Review of Dark Moon Rising (Stella Brock, #1), by Ashley Dunson

Dark Moon RisingI downloaded a copy of Ashley Dunson’s Dark Moon Rising from the Amazon free list.

Description from Goodreads:
Stella Brock hunts the things that go bump in the night. It isn’t a glamorous job, but it keeps the lights on…usually. Now, the hunter has become the hunted and the source of all childhood terror is hot on her trail. She’ll need the help of a sexy elf and an arrogant jaguar shifter to avoid being caught by one of the most notorious monsters of all. If only she could control darkness beginning to rise within herself.

Review:
Wow, I got so much more than I bargained for with this one. I really enjoyed it. Stella was a great lead character, who managed to be tough without being unfeeling. She also successfully walked that tenuous line between being pleasantly, sarcastically irreverent and being suicidally confrontational. Dark Moon Rising is a fun read and I’d be happy with it for that alone, but it’s not flawless.

While I enjoyed the book and the events of the book, there didn’t seem to be any overarching plot beyond, here are Stella and her friends and these are the things they do in response to a series of seemingly random stimuli. Again, it’s fun but it felt anchorless. There was no single challenge Stella and her cohort needed to overcome or identifiable point in which their adventure could be seen to have been complete. I don’t mean it’s a cliffhanger, it’s just (I think) part of one series-wide plot instead of having its own. The result is that the ending felt sudden, even if it wasn’t.

It’s also one of those books in which every powerful paranormal male all but falls at Stella’s feet, despite her attempts to dissuade them. Now, unlike a lot of other such books, there is a reason for that here and it is an integral part of the story. But it still started to feel redundant after a while.

Lastly, the book could do with a little more editing. It was odd, I noticed very few misspelled or misused words. (There were some, but not a ton.) But every few pages a word just seemed to be missing. Here’s an example: “Do have any idea how that fascinates us?” Obviously, that’s supposed to be, Do YOU have any idea how that fascinates us? More often than not it was a ‘to’ or an ‘a’ missing though, small words that don’t change the meaning or context of a sentence but cause the reader to stutter over an otherwise smooth sentence.

So, in the end, if you’re looking for a little fluff to pass an evening with and you’re willing to overlook a few flaws, this is worth picking up.

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