Author: Lee Roland
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Novel of the Earth Witches #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Cassandra Archer has faithfully served the earth Mother for years, rescuing kidnapped children from monsters—both human and supernatural—dwelling in the ruins of the Barrows District. But when two children are kidnapped under similar circumstances, all clues point to a cataclysmic event on the next dark moon. Now Cass must race against the clock and prevent a sacrifice that could destroy the entire town…
What G & U are talking about:
Viper Moon is the exciting first book in the new Novel of the Earth Witches series by Lee Roland. Gikany loved this book and excitedly passed it on to Una (who also fell in love with it). This book is the doorway to a rich and fascinating world. The series is classified by the author as a dark contemporary fantasy. Gikany and Una felt that translates into urban fantasy and whoa, what a fantasy!
Viper Moon starts off with Cassandra, Cass for short, trying to escape a monster chasing her through the Barrows with the lost child she had found. From the start, you have no choice but to grip tightly and hold on this dark and wild ride. From this first glimpse the reader finds himself or herself in a world that exists within the normal realm. The mythology took Una a bit to grasp because it is so different from what she has learned and read before, but it is fascinating. Ms. Roland did an expert job at blending the world-building into the plot without slowing the pace of either the action or the suspense. There were quite a few twists and surprises, which only added to the layers of this novel.
The characters are well rounded and have really intricate chemistry between them. The world that has been weaved is incredibly realistic along with the characters. The characters are not superhuman; they do not have an all-powerful being that gives them everything they need when they need it. There are questions, struggles and sometimes the all-powerful being gets in the way and, dare we say, don’t have all the answers. Another aspect that is interesting is that the book wraps up nicely in the end. There is an unresolved issue, but for out main characters, there is not.
Even though the premise focuses on violence against children, there is nothing neither gratuitous nor glamorizing. It mainly deals with lost children and runaways. It is mentioned how they sometimes end up but we are never face to face with the more dark and negative ends of those endings.
Una had no qualms about reading the excerpt from the next book in the series, Vengeance Moon (while Gikany prefers to not torture herself with a glimpse) and is quite interested in the next book. We think the Novel of the Earth Witches series will be a series of standalone books. However, since this is the first book in the series, we recommend that you go out and read Viper Moon. There is something ego boosting about being able to say, oh, I heard of that great series…”I remember when it first came out and we loved it.”
Personal favorite – a must read (A+)