Night of the Purple Moon – Scott Cramer

Scott Cramer packs a lot into 188 pages. I made the mistake of reading this right before bed last night and had serious trouble going to sleep. But that is a good thing. This book had my mind whirling with questions and left me with a lingering sense of sadness tinged with fear.

On a night when the moon and the world are cast into a lovely purple haze due to a comet’s passing a nightmare begins to unfold. Children around the world wake up to a world in which the adults have died. The terror that this would cause is obvious. Cramer does an excellent job of putting that into words on paper.

It would be almost impossible to write this kind of a story without some hints of Lord of the Flies coming into play. I think almost every school child in America had to read that book. And while there are some allusions to the most well known characters,  Cramer manages to weave them into his own story without letting them overwhelm.  They stay as mere hints.

As an adult reading this book I feel quite certain I had a different reaction to many parts of it than a 12 or 15 year old would. The complete sense of helplessness this inspired when imagining my own niece and stepsons in this world is what kept me up. I would profoundly hope that they would be more like Abby and Jordan in their response to the catastrophe. I enjoyed that Cramer chose to portray how such a situation could let some of the best inner qualities of mankind shine. Compassion, caring and community.

Nothing is glossed over though. Some of the more awful realities and choices that could be made are present as well. This is definitely for the mature YA reader. While some 10 year olds would read and be able to handle the emotional complexity expressed I am sure there are many that would not. This book has the capability to really disturb someone because it causes deeper thought on things many would not want to dwell on.

The only weaknesses I found in the book were an occasional awkwardness in the description of romantic moments and that the switches between what character was narrating were not always clear immediately. But these are very small weaknesses in an otherwise excellent book.

I look forward to the next installment.

 

I was provided a free copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it.