Vampires, fairy tale balls, ghosts….every time I thought I had a handle on the world that Decker created, she took another twist. With Ascot as an unlikely heroine, the reader goes on a journey that uproots all convention. This story-line sort of reminds you of one fairy tale, this one another; then you realize there are layers upon layers of commentary and thwarting of fairy tales we think we know. Since it’s the first book in the Moonfall Mayhem series, sometimes knowledge is given for the long haul, and I’m glad I have an advance copy of the second book. (Since the second book in the series is not from Ascot, but from her companion Rags and Bones’ perspective, I have great hope that we will also see Decker’s world from the other characters’ points of view, or hear more of their origins.)
Because there are so many genres and tales woven into one, at times I felt the transition a bit jarring. Through it all, Decker’s lively and focused characters were able to take me through the plot twists just fine, and only got a little confused once we started to unravel motivations in the wine cellar.
When reading YA, I always stop to consider if my pre-teen or teenage self would have learned from this book and enjoyed it. I definitely wish I’d known Ascot earlier. She could have helped relieve some questions about fairy tale endings. At the time, I only had Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” musical to counter societal pressure and expectations. Having Ascot in my life would have absolutely pushed me towards figuring out my own happy ending instead of thinking I had to have a fairy tale one. She’d be a great addition to any teenager or pre-teen’s collection.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of the first book and advance review copy of book #2.