Bennett, Jenn: Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell I) (2011)

Cover design by Tony Mauro
Cover design by Tony Mauro

I’ve been trying to think of an entirely selfless reason to have children. You know, I cannot think of a single one. Not a single one. Listening to the expectations that parents have of their children (myself included) makes me wonder how sane parents are. For some strange and bizarre reason we combine a sperm and an egg and expect that cocktail to fulfill some kind of need in us.

Arcadia Bell‘s (Selene Duval/Mother of Ahriman) parents expected Arcadia to turn into The Moon-Child. At the time of her conception they had followed some sort of magical ritual overseen by a Frater Blue. Conceiving in this manner was supposed to have given them a child with a special kind of magick (we only get a glimpse at what this magick might be). But Arcadia does not seem to inhabit these powers.

When we meet her, Arcadia is about to turn 25. I’m impressed that she runs her own bar at such a young age along with her friend Kar Yee. The sign at the entrance of Tambuku states “Enter at your own risk” for a good reason. Humans (savages) are a minority customer at the bar. Most of the clientele are earthbound (mix of demon and human) and strange things happen every night. Arcadia is part-owner, enforcer and nonsavage human. All three play a part in our story although it is her abilities as enforcer and nonsavage that holds the most prevalent place.

Having been on the run since she was 17 years old has made Arcadia lonely. Not lonely because she is without company, but lonely because she has to hide who she really is from others. But salvation comes in the form of 13 year old Jupe. Jupe is the kind of teen-ager that is practically impossible to dislike. He grows on Arcadia “like mold” and so does his father.

Lon Butler is the third main character. He helps Arcadia search for the answer to who got her parents blamed. Because of his abilities with empathy, Lon is able to puzzle out what kind of person Arcadia is and she intrigues him. He intrigues her, so I guess they are even. The two of them are also the romantic element of this story.

We get plenty of action and hints that ought to lead you in the right direction as to the answer to Arcadia’s hunt for an answer. Kindling the Moon is a fun read, and I recommend it.



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