Review of High Moor 2: Moonstruck

High Moor 2The best way to start off this review of Graeme Reynolds’s High Moor 2: Moonstruck is with a glance back at what I had to say about the original High Moor:

I truly loved this book. Once I started to really read it, I finished the novel in a day and a half. Whenever I put it down, I found myself coming back to it almost impulsively. I haven’t been this addicted to something since I downloaded Angry Birds. Recommended without reservation to anyone who is a fan of horror or anyone that wants to be. High Moor is the kind of book that will make converts of us all.

It goes without saying that I was anticipating High Moor 2 immensely, but also with some trepidation. After such a great debut, could Reynolds keep it up? Was there any way that he could match the intensity of the original, the page-turning ferocity of its werewolves? Would we end up with a mindless retread? More werewolves, more killing, more boring? I was afraid, my friends. Well, now I’ve read the book and I have my verdict.

Not only is High Moor 2 an incredible ride worthy of my expectations, indeed, it accomplishes something truly rare—it surpasses the original.

SPOILERS AHEAD

High Moor 2 begins precisely where High Moor left off. John Simpson is in police custody, accused of brutally murdering (and eating) several people. The love of his life, Maria, is in the morgue, the authorities under the impression she is dead. Meanwhile, werewolf hunter Steven is in a coma, with the first stirrings of the beasts he has spent his life hunting surging through his blood. Meanwhile, teams of werewolves are on their way to High Moor, intent on destroying the evidence and keeping the existence of the pack a secret. And that means killing John Simpson.

END SPOILERS

One thing that is certainly the case—if you liked High Moor, you will like this book. Reynolds writes as if the last book never stopped. The style is crisp, the story doesn’t seem forced, and the action doesn’t let up. New characters are introduced with ease, and Reynolds makes us care for them almost immediately. Which just makes it all the better when werewolves start eating them. I’m going to repeat from my original review, because it is appropriate here.

The werewolves in Reynolds’s novel are of two varieties. Most can change at will, controlling the beast within while also harnessing its power. Others are “moonstruck,” able to change only upon the full moon. They are wild and vicious, and the pack werewolves hunt them down, lest they reveal their secret to the world. And let me tell you, there is a lot of hunting, a lot of fighting, and a lot of killing. No character is safe in Reynolds’s world, and that he establishes this fact early on heightens the tension in every werewolf encounter. His descriptions of the attacks are so rich and vivid that you will see them in your mind’s eye with a clarity normally reserved for movies. And it is that talent with description that may be Reynolds’s strongest suit. The man isn’t just writing a scene. He is creating a world for his characters to inhabit.

This book is amazing. It has some of the most gut wrenching scenes of horror I have ever read, and Reynolds is an absolute master of an action scene. If you haven’t read the High Moor series, don’t worry. These books are so good that I fully expect they will have a Hollywood treatment at some point in the future.

Verdict: Reynolds has knocked it out of the park. High Moor was shortlisted for a Bram Stoker Award. I wouldn’t be surprised to see High Moor 2: Moonstruck win the whole shebang.

5 Stars

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One response to “Review of High Moor 2: Moonstruck

  1. Pingback: High Moor 2: Moonstruck now available. Plus 2 more reviews and an AMAZING competition. | Graeme Reynolds's Blog

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