The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard

The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard
Narrator: Caitlin Davies
Series: The Luminaries #2
Published by Tor Teen on November 7, 2023
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes
Pages: 272
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

The highly anticipated sequel to The Luminaries by New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard.
Winnie Wednesday has gotten everything she thought she wanted. She passed the deadly hunter trials, her family has been welcomed back into the Luminaries, and overnight, she has become a local celebrity.
The Girl Who Jumped. The Girl Who Got Bitten.
Unfortunately, it all feels wrong. For one, nobody will believe her about the new nightmare called the Whisperer that's killing hunters each night. Everyone blames the werewolf, even though Winnie is certain the wolf is innocent.
On top of that, following her dad's convoluted clues about the Dianas, their magic, and what happened in Hemlock Falls four years ago is leaving her with more questions than answers.
Then to complicate it all, there is still only one person who can help her: Jay Friday, the boy with plenty of problems all his own.
As bodies and secrets pile up around town, Winnie finds herself questioning what it means to be a true Wednesday and a true Luminary—and also where her fierce-hearted loyalties might ultimately have to lie.


As a reminder, this review is about the audiobook version.

Ever since finishing The Luminaries by Susan Dennard, I have been foaming at the mouth waiting for the sequel. I finally was able to get my hands on the audiobook of The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard on release day and I absolutely was unable to have a moment’s peace until I finished it. Absolutely SO GOOD!

This book is a tale of two pacing styles, and both worked for me. The first half of the book was slower, but it made sense considering this is the emotional processing portion. We’re going through and trying to unpack the trauma of all that Winnie has gone through. Not just the trauma of her hunter trials, but the trauma of everything before that. It is trying to piece things and people together. A slower pace of understanding what has happened, what is happening, what will happen and how she figures within all of that. The second half is racing. Everything happens just so much all the time and Winnie finds herself pressed in a corner yet again, despite finding answers she thought would help. It was absolutely dizzying.

The relationship between Winnie and her friends continues to grow. She and fellow Wednesdays bond as they realize just how much Winnie is having to process. They also work as wingmen for her, absolutely hyping up any potential relationship that might be with Jay Friday. Speaking of Jay Friday, I absolutely love and adore this boy so much. I love him and Winnie so much. I stayed up until midnight pushing myself to read (listen) to just a little bit more, hoping we’d get a kiss, a confession, SOMETHING. The yearning and slow burn killed me. I woke up at 6am so I could continue reading before work. I just needed to know if anything would happen and God I wanted anything to happen.

Plot itself continues to open and reveal itself, yet with every revelation we gain more questions. There is more that continues happening even as we continue learning more about the world, the happenings, and the players themselves. I absolutely did not imagine anything regarding The Whisperer and yet, I should have. I’m glad I didn’t because that reveal was so satisfying. Much more satisfying than the other two reveals which were only reveals to Winnie herself, I think. Speaking of…

Something I actually really like about this series, which I think is unintended but I like it nonetheless. Winnie is not all knowing. She isn’t the brightest bulb in the box and that is okay because she is a child. She is only barely sixteen. She has spent four years being shunned from everything and everyone. Her knowledge is stunted. Her peopling, is stunted. We see this with her interactions with friends, with Jay, with Erica. We see this with the difficulties she has piecing certain things together and making certain conclusions. And it absolutely makes sense that she would given her age and experience. It feels so rare to read YA books where main characters FEEL young adult. So many YA books have teen characters that act and think like adults, or go too deep the opposite direction and feel immature and childish. This series manages to get it just right.

Bottom line: Do I recommend The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard? Yes! Absolutely! If you liked the first book in the series, this one only builds on it and gets better. I cannot wait until the third book in the series comes out and I hope the series go further than a simple trilogy.


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