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Magic Moon

Review

Magic Moon

If you're reading this review, you probably have a lot in common with Kim, the 12-year-old hero of MAGIC MOON who prefers reading the latest Starfighters to almost anything, especially his math homework. And Kim may have more reason than most to want to escape: his little sister Rebecca has failed to wake from the anesthetic for an appendectomy, and his grief-frazzled parents anxiously await the doctor's opinion. When it comes, it's not good. "It's as if the patient's spirit is refusing to return to consciousness," says Dr. Schrieber. "Or as if something were holding it back."

On the way home from the hospital Kim keeps noticing strange old men (a patient, a bum) who intently search his eyes. So by midnight, when Themistokles appears in Kim's bedroom, the avuncular old man is familiar and Kim is intrigued. Themistokles explains that his land, Magic Moon, needs Kim's help. "There is something that only you can do. Or, to put it another way, there is someone who can be saved only by you. Your sister."

Thus begins Kim's fantastic adventure, which he meets with impressive fortitude and bravery. It's a heroic journey via many modes of travel: by spaceship, on foot, carried by a horse named Buddy and a dragon named Rangarig, across landscapes both lush and bleak. Kim crash lands his Viper spacecraft in the Realm of Shadows and is quickly captured by Kart, a black knight, who takes him to Castle Morgon. Boraas, Themistokles's evil brother, attempts to seduce Kim with visions of power and luxury, if only Kim will come over to his side. But Kim escapes and sets off to cross the Shadowy Mountains in search of Themistokles and his fate. Along the way, his resolve is sorely tested by Boraas's apparent strength and imminent victory, but he also meets many gallant and funny allies, like Gorg the giant and Kelheim the bear. In his determination to save Magic Moon, Kim even seems to forget about his little sister.

Kim's foes are complex, tricky and unpredictable. There are surprises galore, but they abide by the rules set up for Magic Moon by the authors and thus never seem cheap or gimmicky. More often than not, Kim's own intelligence and awareness are what save him. He is warned that things are not what they seem, and he takes this warning seriously --- even when it applies to himself. Plus, he learns from his new friends. When one friend dies to further the quest, Kim is confused at how little the rest of them appear to grieve. Priwinn, a Prince of the Steppes, tells him, "Living is something you can only do through other people. You live because what you say and do influences the life, feelings, and thoughts of others. And vice versa. You'll only be dead when no one remembers anymore what you said and did."

I enjoyed this longish book more than I expected to. The writing is careful and descriptive, creating an even and enjoyable pace. In our current political climate, it's refreshing to be reminded that good needs evil and evil needs good. The ending resolves nicely into a philosophical showdown of sorts, yet leaves room for more adventures for Kim and Rebecca in Magic Moon.

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Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol on October 18, 2011

Magic Moon
by Wolfgang and Heike Hohlbein

  • Publication Date: October 10, 2006
  • Genres: Comic Books
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: TokyoPop
  • ISBN-10: 159816452X
  • ISBN-13: 9781598164527