Whilst Evan faces a deathly trial to advance further in his training, Brooke embarks on her very first mission, which sees her embroiled in a war between the vampires and werewolves of London. If the werewolves and shifters baying for her blood wasn’t enough, Brooke also has to face a starkly changed Arantay.
Meanwhile the Dark-Venator forces are rising, whilst Evan and his friends contend with the mysterious disappearances of several Venators. Could they have been kidnapped? Evan also faces backlash from many of his fellow trainees, who hate or fear him. Evan thinks their reactions are bad now, but it would be nothing if they discovered his secret. His peers may even try to kill him if they learned the truth.
Evan knows he has to pass his trial to gain his first mission as a Venator, but he may never make it that far if his hidden powers aren’t controlled. Across the realms, a terribly malignant force has learned of Evan and Brooke, and plans to strike.
*May Contain Spoilers*
William Collins delivers an action packed novel in Moonlight War - Act 1, the sequel to A Darker Shade of Sorcery. The attack on Veneseron has just ended and the chaos is over, but the war has just begun. This book picks up exactly where the first left off, allowing readers to refresh their minds and re-align themselves with the characters.
Brooke and Evan are still the main characters, but more of the supporting cast is included and even focused on in this sequel. After Brooke and Evan learned they were half-demon, they were sent back to their studies, filled with worry, guilt, and fear. Readers can understand, and witness, that Evan and Brooke are terrified they'll hurt someone and that their friends will turn against them if they know the truth. The backlash carries throughout Veneseron, as fellow students blame Evan for the attack.
Whereas the first book was focused on introducing the world of Veneseron and the training for demon hunting, this book is nearly all action. From trials to first mission, missing venators and dark-realmers, Moonlight War - Act 1 sets up many combustible situations.
Readers will build on their relationship with Evan as he attempts to become a Mid-Realmer and handle the dirty looks and mean spirited whispers of his fellow students. The fears of rejection and uncontrollable powers that Evan has is understandable and readers will undoubtedly support him. Readers watched as Evan found his place in this new world and they'll push for him to keep it.
The relationship readers have with Brooke will also flourish, as she prepares for her first mission as a Mid-Realmer. Just before the assignment comes in, Brooke and Arantay share a moment of raw emotion. Brooke's feelings of rejection cloud her sunny disposition. It doesn't get easier as her mission partner is revealed as Arantay. They're assigned to locate an insane werewolf and try to heal him before he kills anyone else. If they can't succeed, then they'll be forced to kill him, an act that will surely ignite a war between the wolves and the Venators.
On top of the action with Brooke and Evan, there are Venators disappearing and more demon-spawn being discovered. There's also another dread lord/disciple trying to locate Evan and Brooke, which brings a certain evil someone from Brooke's past into the present. The one downside of this book is it's the first act. It creates and shares a lot of problem situations, but it doesn't solve any of them. It's a book that promises entertaining and exciting conclusions with an often disliked phrase, 'To Be Continued.'
Rating: 3/5 Cups
Read the review of Book 1 - A Darker Shade of Sorcery