Cover Image: Blood Moon Prophecy

Blood Moon Prophecy

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Interesting plot with great found-family trope! The pacing was great and I loved the world-building. I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would’ve wanted to, but I overall enjoyed Tilly and her friends’ journey. 3 stars.
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Blood Moon Prophecy follows sixteen-year-old Tilly Nyx as she learns of her past and a world she never knew. She comes to a world of magic; Tilly joins a fleet that helps her follow the secrets of a map her mother gave Tilly before she died. The closer Tilly gets to the truth, the more dangerous her journey becomes.
I got the Harry Potter vibes in here so this book was so refreshing.

Tilly is an interesting protagonist who had a very difficult life. Losing her mother at a young age, Tilly receives no support from her cold relatives, and she doesn’t feel like she belongs. I felt for Tilly. Her entire life is upended more than once in her young life, and she shows such courage in the face of so many dangerous obstacles.

The found family is one of the most fascinating thing in this story, and I like that Tilly finds her people. Because She had such a horrible childhood, she becomes part of a team, and she finds a sense of belonging. The character development and the plot was entertaining as well.

The story is action-packed and exciting, as Tilly learns to navigate a new, magical world, finds out more about her past and her connection to a mysterious prophecy, and trains with crew mates in magic, sailing, and more. There are a lot of twists and turns and surprising revelations for Tilly and her friends, and I enjoyed their journey.

I would definitely recommend Blood Moon Prophecy to readers who enjoy exciting YA fantasy stories.
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Starts out pretty strong! Immediately thrown into the story which I love. I love the journey and the story so far. I am enjoying the humor that sprinkled in amongst the dire plot it’s a nice little reprieve.  Gives me a Treasure Planet meets Harry Potter vibe. It’s such a great read and good book!
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Blood Moon Prophecy
by Dilani Kahawala
YA Fantasy
NetGalley ARC

Tilly Nyx doesn't remember what happened, but deep down she knows it was her fault that her mom died, her sister disappeared, and the village they were living in was destroyed.

Eleven years later she still waits for the man who promised to come and get her, and she still practices drawing the map as her mom instructed.

After being summoned to the police station, then the family she was living with demands the map, Tilly is thrust into a world she didn't know existed. 

I couldn't help but think 'Harry Potter' meets 'Pokemon' while sailing the ocean. Not the worst idea, but it really needs a lot more descriptions. Everything: the setting, characters, sprites, and spells, were all flat. Hardly any descriptions at all! I saw 'Pokemon' because the sprites they created fought each other... (Yes, I have a 'Pokemon' kid.) And the descriptions of everything including the sprites were only five words, but should've been a minimum of five sentences so the reader could 'see' something. 

The setting, the ships, and even the ocean seemed as if five words were enough to paint the story's picture. 

This could've been a h**l of a lot better if time was taken creating it instead of the summary it read as. The author told this story more than showed it. I felt as if I was reading a high school textbook. Nothing; past, present, or history of this world was really explained to create the story. It was as if Tilly, the MC, was 'oh yeah, I'm not surprised anymore after a few chapters.'

As a final note, I really hope the formatting is gone through really carefully because the characters' dialogue runs together within the same paragraph throughout the book. Quotation marks alone do not separate the speakers from each other, paragraphs do, (but you still need the marks to designate it as 'speech'). It was hard to tell who was talking when there was a conversation going on. It read as if they were all talking at the same time. Very frustrating for the reader.

Like I said it's a good idea, but the descriptions and 'showing of the story' were poorly executed. 

2 Stars
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Was attracted to this book based on the cover and the overview 

The characters were very descriptive and the plot and story line were easy to follow, but  I just could not get into it and found my mind wandering at times.

Loved the magic and our Tilly, but for me, I guess I enjoy a little romance.    

Overall I recommend. It is a good book, but don't expect any romance.   

Thank you to Cedar Street Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for my honest opinion.
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90% of this book was really really good. 

We follow Tilly Nyx, a poor girl growing up in a Cinderella style household after her mom died. Her "family" treats her like a servant and is altogether terrible. Until one day she gets attacked and whisked away to a different world where she is the key to solving an ancient prophecy.  

I thought the characters were enchanting and likeable. The mixtures of new world and our world through fashion and food was interesting. The places where I think it feel off a bit and took me out of the story was the main characters tantrums about learning to control her powers, and the long chapters that revolved around ship life and being a cadet. I know that was there to add something extra (think the Quidditch chapters in Harry Potter) but I found them a little boring. And her attitude at people just trying to help her was putting. I get being frustrated but she goes from barely knowing anything to thinking she knows best. I know it is kind of realistic for a teenager...but that didn't make it any more enjoyable to read. 

Overall I think it is a very interesting universe the author has built and I would suggest it. I also will be reading the rest of the series.
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This book just wasn’t for me. I felt like the pacing was a little too slow and I never found myself eager to pick the book back up. It wasn’t the writing that I didn’t care for but the development of the story.
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Fast-paced is an understatement in this rich fantasy, where magic, mystery, and adventure abound.

Tilly is treated like a servant in her second-cousin-or-whatnot's home, but after being dumped in Central Park at five-years-old, she should just be happy he took her in. Her memory of her past is sketchy, at best, but she knows to meet a man at the park on a certain day when she's sixteen. Instead of showing up for the meeting, the police escort her to find him dead. When she arrives back to her current home, everyone is pressing her to give them a map, one she promised her mother she would hide, but chaos soon breaks out, the world changes completely. Suddenly, people are fighting with magic, horrible creatures want her dead, and there's an entire world she never knew existed, but she has to enter to stay alive. Escaping on a ship to help a commander find the only tool left to stop evil from taking over everything, she finds herself caught up in the middle of saving worlds and, finally, discovering the secret behind her past.

Beginning with a very grabbing, intense scene, this book shoots off and doesn't stop for a single, tiny breath the entire way through...and at around 460 pages, that's a long, intense ride. And it's well done. The writing sits, close and tight, making every moment and word count. This isn't only in the action, however. The world building is also rich, extremely imaginative, and...well, very original in so many ways. The author leads the reader into an elaborate world, where sprites enable magic to be wielded, and there is always more to discover than meets the eye. The South-Asian flair comes through with grace, making this a world to enjoy.

Family and friendship are key in these pages, and without it, the heroine wouldn't have a chance. There's a lovely bonding of a hodge-podge family as Tilly meets friends, and they are forced to stretch all of their capabilities in order to achieve their goal. It is wholesome and heartening in a way, which makes readers wish they could jump right in...except for the very dangerous parts, of course.

There are quite a few characters and subplots, which work out well and promise much to come in the upcoming books...and if they pack just as much, this will be quite the series. While the action and world building definitely had me, I was a little distracted by the similarities to the entire Percy Jackson/Harry Potter trope and wasn't sure why the entire adventure suddenly had to become a type of school on the ship. While this is for the young adult audience, there were quite a few times where it felt more like an upper middle grade read with a little lack on character and background depth. Still, it was well written and definitely draws in. There is so much happening and so much still to explore, and I am excited to see where Tilly and her band go next.
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After an intense chase scene early on in the book, we follow the FMC Tilly as she is rescued from an old enemy and taken to a hidden world she only remembers through bits and pieces of memory. There, she's taken in as a cadet on a semi-futuristic navy ship and learns how to wield her newly discovered magical powers while trying to decipher clues about her past.

There were a few things, in particular, about this book that made a lasting impression. First, the author wrote great action scenes, especially the battles between elemental sprites. Though these battles reminded me a bit of fighting Pokémon, I really enjoyed visualizing how the different sprites interacted. 

Second, I loved the ragtag band-of-brothers dynamic between Tilly and her teammates. The author did a great job capturing the banter among the young cadets, and Nav's lamenting over being on Team Krill had me chuckling. 🦐

Lastly, it would be a crime not to mention Ma Gita's character and the descriptions of all the food she cooks! By the time I was done reading this, I had a strong craving for rose chai and pakoras. 🤤

If I had to nitpick one thing, I'd say that I wished there was more reference to the specifics of the blood moon prophecy throughout the book, rather than saving it all for the end. The bright side is that it made for a hell of an ending, complete with an epic battle as Tilly takes on the enemy that has been hunting her since the beginning.

I'd say my true star rating is a 3.75, but I'm rounding it up to 4 for the series' potential. I'm hoping for a next book and more Team Krill! 

Thank you for the ARC! This review will be cross-posted on Goodreads and Instagram.
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I picked up this book on a day where I wasn’t sure what to read next. I decided to try the first chapter of Blood Moon Prophecy just to see if it caught my attention. It most certainly did. The unique world and magic system sucked me in and didn’t let go. It’s been a while since a YA fantasy kept my attention the way this one did. I loved the found family element. Tilly surrounds herself with a rag tag yet super loyal bunch of friends/mentors.The school-like environment was similar to other popular fantasies but it was original enough to stand on its own since it took place at sea. Another aspect I really appreciated was that there was no romance. Don’t get me wrong…I love a good romance but its refreshing to see that a YA fantasy can tell a truly compelling story without relying on a romance or love triangle.  I feel like there is still so much to discover about Tilly, her magic, and this world. I need to buy my own physical copy so I can admire it on my shelves. I will be patiently (or impatiently) awaiting a sequel.
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Blood Moon Prophecy follows sixteen-year-old Tilly who has been living a Cinderella-like existence with family members in New York City, since her mother died when she was five. Tilly is transported to the land of her birth, is rapidly immersed in a magical world she only dimly remembers, and learns of a prophecy in which she is central. She becomes a cadet in a fleet of sailing ships on a dangerous quest to confront the monster who killed her mother.
The story is fast-paced and full of high-seas adventure with a fascinating and creative magic system. The characters are varied and interesting; they are so numerous that a character index would have been helpful. I really liked the group of young cadets, all with their own strengths and challenges, that Tilly befriends. Blood Moon Prophecy is reminiscent of Harry Potter, although the story and setting are very different. The reader does not receive all the answers in this book, but this feels like it's going to be a series, so please, bring on the sequel.
Recommended for readers who like action-packed adventure, imaginative YA fantasy,  found family, maps, magic and mouth-watering descriptions of food.
Thank you to Books Forward PR and the author for a copy to review. @BooksForwardPR #BooksForwardPR #BFF
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Real Rating: 3.75* of five, rounded up for lots of promise

Young-adult fantasy with cosmic horror overtones isn't my go-to genre reading. This debut novel got in under my radar because I liked the cover and the storytelling voice lulled my concerns about the subject matter.

Because most of the story is told in short chapters heavy on description, I wasn't asked to "listen" to a chosen-one teenaged girl. That was a huge plus to me. I still came away from the read wanting to swat this bratty child for being so completely and unwarrantedly willing to be guided only by her own thoughts and feelings. She never consulted anyone with more information than she possessed, she never changed her mind until her stubborn skull got thumped and hard...she is, in short, a typical smart teen. That made me nutso!

The reason I finished the read was that I liked the found-family aspect, I found the author's descriptions and world-building were very well done, and the cover art. Oh my heck. I am such a fool for a gorgeous cover. This one really fits the story being'll see why. So much of the story's action is sea-borne that I mention it as a possible deal-maker or -breaker, depending on whom the read is destined for; the ships aren't, for once, the relation- type but the wooden type. The author's grasp of sailing is probably superficial but, as mine is too, I found nothing eye-rolling in her depiction of life aboard them. The sailing themes served as handy reasons to bring characters together but only that is a deeply rooted feature of chosen-one quests, that worked very well.

Mei, James, and Nav, Tilly's scooby-group, are all standard characters. The vibe one gets from the read is very much Harry Potter and those Mortal Instruments books; the side characters, though very much side characters, are more than furnishings for the heroine's story. That dubious honor goes to the immense cast of secondary characters, seemingly dozens of them, all serving one and only one purpose. These are features of YA fantasy stories, I hasten to add, not bugs. The author is quite clear about her purpose for each one of the secondary characters. When the occasional one pops back up in a later chapter I felt quite surprised.

If you're looking for something to please your classical-magic loving tween/early-teen niece/cousin/grandchild, this introductory volume in what I expect to be a successful series will earn you early-adopter points. This is an author to watch...her journey, beginning here, can go to much greater heights.
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I really do like YA novels, sadly this book reads more like a children's book and not a good one.

It starts off with a scene which could be used as an opening for an episode of Supernatural (and I'm not talking about anywhere before s12) or Grimm, and this scene sets of feeling of cliche which will follow you all the way through the book, which feels like a cheap Harry Potter knock-off with some radical changes made to it.

What saddens me the most is the fact that there's rarely any build up or any logic behind everything that's happening. Things just happen and you have to go with it. Tilly is being taken into another world and then she gets introduced to the fleet admiral who immideately steals several ships from the fleed to go chasing a legend just after spending less than a minute with her. We get to discover that one character has in fact a notorious personality behind him, but we've only heard about this personality once or didn't hear at all. One of characters turns out to be a traitor, but once again nothing was building up to it and it just seems sudden and abrupt, so you simply shrug it off. The ending fits this whole profile of "it just happened" so there's not much to love there.

The author is obsessed with foods, it feels like there are waay to many food names and descriptions and while you can tell that she was going for something cute there, like the feeling you get from watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, it actually turns into a creepy obsession midway and you can't help but keep wondering why was so much food needed there.

There's little to none in terms of setting the scene: the descriptions are rare and far between, as well as erratic. We get to know about one wooden panel and its smell and that's basically it.

Characters seem flat and uninspired. By the end of the book author's milking of "poor orphan girl who misses her mother" became really tiresome.

All in all: a nice book idea which could have had the potential, but the realisation fell short.
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Blood Moon Prophecy was recommended to me based on my never ending love of The Descent of the Drowned, and while they're not that similar, I still loved this one too.

It was crazy fast paced, I haven't read a book that moves that fast in ages. AND, the chapters are short which I always prefer so it was much easier to read.

I had some personal issues that prevented me from finishing it all the way back in mid September, but trust me, were it not for those issues, this book would've been binged in one go.

At first I wasn't sure where the story was going, but as it picked up the pace it became a lot more interesting and unlike anything I've read before. I especially love the old language, the little clues AND THE FOOD! GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD RIGHT NOW. NOW I SAY.

The characters are a perfect example of the well-done found family trope. They don't all immediately get along, but by the end of the book they're a team, a family, they'd do anything to save each other and it's beautiful.

Then we have a creative magic system which I can't wait to learn more about. IT'S SO GOOD! If I say it's kind of like casting charms, but cooler, I wouldn't be doing it justice so you'll just have to read it.

I wish we got a tiiiiiny bit more answers, but I'm also fine with waiting until the next book to get them. Can't rush perfection now can we?

Speaking of the next book, I'd like it N O W, please and thank you.


*Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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It's time to dive into a new fantasy series! Blood Moon Prophecy is the first novel in Dilani Kahawala's Legend of the Nyx series. Also, can I just say that I love this cover? It reminds me of another fantasy series, though I can't quite place my fingers on it.

We all do stupid things when we're young. However, sometimes those stupid things come with a heavier price. For example, Tilly's mistake cost her more than usual – her mother was killed, her village destroyed, and her sister disappeared. Oh, and don't forget the ancient horror. Not exactly a fun day to be had.

Now, at sixteen, Tilly is finally trying to take ownership of her life – and her past. She will do everything in her power to understand who she is and what role she has to play in this world.

It feels like a minute since I got to dive into a young adult fantasy series with a darker setting. Realistically, I know it hasn't been all that long, but it sure feels that way. So I was excited/relieved to pick up Blood Moon Prophecy and get reading.

If you're a fan of fantasy novels involving lots of action, this is probably the read for you. It's fast-paced, with short chapters and plenty of new (dangerous) twists. It's plenty to keep the average reader invested.

I'm going to give Blood Moon Prophecy bonus points for two things. First – the found family trope. I'm a sucker for this, so I know my rating is probably slightly influenced by this fact. Seeing Tilly finally find a place to belong and people to call her own was an absolute delight.

I'm also giving bonus points for the magical world, which was fascinating to read about. Something about this world was easy for me to visualize. I don't even feel like I need to beg for a movie or TV adaptation – it already played out in my head.
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“Wherever you are, Mama. I hope you can hear me. I’m going. I’m going to figure out our secret.”

Tilly Nyx made a deadly mistake eleven years ago that cost her everything she’s ever loved. Because of that mistake, she was forced to relocate to New York City, but a mysterious stranger told her that in eleven years, he would come back for her. All that she brought with her to this new life was an ancient map that she was tasked with keeping safe by her mother. Now sixteen, her life takes a drastic change when she is thrown into a mystical ocean-filled world and finds herself at the center of an ancient prophecy called the “Blood Moon Prophecy.” In this world, she is introduced to sprites (a kind of magic in this world), a thriving sailing culture, and a kingdom filled with ancient grudges dividing the people amongst themselves. Not only must Tilly learn the trade of this world, but she must solve the Blood Moon Prophecy before time runs out. But, Tilly will come to find the prophecy will reveal secrets of Tilly’s lineage that are perhaps best-kept secret. 

Blood Moon Prophecy was a breath of fresh air (or salty sea air) amongst the “Chosen One” trope, common in YA literature. Although this novel had many elements that reminded me of other YA novels of the same trope, Blood Moon Prophecy does a magnificent job distinguishing itself from the trope. It developed its own unique world, magic systems, and societal structure that aren’t based on cliches. One of the novel’s greatest strengths is its diverse set of characters. All the characters introduced had distinctive characteristics, abilities, and even quirks that made them stand out. Another thing I loved about this novel was the powerful friendship developed between Tilly and her team. Their interactions felt so natural and it was nice to see these characters interact with each other – their actions not entirely based on Tilly’s. And I loved the setting of this world. It made me reminiscent of the Sinbad of the Seven Seas tales, as I found it unique that the entirety of the plot took place on the sea. And finally, the sprites that the characters use to perform magic were described in a way that made it visually pleasing to imagine. 

The one critique I have about this novel, due to its incredibly detailed nature, was that it sometimes felt as though it threw too much information at the reader at once. There were times when I would lose track of the plot due to me trying to retain all the new information regarding certain characters’ backgrounds, the laws/customs of this society, and even the abilities of the different sprites. However, I believe this overload does not diminish the value of the book because it puts us precisely in the same position as the main character Tilly. Tilly is expected to understand the goings on of this world despite not having been a part of it for eleven years, so it makes sense that readers feel overwhelmed just like the main character. This creates a shared experience which I believe helps readers develop an even more personal connection with the book.

Overall, I found Blood Moon Prophecy an extraordinary read. It is filled with thrills, hardships, friendships, and of course magic. If you are a fan of the Percy Jackson Series or the Harry Potter Series, I would highly recommend giving this book a read!

Blood Moon Prophecy: The Legend of the Nyx releases on October 11th, 2022.

(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)
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2.5/5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed the world building and learning about the magic system! However, I felt like the pacing was way too fast, at least in the first half. It felt like the author prioritized information and events over character building and getting the readers to care about each character. 

At some points, I had to push myself to trust the process and continue reading.  I do think that the writing and story improved in the second half of the book. I also believe this is the author's first book, so I have no doubt that they will continue to grow as a writer.

Thank you to NetGalley and Cedar Street Press for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest thoughts
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Thanks to Cedar Street Press and Netgalley for the ARC.

Tilly Nyx is a 16 year old in NYC with memories of her mother, sister and she  living a very different life until her mother and sister were murdered. She was brought to NYC by the mysterious Time Keeper and placed with a family who kept her essentially living in poverty. All she possessed was a map that her mother insisted she not tell anyone about. Then the Time Keeper is killed and everyone Tilly thought she knew turns against her and she is plunged into a different world full of magic, prophecy and a dangerous opponent focused on finding her.

This story is full of many of the themes I so enjoy in fantasy stories; unknown abilities, found family, magical training and an implacable foe. The world building is well done and I liked that most of the story takes place on the ocean with a large fleet of ships, some with unique magical features. The magic system of casting sprites of different kinds to complete different tasks, like lighting a room or compete in battles against other sprites was fun to read. There was a lot of action and the story moved at a fairly brisk pace as well, and unfortunately at times this also worked against the story. So much was going on with war games, searching for answers and training that it took away from getting to know and get attached to the characters. It just never felt like we got much depth with the characters as there was so much to absorb that they felt a bit flat. Overall, the story kept my interest and there are many positives to this debut and I will certainly look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
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* Thanks to Cedar Street Press and Netgalley for an advance copy for review purposes *

Tillly Nyx lives a pretty unremarkable life along her unpleasant relatives, until she discovers her role in stopping a terrifying evil that was involved in the death of her mother.  The world this book is set in is fascinating - mostly water, with people living and working on ships, and an elemental magic based system that makes a lot of sense.  However, the story is a little too similar to Harry Potter and  I am not entirely sure who the target audience for this book is.  The first 60-70% of the book seems to be aimed towards a very young audience (think Philosopher's Stone), and the last section gets significantly darker (the climax of the Goblet of Fire).  I also did not connect much with the characters, Tilly is a blank slate, with zero growth, Mei is Hermione,
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This is about a young girl named Tilly discovering a secret that's been kept from her since she was a child. It was hidden to protect her. As the story unfolds there is a lot of magic, action and adventure. It is well written, has good world building
and enjoyable characters. 

Thank you BooksForward for this ARC.
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