Blue Moon is highly readable and enjoyable young adult fiction, which will certainly appeal to fans of Stephanie Meyer.
There are many parallels with Twilight: a plain girl falls in love with a good-looking boy; the boy belongs to a wealthy, supernatural family; everyone in the family has a different special ability; and the family's secret existence is protected by an ancient, ruthless order.
Being compared to a multi-million dollar franchise is no bad thing, especially when there hasn't been a Twilight novel since 2008. Any Twi-Hards in search of new young adult fiction need look no further.
But there are differences too. This is a British novel for starters, which is proof that American writers don't have the monopoly on popular teen fiction.
What's more, the mysterious Theo de Lucis and his wealthy family are not vampires. This was a happy surprise and an interesting twist for this genre. The truth about their immortality is far more original. Spence invents her own mythology, rather than following the rules of a well-worn archetype, which helps Blue Moon stand out in the crowded young adult market.
The characters are well-drawn, especially the varied household of the de Lucis family. The shape-shifting servants, Aquila and Pantera, are particularly menacing and feature in some exciting action scenes. Meanwhile, Seth and Tash, the best friends of protagonist Emily, provide plenty of entertaining bickering and ensure the story stays grounded.
Blue Moon is addictive YA fiction with plenty of fresh ideas and a welcome British backdrop. As the title suggests, novels like this only come along once in a blue moon.
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