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A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder eARC {3 Stars}

A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder is the story of sisters in a magical river valley determined to help each other no matter the costs, oh and did I mention one set are sprites? :D I’ve been excited for A Nearer Moon ever since I saw that gorgeous cover, and I might still need to buy a copy just to have such a pretty thing on my shelf, but I was a bit disappointed that A Nearer Moon ended up being just another cute middle grade instead of whatever perfection I had been expecting. Young readers, fan of sisters and sprites, and parents reading to children will find A Nearer Moon delightful and fast, but don’t fall into the high expectation trap that I did.

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Nearer Moon from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder eARC {3 Stars}

A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on Sept. 8th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 160 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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In a small river village where the water is cursed, a girl’s bravery—and the existence of magic—could mean the difference between life and death in this elegant, luminous tale from the author of Parched and Audacity.

Along a lively river, in a village raised on stilts, lives a girl named Luna. All her life she has heard tales of the time before the dam appeared, when sprites danced in the currents and no one got the mysterious wasting illness from a mouthful of river water. These are just stories, though—no sensible person would believe in such things.

Beneath the waves is someone who might disagree. Perdita is a young water sprite, delighting in the wet splash and sparkle, and sad about the day her people will finally finish building their door to another world, in search of a place that humans have not yet discovered.

But when Luna’s little sister falls ill with the river sickness, everyone knows she has only three weeks to live. Luna is determined to find a cure for her beloved sister, no matter what it takes. Even if that means believing in magic…

3 Stars


  • I’m a sucker for intriguing settings and the atmospheric swamp of A Nearer Moon instantly drew me in. I was eager to find out where this swamp was in relation to our world and every detail I could glean kept me hooked.
  • A Nearer Moon is all about sisters. There are two sets, one human and one.. not ;-). But both are fiercely dedicated to each other and made me very much wish I had a sister to hug right now!
  • You will tear through A Nearer Moon both because it is fairly short and because it is wonderfully paced. I love those moments when you are just starting to lose interest in the current plot point and the next comes along naturally at the perfect moment. A Nearer Moon is that feeling pretty much all the time.
  • Sprites! If you notice on the cover, there is something scary grabbing at the bottom of that boat and that was a major draw for me. I was delighted to find how in-depth into the lives of the sprites we get to see in A Nearer Moon and now I’m seriously craving more books with sprites, recommendations?
  • A Nearer Moon is a firmly stand-alone story with a nicely encapsulated plot and no dangling threads to worry about. If you crave stand-alone, this is a book for you.


  • I will continue to be overly picky with middle grade and A Nearer Moon is no exception. The plot wrapped up in quite a convenient manner and I couldn’t help wishing for things to be at least a bit more interesting, even considering the audience.
  • Given the hints of the magic we see, A Nearer Moon was way too short. Yes, yes, we always want more of a good thing right? But I really felt like another hundred pages could have been used to flesh out the sprites a bit more and to make the ending feel more natural.
  • I suspect this piggy-backs on the above point, but in the end A Nearer Moon was just lacking that x-factor for me to really like it. I wanted more something, not even something specific, just something to make it shine out from the crowd of middle grade and match that gorgeous cover!


A Nearer Moon is a fun adventure for its intended audience and a sweet tale of sisterly bonds for us adult who enjoy middle grade. I wish that A Nearer Moon had gone just a bit further in some direction to cement my affection for the world and characters, but I still had an enjoyable time reading it, however limited that was.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. This makes me so sad to see that this book was missing some bite. There is no reason to water down reality because a book is MG. UGH. I had this one on my watch list, but I might as well pass it over for something else.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: August Wrap UpMy Profile

    • Right????? I get so annoyed with middle grade books that underestimate children’s desire for interesting plots, does it shock you when they then aren’t interested in reading???

  2. Darn! I agree, this DOES sound amazing. Swamps! Water sprites! Magic! Too bad this didn’t live up to its promise. :( If I see this at the library, I miiiiight get it, but unfortunately this looks like one of those MGs that won’t be as big a hit with the adults. Sadness.
    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts recently posted…(Re)Introducing: Make Me Read It — where YOU get to tell me what to read and reviewMy Profile

  3. Thank you for this review, the cover is gorgeous…. sad that it didn’t live up to your expectations. :/

    Steph recently posted…Recent Reads: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland StoneMy Profile

  4. I believe this is the second review I’ve seen that said it didn’t live up to the cover (which really is gorgeous).

    I’m torn. It sounds good, but there’s so many things on the ‘to read’ list already!
    Rindis recently posted…A Soul For TroubleMy Profile

  5. It looks cute. I really like the cover
    Jen recently posted…Jubilee Manor by Bethany Hagen #BookReview #Playlist #GiveawayMy Profile

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