Cover Image: Raven's Moon

Raven's Moon

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Our first-person narrator wakes to a world of never-before experienced sensations, only to discover that he is a fictional character brought to life: Bram Farrell, “The Raven,” the hero of a wildly popular urban fantasy series. His author as well as the witch who brought him through to the real world wants him to locate her literary heir, a talented young woman writer to take over the series after the original author succumbs to the cancer riddling her body. He, on the other hand, soon sets his own mission: to investigate and make right the murders of innocent supernatural creatures slain by his fictional self. Aided by a hellhound demon in the shape of a Dachshund, he begins his search with a group of succubi working as prostitutes. But the clock is ticking, for Bram’s author has given him a deadline: Halloween, only four days away. 

One of the most interesting aspects of this fast-paced story is how Bram-in-the-real-world perceives his fictional antecedent, even as he remakes himself into a different individual. His appetite for beef – the greasier the better – doesn’t change (much to the despair of his creator’s health-food vegan-is-better personal chef), but his ability to judge the ethics of his character’s choices sets him on a different path -- a path that will be revealed in subsequent volumes.
Was this review helpful?
Raven's Moon is the first book in the Raven Tales series by J.B. Dane. Bram Farrell, private investigator, has starred in twenty bestselling novels by writer-and witch-Calista Amberson. Her fans love the tall, dark, and handsome PI who uses magical powers to vanquish supernatural bad guys. So, when Calista uses her magic to pull Bram from his fictional world into real-world, modern-day Detroit, she rocks both worlds. Now Bram must track down and destroy otherworld evil before it destroys him.Bram's investigation turns up a lot of suspicious characters: grouchy bar-owning trolls, a thirsty vampire godfather, a couple of murderous x-cage fighters, a suspicious minister-and the Devil himself. Things are getting dicey: Bram could use some help with this job-but whom can he trust? 

Raven's Moon is an urban fantasy that captured my attention because of the premise. Book character from a series similar to stories I enjoy dragged from his books into the 'real' world with similarities and differences from his former life. I liked the takes on creatures from legends, and the twists and turns the mystery and magical elements of the story took. I liked Bram's character, trying to figure out who and what he is in the real world, and where he stands. The complications of who has good intentions, and who is out for power or more nefarious things had me guessing throughout the entire story. Hints were dropped, and I found myself muddling along side Bram. Some of the twists I suspected, some I considered and rejected, only to have it all turn around on me. I think it was a combination of the knowledge of a wide variety of legendary creatures and Bram's own self awareness that really made me love this story. The world and character building were very well done. The humor of a dachshund shaped hellhound and other characters certainly mad the read even better for me though. 

Raven's Moon is a wonderful start to a series, and I will be reading the next book as soon as it is available, but for now I am going to get my hands on the prequels.
Was this review helpful?
DNF'd @ 15%

The premise sounded so cool - what with a hardboiled Sam Spade-esque urban fantasy series private detective getting released into the real world by his author and everything. Unfortunately, the writing style is really grating on my nerves. I'm not interested in the characters or their world(s) at all after that intro. But I do know that I'll be thinking about this joke from 4% into the story all day: "'I'm P.T. Kosmas.' A hastily wiped hand was extended my way. I shook it. 'P.T. as in Cruiser?'" And yes that's from the Spade-esque PI shortly after he's been released into our world.
Was this review helpful?
I liked the idea of this book quite a lot, it's original and it could be a good starting for an even better series. I liked the fact that our MC is a book's character, even better, it's the MC of a series of books that is dragged in the real world but his creator, the author, and powerful witch, Calista.
He is a PI and it's quite successful in his fictional world, and it seems that, other than that, he is quite famous in the real world, too. Every supernatural creature knows who he is, or know of him. And this is not always good for our brand new PI, who is thrown in the real world without a word of advice or without a clear reason. And so Bram has to fend for himself, sort of, to find out the whys and to solve a gruesome series of killings that are suspiciously tied to him.

But he is not alone in this adventure. With him we have the faithful and fantastic Dachshund from Hell. And yes, I intend it literally! It's a real Hellhound who usually keep the form of a dachshund. So, yeah, a real dachshund from hell. How cool is that??? And Satan himself took a liking for our PI and helps him out here and there. And he is the best. Those are the characters that I really liked!
But we won't stop here! We have a ton of different magical creatures and this is a thing that I really appreciate in a book. We have hellhounds, witches, vampires, trolls, and many many others!

So far, so good. But this book could have been something more. If you are in need of something not demanding, fun and fast-paced, just to take your mind away for a couple of hours, this could be the right book for you. But if you want something more, well... this may not be the best choice. There are some parts that aren't so well developed, as the relationship between Calista and Bram. It's not badly developed, but it's lacking something. It would have been more realistic, in a way, and more complete if we had seen them interact more, for example. And other similar things in the book that could have been more developed. It's like the MC just get along with whatever it happens to him, without doubting or questioning it. And if this makes for an easy-going character, it makes also wonder why he didn't question this or that, or why something is the way it is.

So yeah, it could have been more. That's for sure. But it was an enjoyable and pleasant reading, and I have no doubt that I would read the second book in this series, because I can't wait to see again the Dachshund From Hell!
Was this review helpful?
Interesting! The story line is one not often used, but the writer makes it fun with nifty characters and good world building!
Was this review helpful?
I just couldn't get through it. I didn't care about any of the characters, the world building was shaky at best. I made it through 3 chapters and found I simply didn't care what happened to anyone. I'm so sorry, I hate to leave a bad review, but this one didn't resonate with me in any way.
Was this review helpful?
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Urban Fantasy is one of my favourite genres. Well, I even dare to say it is even the genre I enjoy the most; but, for reasons I don’t even know, I barely read any book that falls into that category. Maybe I could make the more often reading of Urban Fantasy one oy my New Year Resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves that we tend to ignore way too easily. Sorry, I’m digressing… again. Let’s review the book!!

In this book we travel to Detroit to meet Bram, the main character of a successful Urban Fantasy saga who has been brought to life thanks to his creator, an elderly witch called Calie. The intentions of that summon are not clear, but being Bram a fictional detective he is very focused on discovering them. But that is not going to be his only mission. The supernatural community of Detroit contacts him to investigate several murders that are eerily similar to the ones described in the twenty books written by Calie. Will The Raven solve the mystery or will the mystery kill The Raven? That’s a question I’m not answering for you…

I have an aquired taste for crazy stories without filters where you can find the wildest interpretations of myths and supernatural creatures. There is not such thing as too much imagination in my opinion. This book is a clear example of it, but it is also its main issue (more on that later). Do you want magic, witches, vampires, zombies, trolls… all in the same story? Go no further. Raven’s Moon have all of that and even more. It’s a very enjoyable supernatural fest, where the readers don’t know what they are going to find in the next page. This first volume of the saga is a total declaration of intentions about its future. If you don’t enjoy a world brimming with supernatural creatures tyrying to live a normal life, then you should skip it. I happen to love that, so I will stick to it as long as the publishers let me. It’s not only superb in craziness. It also has a very fast pace with a lot of action scenes and revelations that will keep you engaged during the whole story.

There is so much going on, that sometimes I felt overwhelmed with all the data being fed to me; which provoked me getting lost several times during the story. Our good detective Bram not only has to reveal Calie’s intention while following her orders, he also needs to investigate twenty murders of supernatural creatures, deal with the attempts against his life and discover himself in that new world beyond paper and ink. Twenty murders are too many. He jumped from one to the other without much notice, throwing at the reader facts, dates, names… I knew all had to be related, so I tried to keep track of all the information given; but it soon became too much to handle and I just hoped for a good ending where everything is orderly resumed. We get than ending. It is a good ending with a huge twist I wasn’t expecting, but the emotional impact should have been bigger. As a reader, I was more focused matching the final punch with the rest of the story to really enjoy what I was being told.

This could have been a really bad experience if the main character were annoying to read. Thankfully, Bram is far from a bad character in my humble opinion. The whole book is narrated from his point of view, so the fact that he is an enjoyable guy to read has made the reading a smooth pleasure. Since the first moment, we get to see how the poor guy struggles between the person that he was in the books and the new person he has become. He needs to relearn almost everything, because he has never really experienced life: flavours, touch, sleep, sexual attraction… He has knowledge of it, but no real practice. That is an interesting point of the story that is sadly barely used or mentioned in passing (the author needed more space for the investigation of so much murder…), but it is one of the reason why it is so easy to fall in love with the guy. The other is his sense of humor. Bram is comedy gold if you happen to enjoy sarcasm, dark humor and caustic comebacks. He uses all of that as a self-defense mechanism and a way to cope with all the crazy expectations thrown into his shoulders.

In the characters deparment, Bram hoards all the slices of the cake. There are dozens of other characters, but not a single one of them has a presence or personality worth of mentioning. They are just required pawns to put the story in the proper track. In future books I would like to get to know much better the cook, P. T. Her weird relationship with Bram could be a lot of fun and develop great chemistry between the two of them. Sam has also been a great guy to meet, but maybe he could be too much for a story. He could bring too much imbalance to the power distribution. I would be sad if he were transformed into a real bad guy, but that would be smarter storywise.

As I said, this is a really fun book with a great character and a crazy story. Yes, sometimes we get much more than we can chew and there are several holes in the plot, but nothing that could lessen the enjoyment of Bram’s adventures.
Was this review helpful?
Popular romance writer Beth henderson has entered the world of urban fantasy writing as J.B. Dane.  In book One of her new series The Raven Tales we meet her protagonist, Bram Farrell.  Farrell is a fictional private investigator who has starred in 20 best selling novels written by Calista Amberson.  Amberson is more than a best selling author, She is also a witch of great power who is able to pull Bram from his fictional universe into her real Detroit. 
She tasks Bram with finding the perfect author to continue her series after her death.  Callie's Detroit where Bram is real is also a few world's removed our normal world. Creatures that are mythical to us are real. Bram is shocked to find that the creatures he has killed in his fictitious adventures have also died in this realm. 

Dane has a fine comedic sense.  The hell hound side kick provided by Callie takes the form of a red eyed dachshund  Trolls own dive bars, succubi are street walkers, vampire assistants are known as renfields, and best of all Satan morphs from a sag into beer drinking laid back guy.  The writing is face paced; the dialog crackles.
Will Bram learn enough of human existence to be able to meet Callie's challenge? Will the Otherworldly beings be more of an hindrance or a help?
The author superior sense of style bode well for this new series. I look forward to book 2

Full disclosure: I received an e copy of this book from and Burns and Lea Books in exchange for and unbiased review.  Thank you for this opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for allowing me to preview this title. Sadly, I did not finish it. I felt, from the beginning, that I was coming into the book in the middle of a conversation and was very confused. I read about 20% and still wasn't real clear on what was going on so I gave up.
Was this review helpful?
Raven's Moon by J.B. Dane, a fun quick read.  Raven has been called forth from his books and quickly comes to realize that not everything is as he thought it was.
Was this review helpful?
This book was very good. A lot of twists & turns you don't see coming! Calie is a very successful writer. She's written over 20 books featuring her hero Bram. Bram is an adventurer & part vigilante. He solves crime as an investigator of nonhumans. One night he is brought to life. Posing as a human his creator, Calie, has already created a fake drivers license, real bank card, a few details in case people wanted to look over his history & a short backstory. Then she turns him loose on the world to explore! Raven gets distracted by 20 cold cases he finds out are exact duplicates to the murders in his books. He spends a lot of time trying to solve them, however he finds out he may only have a few days before he is sent back to his books. It turns out Calie has other plans for him. Did I mention there is an adorable hellhound the size of a dachshund that helps him fight when he gets in trouble? This message is for the Author/publisher. I found a lot of misspelled or wrong words used in my Kindle version. So I am going to list them, in hopes you can correct them before others read this great book. Location 705; He downed the entire mug like a college kid chug-a-lugging his way through a fraternity induction, then slammed the empty down on the table. (It should say empty mug). Location 723; I whistled up Calie’s onretainer cabdriver and trusted him to deliver me to a haberdashery. (on retainer, should be on retainer). Location 1432; Now many windows in the upper stories were broken and not even boarded over. (It should say Not instead of Now). Location 1496; Anyway, Rolph’s death didn’t sound like it’d had even a kissing cousin connection to a crime of passion, which is usually a spur-ofthe-moment sort of thing. (It should say spur-of-the-moment). Location 2314-2317 ; Let’s just say I was distracted , what with juggling the bags of variously flavored chips, pretzels, and cookies, plus a can of pop, while fishing the door key from my pocket, my mind running in circles screaming with frustration over all the cases on my to-besolved list. (It should say to-be-solved). Location 2881; The sound of vehicles leaving the estate had grown nonexistent when the first of the witches arrived in the meadow-that-should-notexist. (It should say meadow-that-should-not-exist). Location 3205; He was fixated on them, particularly the Skadegamutc, although it is a creature of the Wabanaki, who lived in modern-day New England, not in the Northwest Territories.” (modern-day should be just modern day). Location 3275; Today she resembled a back-tonature hippy, with a suede-fringed buckskin jacket and a white opencollared shirt shoved into black denim jeans. (It should say back-to-nature). I hope this helps! Thanks again for the opportunity!
Was this review helpful?
Three and a half 
I really wanted to like this book but initially I just wasn’t as enamoured with the writing style as I’d hoped. Upon reflection I think perhaps the author was trying to give perhaps a Sam Spade style feel to the narrative as our hero Bram, struggles to juggle two very different issues. I did think the idea of a created character having free will and being made real in our world was a very cool idea but I think for me I’d have liked perhaps more interaction between him and Calista, the Witch who has dreamed him up. What we do get is Bram supposedly searching for an author who could take over writing his stories when Calista succumbs to her terminal illness. There an awful lot more though as Bram gets asked to help the Supernatural community find out who is responsible for deaths that strangely mirror acts that have occurred in the book series that has spawned him. 
I think both Bram and indeed the readers are misdirected here which actually meant I enjoyed the second half of this story a whole lot more than the beginning. With a time limit on his activities Bram sometimes trusts the wrong people. I could predict what Calista had planned but the murder mystery element had a very satisfying conclusion. Several supporting characters were interesting although perhaps some in hindsight did need fleshing out more. Best of all though is a Hellhound masquerading as a Dachshund ! Totally a bizarre idea but one I very much enjoyed. Expect Demons, Witches, Trolls, Vampires and of course a very unusual portrayal of the Devil himself ! Not perfect as I wanted the characters to feel more realistic but still a story that kept my attention.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
Was this review helpful?
A writer casts a spell to bring her fictional paranormal detective into the real world. Bram is a hard boiled Sam Spade type of detective who has faced all manner of dangers in the 20 best selling books Calie has written about him.

This seemed like an excellent idea and I was looking forward to reading this but I just couldn't get into the book and DNF.  I didn't enjoy the writing style, it didn't draw me into the story at all, and as a result I couldn't connect with Bram.  It didn't help that there was a lot  - too much? - going on.  Calie and others up to no good, hiding things from Bram who in turn was trying to get to grips with the 'real' world as well as what was happening with Calie, hellhounds and all manner of supernaturals appeared early on in the book.  I ended up confused and gave up reading.
Was this review helpful?
This is a interesting book. I found the story was enjoyable. The main character does seem to go around in circles for most of it before finding out he's been playing by both his allies in helping solve the cold case murders as well as his author witch who's playing on stealing the body of her chef. But eventually he gets there and saves the day and gets all the money too. #Raven's Moon #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 16%.

A writer casts a spell to bring her fictional paranormal detective into the real world. Meantime the character finds out that someone is killing supernatural creatures in the same way as the characters are murdered in his novels - is the writer copying the murders or could there be a more sinister reason?

I gave up on this book really early because I found the writing style grating. The fictional character, Bram, is a hard-boiled Sam Spade type of detective who uses magic to solve supernatural crimes in the novels. But he uses too many big words like sustenance when he's talking about being served bacon in a dive bar - it's food FFS. Also in only a few pages we have hellhounds, kitsune, trolls, vampires, Renfields, covens, Satan and two or three other creatures. It's too much, slow it down!

Overall, I think there could be a great book in here if you can push past the purple prose but I just couldn't get past it.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
An unusual and excellent urban fantasy, engrossing and entertaining.
I appreciated the well written cast of characters, the great world building and the gripping plot.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Was this review helpful?
Bram lived in Calie’s mind and than in her books. A character born on a computer screen, brought to life only in a million print runs in over forty languages. A character who had a Wikipedia of his own. He did not feel physical discomfort, could neither a sound, nor identify a scent or taste , and could not be blinded, much less speak and be heard. Then he heard the rain, and seen color, and he took his first step forward in the real world. He was her boon, The reason she cast the spell. There were too many distractions, many questions to ask. But Cale had fallen to the sofa when the storm had passed . She said not now Bram and passed out on the couch, Bram decided dealing with his new senses wasn’t going to be easy. Now that she had bought her hero to life she needed him to find her a new body. But he kep[t getting distracted.  .
This was a little harder to read but it dragged for me and was kinda flat. I just couldn’t get into this book. Raven irritated me at different times while reading this book. I also got confused at times. All and all just isn’t for me.
Was this review helpful?
I actually really enjoyed this book!  It's a bit quirky and a mash up of some of my favourite genres - it's like Sam Spade met up with some really cool PNR characters.

Bram is quite literally yanked into the real world from his usual place in the creative mind of his author, Calista.  But when he gets some devastating news he wonders if his new "real life" is in peril and he's only been "alive" for less than 24hrs! Raven is kind of rough around the edges but that kind of appealed to me.

There are a few unusual shifter types, not just your usual weres and vampires and demons.  There's treachery afoot though and not all of Bram's allies are actually there to help.  Some of the secondary characters could do with a bit of beefing up, such as Burt the Taxi Driver.  I felt he could have been so more involved.  Likewide I am looking forward to the next book in the series in the hope that PT & Bram might get ...Closer?  I really enojyed this book from a new to me author!
Was this review helpful?
This is a convoluted tale that I had a hard time reading.  Geremy and his siblings being in two different realms yet together had me rereading parts of the story.  I did finish the book buy it wasn't my cup of tea.
Was this review helpful?
Raven’s Moon is the first book I’ve read by J. B.Dane. I was really excited about this book. I haven’t read a good Urban Fantasy book in a long time. Bram Farrell is a character in a best selling book series.  Calista Amberson writes The Raven Tales. She pulls Bram from the pages of her books into the real world. Lots of unusual creatures. Lots of conflicts. A little confusing st times but overall a good book.
Was this review helpful?