Moonglow by Michael Griffo
Reading level: Young Adult
Trade paperback: 320 pages
Release date: February 26, 2013
Series: Darkborn Legacy #1
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
Source: ARC from the publisher
From the author of the acclaimed Archangel Academy vampire trilogy comes a stunning new series about a girl determined to defy her fate—and reclaim her future…
Something strange is going on with Dominy Robineau. All her friends in Weeping Water, Nebraska, have noticed—and it’s way beyond teenage blues. As weeks pass, Dom grows consumed by anger, aggression, and violence, and she seems powerless to stop it. Then she turns sixteen, and things get really dangerous.
When her best friend is murdered, Dominy’s father is compelled to reveal the truth behind the darkness that threatens to both overtake and empower her. Her boyfriend, Caleb, swears they’ll find a way to change her destiny. But others are hiding secrets too, and gifts that are far more terrifying than hers. And even as she struggles to control her new abilities, Dom must contend with an enemy who wants her to use the beast within to destroy all those she loves, before she destroys herself…
I must admit, at the beginning of this novel, I wasn’t sure if I would end liking it or not. For me, MOONGLOW started off a little slow but after the first 100 pages or so, things really picked up. However, the prologue certainly grabbed my attention since the scene describes how the main character, Dominy Robineau kills her best friend. Obviously, the author goes back in time to describe what happened to lead up to this monumental scene. It sounds quite chilling and evil, I know, but it’s not really her fault because Dominy has been cursed to transform into a werewolf every full moon.
Personally, werewolf books will always be a guilty pleasure of mine, as long as the writer bring his or her own twist to the story. Michael Griffo certainly succeeded with his own werewolf mythology. I thought his take on the werewolf curse was very original and unlike anything I’ve read before. Dominy was literally cursed before her birth because of a tragic mistake her father made when he was sixteen years old. A curse created by a vengeful aboriginal woman who seems to haunt Dominy and her father throughout the book.
Dominy had no clue she was going to transform into a werewolf on her sixteenth birthday, let alone kill her best friend. I was kind of mad at her father for not warning her about the possibility, even if he didn’t truly believe in the curse before seeing it with his own eyes. However, I was able to forgive him once I realized how much guilt he carried around with him. Only when he really decided to be proactive in finding in helping Dominy did I start to admire his dedication to his daughter and his family. Along with her father and her friends, the real dilemma is trying to find a way to cure her lycanthropy before she does something else she regrets, or worse, kill again.
Dominy is a good main character and narrator but she isn’t without her flaws. A little too obsessed with pimples (I kid you not) and a little too vain for my taste, as a character she’s actually quite realistic when it comes to regular teenage-life stuff. I mean, her reaction when she realizes she’s growing a mustache and has a lot of unwanted arm hair is pretty much how I would expect a teenage girl to react. She’s far from perfect even though her boyfriend Caleb almost is. Intelligent, star football player and hot, he’s almost too perfect, but I think they balance each other out quite nicely. I love how dedicated he is to Dominy, even after he realizes she’s a werewolf. Overall, the cast of characters is quite original and it even includes an albino gay friend, an annoying brother, a freakish aboriginal woman and a mischievous set of twins.
MOONGLOW was an easy and enjoyable read. The author took the werewolf idea into a new direction without compromising the myth as a whole. Obviously, with that title, the moon is a very important symbol in the book, and the imagery is done perfectly, to the point where I could almost feel the moon’s attraction myself. I’ll definitively be checking out the rest of the series and I’m quite happy the next book, SUNBLIND, will be released quite soon (only 6 months after the release of MOONGLOW!).