Moonbeam (The Moon Trilogy, Book Two) by Tim O’Rourke

Moonbeam (The Moon Trilogy, #2)Wow! Wow! And wow! Tim O’Rourke never ceases to amaze as reading his books provides the reader with shock after shock! Recommended for readers of 17 yrs and over, Moonbeam (Book 2 of The Moon Trilogy) is a very dark paranormal horror that also ticks all of the boxes when it comes to drama, love, action and adventure as well as it’s fair share of gore.

After being acquainted with the characters of Moonlight (The Moon Trilogy, Book One), Thaddeus Blake and Winter McCall – where the setting was, if anything, a little eerie and strange – the  reader was provided with a great deal of action as the story unfolded and especially towards the end which is right where Moonbeam takes over. Thaddeus’ mansion is left burning as Thad and Winnie make their way to Scotland  in the hope of finding the Moonbeam, as well as trying to escape from the police and the vampires that will be sure to hunt them down.

The Moonbeam is a precious stone believed to destroy all of the vampires and it may be Thad’s only hope in preventing the vampires fom tracking him. Unfortunately, even this precious stone does not come without its history, as Thaddeus is well aware. Thaddeus had the Moonbeam in his possession many years before and it had caused nothing but deep, dark troubles – all of which the reader hears about as the story drifts in and out of the present to Thaddeus’ dark past. It seems that with small doses of happiness, Thad’s life has been overrun with tragedy. As we learn more of Thaddeus’ history the reader cannot help but feel for him deeply, which is a different take of him than we are used to with Moonlight.

Events and settings are not so eerie and strange in Moonbeam as Thaddeus and Winnie have a deeper understanding of each other. Winnie has to come to terms with the events that have taken place and the reader hopes that she can put her trust in Thaddeus to look out for her and protect her. As we begin book 2 the adventure is well under way, not only with Thad and Winnie travelling to Scotland, but with the police following up on Thaddeus’ burning mansion and trying to locate him. Therefore, there is a faster pace throughout Moonbeam. However, the horror is as equal to or even moreso in Moonbeam especially the scenes of Ruby Little (the ghost of Winnie’s best friend) that are very disturbing. You’ll definitely be wanting to pull those bed covers over you when you read this!

As I explained in my review of Moonlight (Book 1 of The Moon Trilogy), at the time I wanted to jump into the story to pull Winnie out – to free her from all danger and from the strange Thaddeus. However, with Moonbeam I wanted to be Winnie, in the knowledge that Thaddeus would protect me from danger and that my feelings towards him were growing stronger. In a short space of time she has come so far with Thad; after him finding her begging on the streets of London, offering her accommodation in return for her to carry out household duties (and occasionally stand in the moonlight!) and then being attacked and watch their home burn to presently making their way to Scotland.

With every one of Tim O’Rourke’s sequels I have read so far they can all be read as stand alone’s as Tim is kind enough and clear enough to provide just enough information for the reader to understand the characters and the events taking place. HOWEVER, the reader will seriously be missing out on sooo much more! I strongly recommend that the earlier books are read to completely follow these characters on their great journey, to see them blossom. And I can promise you that you’ll fall in love with them.

I loved every page of Moonbeam until I reached those dreaded words, ‘To be continued…’, at which point I just wanted to scream, ‘No! How can he do this?!’ Talk about leaving the reader in suspense! ‘That’s a little dramatic!’ I hear you say in regards to my reaction – well, you most probably haven’t read a Tim O’Rourke book. They are frightfully addictive, powerful, exciting, horrific and fun. Believe me, you’ll constantly find yourself rooting for your favourite characters as Tim passes his passion onto the reader!!!

Moonbeam was provided by the author, Tim O’Rourke, for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Moonlight (The Moon Trilogy, Book One) by Tim O’Rourke

Received with thanks from the author in return for an honest review.

I had no expectations with ‘Moonlight’ as I hadn’t read the synopsis. This is largely due to the fact that I have enjoyed every book of Tim’s that I have read so far and wanted to start reading the main novel as soon as possible. The prologue grips the reader from the very beginning, ‘”Don’t hurt me,” the girl sobbed….’, setting the scene with fear and tension as a young girl is being attacked. At first the reader has no idea who is attacking the girl but it soon becomes clear. For an opening scene, this gets the heartrate beating fast as you really feel for the victim, feel her fear and desperation with the added extras of gore and horror. Please note that the intended audience for this novel is young adult and adults alike.

As Chapter One begins we are introduced to the main male character, Thaddeus Blake. Over the coming pages we find out that he is a wealthy man, with a mansion at St. Ives in Cornwall that he inherited along with his wealth. He travels to London to meet his publisher and it is whilst he is in London that he notices Winter McCall.

Unfortunately for Winter, she has not lived such a lavish lifestyle. Begging on the streets outside train stations is where she has ended up every night in the hope to be given enough money to put food in her belly. Not one for selling her body like some did, Winter finds it very difficult to make ends meet, to survive.

In a creepy sort of way, once he had noticed Winter, Thaddeus watched her carefully from a distance. For the first few days he would come night after night, just watching her, watching how people treated her and how she handled them. When he feels ready he approaches Winter, offering to buy her dinner and to explain what he would like to do for her.

Although Winter is very doubtful and doesn’t trust Thaddeus there is something about his voice and besides, what did she really have to lose? Thaddeus’ offer is for Winter to travel to St. Ives with him to his mansion where she would be fed, clothed, paid and have a roof over her head. Her side of the bargain is to cook and clean for him as well as to carry out some odd tasks that he would ask of her from time to time. One of these being to stand in the moonlight when there is a full moon.

The atmosphere of this book is very creepy. Although Thaddeus has a soothing voice, good looks and appears to be helping Winter, the reader cannot trust him and is constantly worried about Winter’s well-being. Winter is occasionally ridiculed by him only for him to realise and apologise. She knows that there is more to him than meets the eye and she does try to find out. The whole setting is very strange. During most part of the day Winter is left alone in the mansion whilst Thaddeus is in his room.

In order to create this dark, eerie atmosphere I did find the story in parts to be a little slow. When Winter is on her own I imagined what it is like to be in a large, strange house alone with nothing but your mind and imagination going wild. Paranoia sets in. Insecurity sets in. Time drags. Tim O’Rourke has written this very cleverly though as the reader goes through all of these motions with Winter. I was screaming for her to run. Every ounce of mistrust, every ounce of fear the reader can feel.

Without spoiling the story, as it nears the end there is a great deal of action, gore, horror and emotions running wild. The story is like an orchestra playing and the music gradually builds up, becoming louder and louder until it reaches a great crescendo. I was a little conscious in the middle of this book, thinking how indecisive Winter was about running or staying, and was hoping for more action and more underlying plots, BUT boy did I get what I wanted as the story grew!

Some readers may think Winter to be foolish by going along with Thaddeus, better the devil you know, as she placed herself in a vulnerable situation, alone with a guy she didn’t even know and couldn’t trust. However, a part of me cannot help but feel that she was courageous, she took a risk. But, did the risk pay off? With the danger that ensued it definitely made her think about her choices. As Thaddeus places Winter in a dangerous position, for partly his own benefit, there is a great deal of mistrust for him and he is partly a coward for doing this.

I think that the length of this novel was just right. As with all of the Tim O’Rourke books that I have read to date ‘Moonlight’ makes the reader feel as if they are a part of the story. You feel for Winter as if she were your sister or best friend. And I cannot explain how much terror you feel for her. I just wanted to jump into the book and pull her out to safety. There are very few authors that make the reader feel like they can almost touch the characters and live in the story but Tim O’Rourke has this fascinating gift. I would definitely recommend to any young adult/adult, depending on the intended audience, to read Tim’s books. You will not be disappointed. If you’ve tried once, try another. I find these stories suck you in and you are in another world. This is fantasy as it’s best! I will be looking forward to the following two books in this Moon Trilogy.

Other series’ to try are Keira Hudson, Black Hill Farm, Samantha Carter and Doorways. You can find all information on Tim’s website.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker