Before you ask, the answer is: it’s a waning gibbous moon. Now! If you enjoy Lovecraftian vibes in a more modern setting with some very witty, sassy, and grumpy characters, then this book is definitely for you! “Under the Gibbous Moon” is first and foremost a supernatural mystery, where a grumpy, brilliant, college professor is tapped by the police to help them investigate their… stranger mysteries. So when Dr. Temple is asked to help the local authorities with a very odd murder case, he brings along his new teaching assistant, where things get very interesting very quickly, all while keeping that undercurrent of creepiness throughout the novel.
I loved the sophistication with which this novel is written. The narrative voice brought out such a wonderful dry wit, especially when it budded up against young Hannah and her sarcasm. The characters all feel unique and distinct from one another, which is important as some characters come and go rather quickly. The mystery is intriguing and while I wasn’t all that creeped out by it, I can definitely see where some of the occult imagery and the perpetrator of the murder itself could make it a little hard to sleep at night. I do wish I had gotten to see more of Temple and Hannah interacting throughout the novel instead of say, Temple’s one off diary entry-like sections, but oh well. However, I did love where the book ended with them so I can’t wait to see what the next books have in store for our main characters.
I do wish we got a bit more of Temple’s unique skill set and got to learn a bit more of just what he could do, and how he was able to do those things (gotta love that vague writing in order to avoid spoilers). It is hinted at, and we do see some of it, but I think a lot was left purposely vague for sequel purposes, and that just left things a little too unclear for my personal tastes. That sense of vagueness did bleed over a bit as the parties responsible for all the strangeness are revealed, and how they are connected. While I really enjoyed these secret organizations, I did feel that, because there were a few, that none got as much page time or explanation as I would have loved, for Scott’s writing is a treat. I wouldn’t have minded at all if this was a bit longer of a novel, either.
There is some gore and strong language, but really what makes this book better for a mature reader is the cleverness and literary way the novel is written, and yes the Lovecraft vibes as well. I didn’t have a problem with any of that, but just be aware of it as you head into the novel. All in all, this was a well-crafted, supernatural mystery, one that was a solid start to, what I hope, will be a long series. This is a very strong 4 star read for me! And thank you to the author for sending me a copy for an honest review.
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