not in a hokey way. It’s a serious, thoughtful, yet incredibly fun book.
Devon Danforth has issues and she’s running away from home. Straight into the forest that calls her.
Between them is Long Snows Moon, a half-wolf doing the best she can with a mess of a master. All three characters are beautiful and likeable, despite their struggles and pain. The book is very readable. Excelling writing.
However, I knocked off a star for a weird screed against vegetarianism–oddly strident in a book about forgiveness and being nonjudgemental. Also, the ending is just…weird. But the journey to get there is incredible.
I first began inventing stories when I was a child to keep from having to go to bed. The better the story, the more inclined my mother was to let me stay up. My interest in the occult, magic, myths and monsters inspired me to make up some wild tales.
I spent a number of years as the writer/guitar player in my band, Jerusalem Cherry. We enjoyed some local fame.
I love writing for young people and getting them excited about books and knowledge.
I revere my elders. My best job was working at an upscale assisted living facilty where I could protect them, learn from them and help guide them through physical, emotional and spiritual transitions. It was the hardest job I ever loved.
I am an upholstery artist. I live in Florida. I study Native American spiritual beliefs, I have studied craft. I believe in totem animal magic and do guided meditations. I love aninals and see the world as a place of constant wonder, filled with messages from our Creator.
Author’s Website: http://www.staceydarlington.com/
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4584158.Stacey_Darlington