Thursday, January 12, 2017

Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer - #review

Thirteen-year-old Abby Leigh yearns for her family to be reunited - in Cambridge, not Castine Island where she feels like an outsider. Her younger brother, Jordan, is having no problem fitting in and making friends.

Everyone on Castine Island is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the purple moon, caused by a comet entering the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists expected this thrilling phenomenon and food companies are churning out purple-colored products in celebration of the comet’s arrival.

The morning following the comet’s debut Abby and Jordan make a chilling discovery: every adult on the island is dead. The children of the island band together to withstand their new circumstances, and the older kids quickly learn a gripping truth about their own ticking clocks. It's only a matter of time before they succumb to the comet bacteria, but can they raise the next generation to survive?



Can you imagine waking up one morning and almost everyone else in your home was dead?  And your neighbors' houses?  And your city, country, continent?  It would freak just about anyone out.  Let alone children 13 (or so) or younger.  At least oldest children left alive are at that age where they begin to think they know everything.

The last time I read lots of MG or YA books was when I qualified in that population, and let me tell you, that was some years ago.  I've been pleasantly surprised by the last several years by the books for younger readers that have come across my path.  Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer definitely follows that rule.

It's amazing to me how in a dither we all get about something we are told is going to be the 'next big thing', as Abby, her family and her world were expecting about the comet.  There was no impact event (which term has entered into our voculary), but the dust trailing the comet was apparently fatal to all adults on Earth (except those in sealed laboratories, like the CDC).

I think I had the same concern for Abby, Jordan, and their approaching puberty-aged friends, that most of them seemed to display for the younger members of what was left of their society.  They even took in a 4 year old they didn't know.  Of course, there were people left after 'that night' who were much more concerned with their own survival, over that of their friends or even society at large.  It was interesting to watch how our mc's handled adverse events of that nature.

As time went on, they set up farms and a school.  On the one hand, it helped give everyone a sense of normalcy.  And as the older 'remainees' passed through puberty, they, too, began to die out.  As mentioned in the book, it was necessary to pass along life and survival skills to the younger members of the community.

Towards the end of the book, a medicine has been developed to counteract the effects of the dust, but Abby and Jordan (who were sick by that time themselves) had to travel from an island off Massachusetts to Boston, which was one of the first cities to obtain the cure ... and they needed it as fast as possible.  The story of their journey, with all the ups and downs, the successes and dangers, and fellow travelers of all ilks was quite exciting!

I enjoyed this book, and as it is the first installment in a trilogy, I believe the second and third books will shortly be on my TBR list.



Scott Cramer has written feature articles for national magazines, published poetry, optioned a screenplay, and worked in high-tech communications. The Toucan Trilogy --Night of the Purple Moon, Colony East, and Generation M-- are his first novels. Scott and his wife have two daughters and reside outside Lowell, Massachusetts.



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