Book Review – Death of the Moon by S.A. Pavlik

Secrets of the Moon #1
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 322
Characters: Alec/Damien
POV: 3rd
Genre: Paranormal, Crime/Mystery, Series

A werewolf with secrets.

Alec Channing has lived a long life, and he’s just going through the motions, lost in his troubled past, until fellow werewolves and shifters start dying around him. An increase in werewolf attacks only adds to Alec’s problems. As his past closes in, his only hope lies in one man—an unaware human whose vanilla and spice scent and easygoing attitude draw Alec in. However, Alec can’t help but worry about what will happen when that man uncovers the truth about Alec’s preternatural world.

A homicide detective who is out of his depth.

Detective Damien O’Connor joined the Columbus Police Department to bring closure to victims and their families—closure that he never got for himself. But when none of the evidence adds up for what should be a routine death investigation, he’s floundering. As the bodies continue to pile up, the sweet man who has caught Damien’s eye is at the center of the storm. When closely guarded secrets start to emerge, can Damien reconcile himself to an entirely new reality—and solve the case that might also save the man he’s come to care for?

Death of the Moon is Book One of the Secrets of the Moon trilogy, an 84k-word M/M, paranormal crime/mystery romance, with an HFN ending. While there is a complete story arc in this book, there are plot threads that will carry on throughout the trilogy. There is language and explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18. Warnings: MC with PTSD, past torture implied through flashbacks, dealing with grief.

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I’m already hooked on this series, and want more. I loved Alec and Damien, their story, and their world. I enjoyed the mix of crime, detective and paranormal, and liked that there are still threads to be answered as the series moved forward. Word of warning though, don’t get too attached to most of the supporting cast. The danger in this story is nasty, and not everyone will survive, or come through unscathed.

One of the reasons I picked up this story was that one of the MCs was a werewolf who is still dealing with his troubled past, and the ramifications of one horrific incident that changed his life forever. I love angst in my paranormals, and this book totally delivered. Alec is an interesting, layered character and I didn’t pick up on one important difference until another character mentioned it. He covers it very well. I love how Damien slowly gets through Alec’s walls, and makes him want to live a full life again. I liked how he reacted to the existence of the preternatural world – it felt realistic and fit his character. I also loved their connection, and although I’d guessed about the nightmares, I thought it was a cool idea.

The supporting cast is great, and I especially liked Harper. I loved their new pack. I’m also intrigued by Jac, and wonder what side he’s really on. I have a theory about who the sisters really are, and want to see how that pans out. Ari is interesting, and I liked the way her character as a kitsune is written.

The worldbuilding is rich, and detailed. I liked the preternatural community and its politics, and how events of the past were explained. I don’t trust PackForce and am looking forward to finding out how all the series puzzle pieces fit together.

The mystery/crime part of the story is different, and scary. This bad guy plays for keeps, and kept me guessing as to their identity. The tension rises with the body count, and I thought that the final showdown was well written, and edge of seat reading.

More please.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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