Book Review of The Hunter’s Moon by O.R. Melling

Posted January 11, 2013 by Kara in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

Publisher: Amulet
Release Date: May 1st, 2006
 Young Adult-Fantasy
 I own a copy of this book.

Summary from Goodreads: The Hunter’s Moon, follows two cousins, Gwen and Findabhair, as they backpack around Ireland in search of the country’s magical past. When she arrives in Ireland to visit her cousin Findabhair, American Gwen expects a fun backpacking trip to sites of the fairy lore they’re both fascinated with. What neither cousin knows is that it’s the summer of the Hunter’s Moon, a dangerous time for mortals to meddle in the kingdom of Faerie. The girls camp out, and deep in the night Finn is kidnapped by the handsome Faerie king! In Gwen’s quest to save her cousin, across beautifully evoked settings of modern-day and mystical Ireland, the spunky heroine’s biggest challenge may be convincing Finn she needs to be saved!
This first novel in “The Chronicles of Faerie” was praised for “Melling’s taut plotting, with its unexpected turns, [that] moves the story quickly to a climax and leaves readers wanting more.” (“School Library Journal”)

Review: I love old-school faeries.  The ones that treasure murder and riddles with the same level of adoration and intrigue.  Ireland is famous for beer, beautiful landscapes, wonderful folk music, and “I kill you!” fae folk.  I didn’t foresee any issues loving this book.

So what exactly went wrong?  O.R. Melling certainly did her Irish homework.  The story was a wonder mishmash of current and ancient Irish lore. Melling used ancient lore to tie in current events, and showcased her fae lore and culture into a clever little storyline.  The setting was lovely, and the descriptions of the countryside and the details, such as the faerie foods and the court, were spot on and very creative. I was highly prepared to love the book.

Then her characters came along and slaughtered the entire thing.

Insta-love (and insta-friendship), shallow comments about girls and an entire cast of cardboard individuals properly killed the entire book.  The main protagonist, Gwen, has everyone falling at her feet, ready to adore her and risk love and life for her safety.  In Melling-land, an hour spent with Gwen guarantees instant friendship and lifelong loyalty.  And I never really understood Gwen’s charm.  She was dimwitted, self-centered and frankly, very spoiled.  She whined about the hardships of the quest, but she never seemed to struggle.  She actually is pissed off in the story that she was not abducted.  She thought that it was an insult to her character. For the whole book, each plot point seemed to have a bite with no teeth.  As far as I could tell, here was the plot:
  1. Problem
  2. Gwen acting like a fool and getting in trouble
  3. Someone magically saves her
  4. Person swears loyalty and friendship with NO GROUNDS TO DO SO
“Make it DOH!”

Then we have the weak love triangle.  I don’t mind a love triangle as much as other people.  It is my weak spot.  The Love Triangle has been overdone, I will admit, but a strong and well developed LT just doesn’t offend me.  But this love triangle was a joke.  One of the guys even went so far to write his name with Gwen’s name in the sand then DREW A FREAKING HEART around their names after knowing her for one night.  A chapter later, a kiss.  Then boyfriend/girlfriend.  I believe my updates blew up at this point in the book.

The reason for the love and loyalty of each of the characters did play a purpose later in the book, but it was watered down and laughable by the time the big revelation hits. I didn’t even really care towards the end of the book.  I just wanted to finish reading.

If you adore Irish mythology, then you will find this book agreeable.  Overall, I wish Melling had put as much effort in her cast that she paid to the setting.

2/5 Dragons

9 responses to “Book Review of The Hunter’s Moon by O.R. Melling

  1. Wow this does not sound very good. I hate when you have a character who is so terrible but for some reason everyone is just so in love with them! NO! The love triangle also sounds like it would grate on my nerves. Oh and the fact that she never really does anything to solve her problems, she is just constantly saved. Ew. Great review, thanks for the honesty!

    • The first time, I just brushed it off, but the second time, became agitated. The third time, I knew it was never going to pick up for me.

      Thanks, Jenni!

  2. Amy

    Oh no! This sounds like it really could have been good, but was done all wrong. I hate it when I don’t like a character. It really makes it hard for me to enjoy a book. Thanks for the honest review!

  3. I’m disapppointed that you didn’t like this one, b/c I’ve heard a lot about it being one of the classic fairy books. I will probably still try it at some point!

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