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Moonshine - Stadt Der Dunkelheit (2000)

by Alaya Dawn Johnson(Favorite Author)
3.68 of 5 Votes: 1
3426507161 (ISBN13: 9783426507162)
Zephyr Hollis
review 1: I'm not normally one for vampire stories. I find them either 1) too docile 2) too needlessly violent. I normally don't like reading about vampires who just want looooovvvee, or about vampires tearing people apart. So, I was a little surprised about how much I liked this. I had picked this up because I really enjoyed the Summer Prince by the same author, and I decided to explore some of her other work. This takes place in the 1920s, with vampires as mob bosses and "others" (djinnis and other supernatural creatures) are part of life. The main character,Zepheyr, works at a school helping the vampires, others, and immigrants to atone for the killing she did when she was younger-when she was a "Defender". She hunted down others, and now she feels the need to fight for the... morem, as she realizes they are just people like her. One day, she saves a young boy who is turned into a vampire, and strikes a deal with Amir, a mysterious gentleman. He wants her to take down the big vampire boss, and he will pay her to do so. So, she sets off to take down the biggest vampire in the city, to find out who he is, and to battle the new demon-blood alcohol that is making all the vampires mad. Its an interesting, fun, enjoyable read. If you liked Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, I have a feeling this will be enjoyable as well-with bonus social themes. Even better, as one reviewer commented, the "others" don't just function in place of race. The author doesn't just let the othering of the vampires and supernatural beings stand as her race metaphor, as she includes POC in her story. Amir's color of skin is definitely part of the story. I enjoyed the romance in this, and if you're looking for a fun vampire-1920s ride, this might be what you are looking to read.
review 2: Moonshine appears to be the first in a series that follows the main character Zephyr Hollis. She is a suffragette in 1920’s NY who lectures on economic at the community college, teaches immigrants English, serves food at the soup kitchens, protests on the steps of Tammany Hall about the Mayor’s decisions and gives blood to the blood bank because otherwise the vampires wouldn’t have fresh supplies… wait… what? She not only fights for women’s rights, refuses to eat meat and rides a bicycle all over town, she also sings Jazz. Yes, so she is singing vegetarian vampire suffragette who is also trained as a killer of the supernatural ‘coz that’s daddy’s business. Confused? Indeed. It is prohibition times and she fights with the temperance league and promotes the use of prophylactics. Eek. I am covering my eyes.Oh, I forgot… the love interest Amir, is a djinni who smells like hot cinnamon and myrrh and burns her with the stroke of a finger. Dayum. First off what is it with the name Zephyr? It seems wildly inappropriate. Mistral, maybe… but a zephyr is a weak breeze, right? I sometimes feel that supernatural MC’s (or Others as Ms Johnson would term it) have to have ridiculous names.The story, other than being hard to describe, was quite fun to read. Zephyr has a number of friends and characters that people her world. Thankfully, a few are people of colour which is an issue in 1920’s US. Amir gets stopped at the door of a hotel as too dark skinned to enter regardless of how well dressed and how much money he clearly has. The Other have issues with civil rights, run-ins with police and vigilantes when a new moonshine for vamps is released onto the streets. The plot is fairly complex and interwoven in various story arcs. The world is well realised. There are rules about turning ages, stakings, politics etc. It is written in first person pov that I am not the biggest fan of, but it works. It was a bit rushed in places, but Zephry is cycling madly from one interaction to the next, so that makes sense. All the characters seemed to be hiding something. Pretty much everyone has ulterior motives, but that meant that few characters were two dimensional so I will peg that as a good thing. It’s not really a romance, not really a demon hunter story but Zephyr cycles along happily somewhere in-between. less
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Light, quick read that kept me entertained. Really enjoyed it.
I like Alaya's style and characters.
can't wait for the next one :) !!
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