Review: Confederate Moon offers an intriguing alternative reality

Confederate Moon imagines a world filled with paranormals where vampires helped the south win the Civil War. The story centers around Bryne, a bar-owner who has garnered the attention of a nearby vampire queen and a local werewolf. Nolan, the werewolf, is the love interest, while the vampire queen seems to have ulterior motives.

I had a very difficult time determining my final rating for this book. The opening chapter when Bryne and Nolan meet is funny, and their byplay throughout the book has some charming and witty moments. The last third of the book has great action and some unexpected twists and turns that kept me reading. However, the middle really sagged for me—enough that I found myself skimming and unsure I wanted to finish the book.

What do you think? Is this a joke or perfectly fine grammar?

The other issue that continually pulled me from the story was the fact that there is at least one comma splice and/or run-on sentence on almost every single page. I can overlook some questionable punctuation, and yes, I know that some people think comma splices are perfectly fine. I would argue that they are best used sparingly in fiction because too often they make a sentence difficult to understand.

More concerning to me are run-on sentences. There are moments that a run-on sentence can be done for a stylistic reason. For example, James Joyce did this intentionally in the last section of Ulysses, but then again, there’s a reason a lot of people don’t read Ulysses unless forced to in an English class. It takes time and effort to parse the stream of consciousness style.

The frequency of comma splices and run-on sentences in this book was a distraction for me. It was not consistently written in a style that made me think the comma splices and run-on sentences were done intentionally. Some sentences made absolutely no sense as written and it took too much effort to parse them.  (For an example of where alternative grammar and punctuation works more effectively, check out Cloud Atlas (Enhanced Movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel.)

I place the primary blame for the ill-advised punctuation with the editorial staff and view its use as a symptom of a societal disregard for clarity in writing. I could write a treatise on why punctuation matters, but it’s been done in a more engaging and entertaining way than I could probably accomplish in the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

So here I come to my quandary about how to rate this book. If the rating was based on the pacing of the last third of the book and the imaginative world building, I’d be inclined to give this story four cat kisses. If I am honest about how distracting the questionable punctuation was for me, I’d probably go with one or two cat kisses. So I am left choosing somewhere in the middle: three cat kisses.

3 cats

Tour Organizer: N K Author Services

In an alternate world where the South wins the War of Aggression (Civil War), Bryne Williams struggles to keep her small bar afloat, not knowing that she is a powerful mage who has powers that Vampires and Werewolves would do anything to control.

When sexy, charismatic werewolf Nolan Shea shows up in her bar, she knows nothing will ever be the same. She can’t take her mind off of him, but after he tells her he bought the debt to her bar, she isn’t sure what he wants with her.

As Nolan becomes more a part of her life and her feelings for him begin to grow and develop she questions him and his motives as well as those around her. Can he protect her from those who want the power for themselves, or will she find herself in the middle of a werewolf vampire war?

Kayelle McClive lives in Western NY but was born and raised in Southern Indiana. She is the mother of five kiddos and a grandmother. She is married to Rick who she considers her soul mate and also helps her plot out stories, characters and ideas.

She has been writing since junior high school when she found herself in the world of fan fiction and later discovered role playing games. The stories she created for characters and for her friends soon became plots and ideas for her stories.

She considers herself a fangirl and has a unhealthy obsession with Marvel movie verse, the bands Thirty Seconds to Mars and Nickelback and loves professional hockey.
Confederate Moon placed Third in the Passionate Ink, Stroke of Midnight Contest in 2012.