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Book Review: Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

Happy Book Review Tuesday! Today we are traveling to an alterna-future, YA style. My review copy of Night of the Purple Moonwas graciously provided by the author, Scott Cramer.

The purple moon is a fabulous construct – and one I had to google to determine whether or not it did, in fact, exist (it appears it does not in science – although there are a startling number of things with the name “purple moon”, as you can see here if you are interested – and too lazy, I’m sorry, I mean BUSY, to run your own Google search. Teehee.). Scott Cramer’s purple moon is a phenomenon caused by cosmic dust left behind after the Earth travels through the tail of a comet. It’s also a harbinger – but no one knows this until after it occurs. The purple moon is the visual proof of the dust – and of the “space germs” carried in the dust. Space germs that have one deadly destination – adults (and older YA-types on the threshold of adulthood).

After the germs take over, there isn’t an adult left alive on Earth – and there isn’t a child who doesn’t learn, overnight, what a wild world it is. Cramer’s take on the if-children-ruled-the-world genre is a very unique one, and quite well crafted. The construct of the purple moon and germs from space that attach (attack?) hormones is clever and intriguing. The aftermath of the removal of all adults from the world isn’t quite Lord of the Flies-ish-ness (or, maybe it’s better to say it isn’t all LotF-ish-ness) and it offers a view of children and the world that is much more optimistic than current news headlines suggests – which was refreshing.

The story moves along at a solid pace. The characters are eminently likable and pretty believable (if you’re willing to be an optimist about kids, and I am). There were times when I stopped to wonder how my step-kids/nephews would handle themselves – and more importantly, others – in a world without grown-ups. I love when a book makes me think, and this one took me onto some entirely new ground, so bonus points for that. My only complaint is that the book needed a solid round of editing. There were more than a handful of typos/grammatical mistakes – something I always find a little distracting – but the story itself is well-told and worth the read.

Well done, Scott. I look forward to seeing what kind of a world you craft next…

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