Curse of a Winter Moon by Mary Casanova

Read: 20 March, 2009

Twelve-year-old Marius has been burdened with the care of his little brother, Jean-Pierre, ever since their mother died in childbirth. But Jean-Pierre was born on Christmas Eve and the villagers believe that he carries the mark of the loup garou – the werewolf. With the longest night of the year approaching and the villagers thirsting for heretic blood, will Marius be able to protect his little brother from the clutches of the Catholic Church?

POSITIVE: The story is short and reasonably entertaining. It’s obviously written for children in the 10-14 age range and makes for a great introduction to the Inquisition and schism between the Catholic and Protestant Churches. I could definitely see quite a few teachable moments scattered throughout the novel.

NEGATIVE: However, there just didn’t seem to be that much of a point to the story. I never felt swept into the story, or even that I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. There just wasn’t much enthusiasm in the narrative. Admittedly, it could just be a subjective conflict with the narrative style, but I usually get swept into stories – even poorly-written ones. The ending fellt a little arbitrary as well.

Overall, I really can’t say that anything was bad about the story, it just didn’t take my interest. It’s a shame because the subject matter is definitely up my alley. As I said above, it’s worth reading if only for the teachable moments. It’s short enough that it doesn’t really need more of an argument than that for its usefulness.

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