BOOK REVIEW: CROW MOON / AUTHOR: ANNA MCKERROW / PUBLISHER: QUERCUS / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 5TH
A worldwide energy crisis - and a long-running war in Russia for any oil reserves that exist - has caused a dramatic shift in society, the creation of the Greenworld and the Redworld. In the Greenworld villages, like the one sixteen year old Danny lives in, people have dedicated themselves to cleaner living and a profound respect for nature. It's effectively a pagan existence, and Danny's mother is the Head Witch of her village, who all the other villagers look to for protection and guidance.
The Redworld is what all the towns outside the Greenworld are called, forbidden places that have no power and where lawlessness reigns.
Danny isn't a witch. He's a cocky teenage boy who's more interested in impressing girls and when one of those girls asks him to steal his mother's valuable tarot cards - just for a while, just so she can look at them - and the tarot cards end up being destroyed, it launches Danny onto a journey of danger and romance, and the realisation that he has witchcraft powers of his own.
But when Danny agrees to become a witch and learn how to develop his skills, he discovers he is strongly psychically connected to one of his teacher's previous students, a sinister Redworld gang leader called Roach who visits Danny in dreams and wants Danny 'to let him in' to share Danny's power – but Roach has an even deeper agenda than that, and if he isn’t stopped he will destroy everything.
Bookshelves are packed with stories about young girls who become witches to realise their destiny so it is to Anna McKerrow’s credit that she’s tried to level the playing field by making Crow Moon’s trainee witch a teenage boy who, initially, only agrees to become a witch because he’s got a thumping hard-on for another witch’s daughter. But this ‘twist’ is also where Crow Moon trips over because, apart from hormonally-challenged Danny, the story is exactly like every other teenage girl-oriented witchcraft-fantasy out there - apart from the odd comment about staring at boobs and rubbing a girl’s kiss into his cheek as ‘a salve for horniness’ (note to author: that phrase would never enter a horny teenage boys head – trust me, I was one) Crow Moon’s Danny could just as easily be another girl-destined-to-become-a-witch-destined-to-have-to-go-on-a-big-adventure.
To put it more clearly, despite her good intentions and the fact that Crow Moon is generally very well written and Anna McKerrow has obviously done plenty of witchcraft research, she can’t write in a male voice. And when that male voice is the one that’s telling the story, it kills the whole idea stone dead (or stoned the crow…?) Disappointing.
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