Review: Shadow Moon

Sorry this was late, folks. I forgot that Lucas was a pain to slog through in text…

Shadow Moon is the first in a trilogy meant to be a follow-up to the movie Willow. One night, our favorite magus has a dream of flying on dragon back to the castle where his friends are raising the Sacred Princess, Elora. And it is the last night the castle is seen again. Now Willow travels under a name bestowed by friends, trying to discover what had gone wrong and grieving for his losses. But while he’s gone, Elora is left in the care of others, and the world is stirring with whispers of danger to come, of Shadows and dangers. When Willow finally returns to Elora, will it be to someone who can help him right what has gotten twisted…or a spoiled brat?

Honestly, this plot is a such mess, it’s a bit of a miracle that I came up with that much of a summary. From my understanding, there was actually a novelization of the original movie that gave a lot more detail and was actually pretty good. The problem is, the sequel series that advertises on the front cover that it’s a continuation of the movie…actually relies almost entirely on the book. So there was mentioning of characters and some world building that I had missed completely from the movie, so I had no idea what the heck it was talking about. But I was trying to trudge through, I was.

Except my favorite character was killed after the first chapter. And I wasn’t given a truly relate-able character to hang on to for the entirety of the book. And he wouldn’t finish one scene before moving on to the other. And none of the plot lines seemed to be leading to the main scene. And he wouldn’t explain why sometimes Willow’s actions were the only choice. But I FINALLY got to the climax of the book…and nothing was resolved.

At this point, my friends, we must ask ourselves, “Plot, what plot?” Because no goals were really accomplished. Yes, we had a group of protagonists (not a one of them someone a reader could completely relate to, but I digress). Yes, we had antagonists. Actual good ones who I cheered for sometimes rather than the heroes, to be honest. And yet, for all the times they came into conflict, it just…didn’t GO anywhere. Which means there was no satisfaction for me as a reader for getting through all the crap in the end.

Character-wise…it was a coin flip. A couple characters were well done. Elora, Anakerie, and Geryn. If Willow had explained more, rather than simply making logic leaps without the reader, he would have been decent. The brownies will probably annoy me, so it’s not their fault, I just think their purpose hasn’t been defined well yet. But the rest were just this hodge podge of imagery rather than actual people I could relate to. I never really got an understanding of why the Deciever was doing what he was doing, other than because he could (which is not a good motivation). Now, this could just be me not reading deeply enough. But if I missed it in my reading style, then I promise you, it was too subtle or not mentioned often enough.

The world itself was interesting, if not explained well. I don’t think Lucas built any kind of rules to this world, aside from what he made up as he went along. I can give him a few props for keeping some of the basics consistent, but those details were things that he never actually explained so how could he mess it up? Everything else was a confusing mess, from the magic system, the structure of the world, and even what had happened to cause the Cataclysm or Elora’s change. I was interested in what I could piece together myself, but it was far too much effort to do on my own. I don’t want spoon fed, but I shouldn’t be working at a reading-for-pleasure book like it was one of my textbooks from college.

Overall, this was a typical Lucas work. He can come up with some great ideas and amazing imagery. But he doesn’t have a clue how to structure it or even explain it in a way that makes sense to someone not in his head. I love the Star Wars and Indian Jones films, don’t mistake that. But he can’t stay consistent in his in-world mythology and explanations even in those! Seriously, I can’t stand the books because of this, and ignore them entirely. (I may be one of the few people not worried about Disney buying the rights to the Episode VII.) He has no eye for editing, and no one, not even his co-writers, will hold him back when he starts spinning in circles.

But I have been  promised the next two are love, and I trust Ginny. I’ve eaten my veggies, it’s dessert time! That said, I can’t promise the next book in the series’ review this Sunday since this one took so much longer than planned. I do however have two more things I was wanting to blog about, plus Misty. So I will probably blog about those two things between this trilogy’s books to give me time to get them read and posted. If I finish them so I can post Wednesday or Thursday, I will, otherwise I’ll hang on to them for Sunday.

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About Rebecca M. Horner

A spinner of yarns (of the story sort, though I do crochet...and sew, and learning to make armor...) View all posts by Rebecca M. Horner

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