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Radiant Shadows

Night of the Purple Moon (Toucan, #1)

Night of the Purple Moon (Toucan, #1) - Scott Cramer Night of the Purple Moon surprised me by immediately capturing my full attention. I was eager to uncover the secrets of the space dust and see the consequences for those who were left standing in the aftermath.Slightly more MG then I'm used to reading, I did have a harder time relating to the characters. With the oldest characters being thirteen/fourteen, I found their actions to be much more reminiscent of someone years older. The community they created, their various abilities - knowing how to drive cars, man boats, farm, etc. - the level-headedness with which they approached every obstacle and the forethought they showed in preparation for the winter months were all tasks I found unbelievable. With the teens I know, I can't imagine them grouping together so well, especially without constant conflict and power struggles (and the occasional temper tantrum). The level to which I was required to suspend disbelief was unsurmountable, and so even though I enjoyed the plot, I was constantly reminded of how implausible the children's actions were.Leaking information through the CDC's radio broadcasts was an interesting way to learn about the space dust, and answered most of my questions surrounding the deaths of everyone who had entered puberty. I still wonder why everyone was killed so quickly after the space dust permeated the atmosphere though - I didn't understand how there weren't some early-pubescent teens who managed to stay alive for a few weeks before succumbing to the space dust's fatal effects. Or why the teens who reached puberty lived for weeks before being killed by the space dust, whereas everyone else was killed within hours. I guess it has to do with the various levels of testosterone/estrogen? But I didn't think it was very clearly explained.The pacing for Night of the Purple Moon was well-done, though I did find it started to lag towards the middle. The children were thriving in their little island community, and other then the occasional egg stolen by the boys who chose to live on their own, there wasn't much conflict to sustain my interest. The odd child died from the effects of the space dust, but they were mostly secondary characters that I cared little for. Fortunately, the plot's pace picked back up with the trek to the mainland, in search of the cure. I loved seeing the difference between how the mainland kids had survived, versus the relative shelter and safety of those from the island. I think if the whole story had been told from a mainland kid's PoV, I would have had an easier time believing it, as it was much grittier and there was much more struggle in order to just survive.For the most part, I enjoyed reading Night of the Purple Moon. Like I've said, I had a hard time investing in the characters, because I found their actions to be too unbelievable (though I do have a soft spot for the toddler Toucan - she stole my heart from the get-go). It was definitely more MG then I'm used to, so I found the whole thing was shrouded in a veil of innocence which made it come across quite charming. The ending was a little corny, but because of the young characters, it worked. It also left room for a possible sequel, but I guess only time will tell!You can find this review, and more, on my blog Radiant Shadows