Monday, September 30, 2013

Katie Comstock - Moonbeam


By Katie Comstock

Kindle Version Available

Product Description (from Amazon)

Moonbeam lives in the magical land of Glaucio. She is the daughter of Fiona, lead mare of the main herd on in the land. When Fiona is brutally killed by Abaddon, Moonbeam is thrust into command of the herd. She must battle against Abaddon and his evil forces using her innocence and a gift from Stardust. Abaddon wishes to kill Stardust, the stallion in charge of all the land. Moonbeam and her friend, Comet, must fight together with mares and stallions of other herds to prevent this. If Abaddon succeeds, the land of Glaucio will be cast into 300 years of darkness, evilness and despair.

About the Author (from Amazon)

Ever since I was little, I've enjoyed anything to do with reading or writing. Any book I could get my hands on I devoured. Writing proved to be a wonderful way to temporarily get out of doing my math. I didn't write very much until my Mom bought me the One Year Adventure Novel ( curriculum in the fall of 2009. This curriculum taught me how to come up with a compelling plot and characters. Through this curriculum, I've written two books, one of them in the process of being written and the other, Moonbeam. 
I have wonderful parents and four awesome younger siblings. When I'm not writing, I enjoy riding my horse, playing piano, ballet, reading and listening to music. I've been homeschooled since preschool and love the flexibility it gives me to be able to write more. 

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

This is a book which I wish I could have liked more than I did. I first heard of it through an interview she had with Landry's Academy, and it sparked my interest. Unfortunately, I failed to bookmark the book, and while I remembered the title and the author's first name, I forgot her last name … and searching “Moonbeam” and “Katie” didn't come up with anything.

And then I was reading through the backposts on the Homeschooled Authors blog – and there she was. I didn't have the money to buy the book at the time, but as soon as I did, I snatched up a kindle copy. I read it in a day.

As I stated before, I wish I could have liked it more than I did. It's not that it was a bad book – it was delightfully unique, and for the most part the horses acted like horses (one of my pet peeves in animal books is when you could say that they're human and not change a word in the book – I've read such books before). Also it's a Christian allegory, one of my two favorite flavors of Fantasy.

Yet for all of its charm, it fell flat for me. I knew when I picked it up that the author was only sixteen – it was one of the reasons I wanted to read it – but it showed. There was a lack of maturity to the writing (especially the conversations, which is a biggie with me) and many of the characters. There was nothing to set it apart from other allegories (other than the fact that it was about horses, rather than regular people), indeed, I found it rather predicable, having already read many books in the genre.

The story begins shortly after Moonbeam, the titular character, finds that Abbadon, the leader of the bay horses, has killed her mother. There are two colors of horses in this world. White horses follow Stardust, the Jesus figure of the book, and bay horses are those who are in rebellion against Stardust.

While she is still trying to come to grips with her mothers death, a new horse shows up, Daryn, a messenger of Stardust to tell her that a great war was being set in motion and to ask her and Comet, the stallion of their herd, to join them. Since her mother was the leader of the herd, Moonbeam is to follow in her footsteps … of course going to help means that she has to find a substitute for a while, but her friend, Ellipse, is perfect for the job.

Then they go with Daryn, train for the battle, meet new friends (the stallions and lead mares of other herds), and have the battle.

After that, I found it rather predictable, since I already knew that it was an allegory.

I really, really wanted to love this book. I enjoyed it, definitely, and the author shows lots of promise, so I will continue to read her books (I follow her blog, and while she hasn't published anything else, some of the books she's working on sound very interesting), but this one fell flat.

Note: This would be a good story for younger girls, maybe eight to twelve, who love horses, but don't mind it if it gets a bit scary.

Genre/Theme: Fantasy, Christian, Animals

Reading Level: CHILD - children's literature 
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language 
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at 
Other: Fighting between horses, some death, but not much is described.

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