A Creature of Moonlight is a beautifully written debut novel. It features some of the most unique worldbuilding that I have ever seen. The forest has a mind of its own, claiming territory overnight and swallowing up peoples' homes and fields. It is filled with magical creatures who call to those seeking to escape. Once in a while, a young girl will be claimed by the forest, never to return. Marnie hears this call, but she alone is able to resist the siren song, spending long hours swallowed up in its embrace but always returning to her grandfather, the former king and the only person who keeps her anchored to her world. I love the idea of a forest where the very trees are controlled by a dragon lord and one that encroaches and retreats, ebbing and flowing much like the tide. This dark and mysterious element starts strong and only gets better as the book goes on and Marnie explores more and more of her father's world.
Despite the strong start and wonderful setting, the story is a little slow. It takes a patient reader to stick with Marnie despite there not being a great deal of action. There is no real sense of urgency and only a few points of real excitement. Don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful read for those who like a slow burning story, but personally, I would have preferred a slightly faster pace. It was also beautifully written. Rebecca Hahn has a wonderful mastery of language and creates a narrative that is rich and decadent. However this type of writing style, combined with the slower plot means that, while it is completely appropriate for a middle grade audience, it will not necessarily appeal to very young readers while more mature middle schoolers and many other YA readers will be captivated by this unique story.
I am convinced and signing on for anything Rebecca Hahn has in store for the future.