Book Review: Moon

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by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Publication Date: Apr 12, 2011
List Price: $19.99
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9781451617108
Imprint: Washington Square Press
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: KKR & Co. Inc.

Book Reviewed by Thumper

Allow me to state up front that I am a huge fan of Jewell Parker Rhodes; have been since I read one of her earlier novels, Magic City. I got extremely excited when I discovered that she had written her latest novel, Yellow Moon. Yellow Moon is the second book in the contemporary trilogy of Dr. Marie Laveau, descendant of the great Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, in a tale of a killing spree under mysterious mystic circumstances. Dr. Laveau will have to travel back into the past to track down the killer in present day New Orleans. While I did not fall head over heels in love with the novel, it was slow going there during the first half of the book. The second half of the book was excellent. I did not love Yellow Moon like I thought I would, but by the time I reached the end of the novel, I was tremendously glad I read it.

The novel begins with Dr. Marie Laveau, minding her own business. She is enjoying being a mother, an ER doctor, and practicing her voodoo. One night, Detective Daniel Parks enters her ER and asks her to look at a recent murder victim who appears to have had all of the blood removed from his body. This request will put Marie on a journey where the past of her ancestor, the powerful Voodoo Queen Marie, must be called upon; the resurrection of a John, the father of Queen Marie’s daughter and a wazimamoto—an African vampire; all tangled together with love, vengeance, heartbreak, and life renewal.

As I stated earlier, I love Parker Rhodes. The author is on my short list of authors who I proudly declare as one of my favorites. I am usually pretty good when it comes to keeping up with my favorite authors, reading all of their books. I had read and loved Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau. Excellent novel, if you have not read it, I strongly recommend it. But, even I was not aware that she was writing a trilogy of a 21st century Marie Laveau. The first book in the trilogy is Voodoo Season . I did not know it existed. This lack of knowledge is detrimental on two sides: one, I missed a Parker Rhodes book; two, in order to fully comprehend and enjoy Yellow Moon, Voodoo Season must be read first. Since I have not read Voodoo Season, the first half of Yellow Moon was cloudy. I felt as if I was in a haze; as if I had joined a conversation already in progress and I could not say to the participants, could someone clue me in as to what you are talking about? This ignorance significantly contributed to my slow reading pace of the first half of the novel.

My ignorance also caused me to become awfully irritable. The main character, Dr. Marie Laveau, did not seem completely developed. The character left me with questions, which I assumed are answered in Voodoo Season; such as, her childhood, how did she end up with a daughter and a dog? Strangely enough, I am usually one of the loudest protesters of serials that rehash the main character’s history over and over again. After reading Yellow Moon, I am going to keep my mouth shut on that tip.

My attitude toward the novel changed by the time it was revealed that John was a wazimamoto, an African vampire. I love vampire stories’well written vampire stories! If Parker Rhodes had dropped this nugget early in the novel, I would have been completely smitten (now how many times have you read the word smitten in a review? I know! It’s my first time using it. *LOL*)! Parker Rhodes impressed me with this subplot because the origin of the wazimamoto is original and fascinating, a must for real vampire fans. After realizing that there was a vampire in the story, I was a little disappointed that I did not see more of John.

Overall, the novel was a good read. I have to take away a few points due to the non’history rehash for the first portion of the book. Fortunately, Parker-Rhodes made up for it with an absorbing, fast moving second portion and an ending that almost explodes off the pages. Although I cannot highly recommend it, I am still glad that I read Yellow Moon. Now I have to get Voodoo Season so I can be ready for the third installment of the Dr. Marie Laveau trilogy.

Read Washington Square Press’s description of Moon.

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