4 out of 4 stars
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Dylan Murphy and the Harvest Moon by Brian Glenn, the second book in the Eldora Chronicles, begins six weeks after the conclusion of the first book. Dylan, Lisa, and John are back in Colorado after helping the king and queen of Colabra defeat the sinister Zondor. While Dylan and Lisa explore their newfound magical abilities, John investigates a gruesome crime with no clues. When John gets injured in the line of duty, the medal he received from the king and queen magically heals him. Astonished, John seeks advice from Dylan and Lisa, and they help him figure out the cause of his magic.
Back in Endora, the king and queen of Colabra are on high alert after they detect a powerful and malignant signal. They fear Zondor’s return, but that is because they don't know about the even more powerful and evil Elder. Elder is Zondor’s master, and he is intent on obtaining the mysterious Cradle, which is hidden somewhere in Colabra. Elder enlists the resurrected Zondor to get it. However, this time, the antagonists don’t want to take over the kingdom of Colabra. Instead, they want to take over the entire planet of Endora. To do so, Elder and Zondor must take control of the planet’s power source. Fearing their imminent destruction, the king and queen summon Dylan, Lisa, and John for assistance.
Though Elder and Zondor make a formidable team, they underestimate the determination of Dylan and his friends. However, is determination enough for Dylan and his friends to save Endora from the evil clutches of Elder and Zondor?
Much like the first book in the series, the plot in Dylan Murphy and the Harvest Moon is fast-paced and exciting. Filled with action from the first scene, the story includes car chases, kidnappings, epic battles, and more. I also like the character development throughout the novel. For example, the piece delves further into John’s past. As he reflects on his life, the reader gains a complete look at the man who has become Dylan’s friend.
This story skillfully introduces even more mystical creatures and elements, giving the fantastical setting further depth and dimension. Dragons, orcs, and titans aid Elder and Zondor in an epic battle, and magical essences and medals influence the events. The story also delves into the history of Eldora. It explains how Eldora gets its magic and why the antagonists want the source of all magic.
The only aspect of the book that I do not like is the sexually predatory men. In both books in this series, the women are victims of attempted sexual assaults. Several men in this book prey upon Lisa in an attempt to rape her. The queen, too, is sexually degraded. It seems excessive and unnecessary to have every “bad guy” want to commit horrific sexual acts upon women.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is a quick, smart, and slightly dark story that I enjoyed reading. Furthermore, it is professionally edited and only contains a few errors. I would not recommend it to middle school kids or younger because there are violent scenes, scenes of potential sexual assault, and heavy petting. However, young adults and adults that enjoy fast-paced, engrossing stories should check out this contemporary fantasy. Teen readers will appreciate the references to literature, science, and civics, as the topics reflect what they learn in school. I think they will also like the relatable protagonist and some of the typical teen experiences interspersed with magic.
Dylan Murphy and the Harvest Moon
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