'A Darker Moon' by J S Watts - A Review

'A Darker Moon' is the story of Abe, a damaged man with no roots or family ties, who is driven to distraction by the mysterious and beautiful Eve, a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to his own mother. Abe's search for his own identity - and for the family that abandoned him - leads him to discover a brother he never knew existed. But destiny deals a cruel hand, and Abe's life is about to be filled with uncertainty, deception, violence and murder

This is a new and innovative twist on the Biblical tale of Cain and Abel; a dark, psychological fantasy from the pen of local writer JS Watts. It's a fascinating book, filled with thought-provoking concepts, and unusual and compelling characters. The narrative centres on the themes of identity, memory, kinship and lost, but also touches on ideas around trust and perception, as well the nature of dreaming and reality. The story is structured so that every revelation offers a new perspective; I often found myself convinced that I knew what was going to happen, only to be blind-sided by something completely unexpected.

Watts has a flare for precise language and each of the three main characters is well-realised and believable. Abe makes a confused and somewhat unrealiable narrator, but this adds to the sense of steadily increasing tension that permeates the novel as a whole. While not particularly likeable, Abe's flawed sense of wounded masculinity is well-written, and allows the reader to empathise with him and his reluctance to embrace his supernatural destiny. The plot is itself is compelling; a real page turner. I finished it in just under three days.

While the repeated references to owls and the moon did begin to grate a little as the story progressed, this did not detract from the narrative, which was fastpaced and entertaining. Watts peppers her writing with exquisitely imaginative imagery, making this a wonderfully poetic novel, as well as a great read.

'A Darker Moon' is a book that will delight both hardcore fantasy fans and newcomers to the genre. I am very much looking forward to the next novel by JS Watts. 

'A Darker Moon' by JS Watts - published by Vagabondage Press RRP £8.64 - is out now in paperback or ebook. You can pick up a copy from Heffers, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge, or order it online from Vagabondage Press or Amazon UK.

posted on 18 January 2013 16:48 byLeanne Moden


Literary Ely

A blog for those passionate about poetry and fiction in the East Cambridgeshire Area. We'll feature news, events, reviews and articles on the litrary happenings in and around Ely and Cambridge. Do you have an event you'd like to share? Email me leanne.moden@gmail.com