The war has begun...As the humans make their move against the werewolf threat in their midst, and civil war threatens to break the pack apart, John and Marie struggle to free the only person who can unite the werewolf factions against their common enemy: Marie's brother, Michael. However, their efforts may be for nothing. As tensions mount, the Moonborn prepare to combat the human aggression with an assault of their own; an attack that could spell doom for both man and werewolf alike.
©2015 Graeme Reynolds (P)2015 Graeme Reynolds
Moonstruck is a direct and immediate sequel to the novel Moonstruck – to the point where I can't imagine this story working at all in a stand alone capacity. That said, go and read/listen to High Moor, because it's pretty awesome.
When I say direct, Moonstruck begins mere hours after the closing dramatic events of High Moor, and wastes no time at all in moving the story forward. High Moor was a deeply assured and well plotted action horror thriller, and Moonstruck takes that ball and runs with it. At the emotional core of this book are a love story and a revenge narrative, which put two not unsympathetic groups onto a brutal collision course.
The plotting was a high point of the previous story, and for my money it's even tighter here – the narrative is dense but lethally easy to follow, and there is a real pleasure and tension in feeling the various characters and factions driving towards each other. Knowing just what the werewolves are capable of actually increases the pressure in this regard, and as with High Moor, Reynolds does a superlative job of building a scene to a dramatic climax, then cutting away to another character or group. It's confident, assured storytelling, and that confidence is well earned.
This novel also contains some truly spectacular action horror sequences. There's an attempted hijacking of a moving police van which is just an exemplar of how to create a cinematic action scene in prose – not a word overused or out of place, tension building to a brilliantly realised explosion of violence and chaos. Similarly, the violence of the werewolves against humans is unflinchingly portrayed. Another element I found as a step up from this work to the previous one was the occasional overuse of certain phrases, during the fights and the werewolf transformation scenes, seems to have been addressed, leaving the eye (or in this case, the ear) nothing to snag over as the relentless horror unfolds.
Any downsides? Not really. I missed the kids from the last book, but their story had been told. I guess the only other thing is that, as with the last story, this one ends on a brutal cliffhanger, that will leaving you howling for part three.
Chris Barnes does another bang up job as narrator – in fact, if anything, this is a more assured performance than the last audiobook in this series. Whilst Chris still seems to struggle a little with the American accents, he's clearly working hard at it, with a noted improvement over the last instalment. As to the rest, there's a feeling that Barnes has really gotten into the character work here, finding the essence of each person and bringing to each a vocal performance that is distinct, without ever overpowering the reading. Again, there is sparing but appropriate use of sound effects on voices when characters use phones or radios to talk, which adds a layer of verisimilitude to the reading. Like the writing, this is assured, skilful narration from a performer clearly dedicated to his craft. Superb stuff.
All equally good performances.
High Moor/High Moor 2: Moon Struck/High Moor 3: Blood Moon by Graeme Reynolds
Audiobook narrated by Chris Barnes
When John Simpson hears of a bizarre animal attack in his old home town of High Moor, it stirs memories of a long forgotten horror. John knows the truth. A werewolf stalks the town once more, and on the night of the next full moon, the killing will begin again. He should know. He survived a werewolf attack in 1986, during the worst year of his life.
It’s 1986 and the town is gripped in terror after the mutilated corpse of a young boy is found in the woods. When Sergeant Steven Wilkinson begins an investigation, with the help of a specialist hunter, he soon realises that this is no ordinary animal attack. Werewolves are real, and the trail of bodies is just beginning, with young John and his friends smack in the middle of it…
With a trilogy of books already released, it seemed to make sense to review all three in one go, because the fact is, I found after experiencing the first, you’ll be dying to get stuck into the rest. I could leave the review at that, and maybe you’ll take my word for it. But what if you don’t?
Let’s talk werewolves. When done right, the embodiment of pure, carnal beast is a formidable horror staple. Reynolds nails the lore from the first bite to the last bullet.
High Moor is thrill ride from start to finish, harking back to 80’s action horror classics whilst maintaining a firm sense of much loved nostalgia. With a group of friends facing off against a seemingly invincible terror, there’s a definite sense of a childhood betrayed, a trope Stephen King has used successfully in several of his Kids vs Monsters stories, and in this, Reynolds brilliantly portrays a struggling northern town to perfection.
Another point I loved is that Reynolds could’ve quite easily ended the novel at several points, and as a reader, I would have been happy. But the action keeps coming, taking the story much further than I ever expected.
Humorous and at times utterly shocking, High Moor sets the scene, with a group of characters you’ll come to love, and love to hate.
Moon Struck takes the story to the next level and introduces a larger pack of werewolves, delving into group politics and further into their history, which makes fascinating reading as we head deeper into Reynolds’ universe. Whilst Moonstruck moves at a slower pace, it soon picks up, especially with the inclusion of a psychopathic werewolf called Connie, who steals the show, literally chewing the scenery (and quite often, characters) with maniacal, blood squirting glee.
Blood Moon completes the saga (for the time being) with an all-out war of werewolves vs werewolves vs humans as species eradication and infighting is rife. This werewolf holocaust is touching at times, as Reynolds succeeds in humanising the monster, creating more than just a community, but families as well, struggling as their lives are turned upside down
But with a story about tooth and claws, it can only end one way; blood, and lots of it. Graeme Reynolds delivers it by the bucket load, satisfying even the sickest of gore lovers. My one gripe is the woefully underused idea of a werewolf super soldier, but there’s always room for another sequel.
Also, hats off again to Chris Barnes for his flawless performance, bringing depths to characters by creating individual voices for each. His ear for accents is uncanny, and hearing him flit between West Country lilt and thick Russian is a joy to behold, keeping me gripped for many a long and lonely drive.
All in all, High Moor is an exhilarating thrill ride of action horror that never threatens to give up the pace, and the entire trilogy is thoroughly recommended, whether it’s in book form or audiobook.
"The Best Werewolf Series. Period."
High Moor 3: Blood Moon picks up right where Moonstruck left off. Daniel moves in with John and Marie, and together, they have to rescue their pack alpha and Marie’s brother Michael from a military hospital.
Thanks to the actions of the now-deceased Connie Hamilton, all of Europe knows of the werewolves’ existence and in order to survive, a battle ensues between werewolf and human. Ports are closed and airports have special anti-werewolf security devices installed. There is no escaping Europe for the werewolves and whether the beasts are to be studied, killed or captured, all are at risk.
As Michael is held captive by the military, Lukas and Krysztof begin their ploy to help Krysztof take over as pack alpha. After he becomes the alpha of the pack, Daniel is given a mission. When he finds Marie, Michael and John, his orders are to kill them.
Things begin to unravel for our werewolf friends as Daniel, along with other werewolves, plan a brutal attack on the town of High Moor and Michael and Marie try to stop the pack from tearing itself apart.
I won’t go into any more plot points, because I truly feel you need to experience this for yourself. It’s that good. Reynolds does a tremendous job of putting us right into the action in the final installment of the High Moor trilogy, and this book has everything that made the first two great: gore, violence, lovable (and not-so-lovable) characters, hyphens, plenty of “f-bombs, “and more than enough action throughout. If you’ve grown to love these characters half as much as I do, go into this book knowing that no one is safe.
I was a little concerned about this High Moor audiobook. It was a long time between the release of High Moor 2: Moonstruck and this third and final book in the series, Blood Moon, and I was afraid the narrator, Chris Barnes, after recording several other books in the interim, would have a hard time getting back into the heads of these characters after such a long hiatus. My worry was completely unfounded.
There are a lot of characters in High Moor 3. Some are British, some are German, and some are from other countries. Barnes nails each accent of each character perfectly. Michael, John and Marie sound just as I remembered them, and even Daniel, Lukas and Krysztof are perfect. The listener is never left wondering which character is speaking at any given time. Barnes brilliantly adjusts the volume and pacing of his narrative to match the scenes in the book and you feel everything the characters feel.
The end of the book was sad when I read it. I cried and I’m not one who cries easily. When I heard the raw emotion emanating from Chris Barnes as he read the end, well, let’s just say he upped the emotion factor 10-fold.
Werewolf fans and fans of brutal, gritty horror need to listen to this book. It will be the best 10 hours you've spent in a very long time.
Fantastic, Brilliant, Epic, Amazing, and any other word I think think of to describe this book!!!
I re-listened to book 1 and 2 before diving into this and I'm so gad I did. It brought a lot of the details fresh into my mind. Anyway, this starts straight after book 2 ends. Everyone now knows that werewolves are real, thanks to Connie, and the government are intent on wiping them out. Drastic measures are taking place and any werewolf found is thrown into a camp. Of course, the wolves don't take this lightly so war is inevitable.
It's hard to say too much about the plot in case of spoilers, but I will say that it's as deliciously dark as ever. As I said in previous reviews, this isn't a shifter book, this is a down and dirty and gory read. The wolves are brutal and tear people apart. This edition is as action packed and tense as ever. The author also adds in a pretty intense and sad event that tore my heart out. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through.
The characters, as always, were well written and developed and it's phenomena that the author can make you care so much for so many characters.. All our favourites are back and in trouble, as always ;) We even get some interesting new ones.
I started listening to this and couldn't take out my ear phones. The pace of the book is incredibly quick but so engrossing. There is so much happening in this book that I know I will relisten to it soon, just to savour it all again. The series as a whole is incredible and this author is one to watch. A satisfying conclusion to the series, though I do hope we haven't seen the last of these characters.
Once again, Chris Barnes performance was flawless. He has such an amazing range of vocals and accents, which he portrays in this perfectly. He was able to inject the right amount of emotion at the right time,to make this story come alive. An excellent performance for a brilliant book!
*I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affects my thoughts.*
"Not. Twilight. This. Is. Brutal. Gritty. Horror."
Quite fitting that Blood Moon was released right before Christmas, as it is a Christmas story afterall. Meaning that it is Christmas time in the story and I was as giddy as when I was a kid after Santa came, when this was released. However, it has been a very long time since Moonstruck, High Moor book 2, was released. Going into this listen I was afraid that Graeme Reynolds wasn’t going to be able to create the same adrenaline pumping werewolf slaughter magic or that this third book would have a completely different feel than the others.
This book picks up right where the last book leave off. Now everyone, including the government, knows of the existence of werewolves, they understand how dangerous they are. Detection devices have been installed in most of the European airports to help deter the monsters form crossing the borders. Europe is in werewolf lock-down. This is it, the war between humans and lycanthropes ensues.
Reminder. This. Is. Not. Twilight. This. Is. Brutal. Gritty. Horror.
This is a seriously violent and brutal werewolf story. There are no love triangles, steamy sex scenes, none of the bull crap that many seem to associate with werewolves and the paranormal. This is a horror novel through and through. This is a story about an unknown species trying to escape the reach of humans. Reynolds was able to show the true character of the human race. How we fear what we do not understand and we must rule over everything no matter what.
One of the things that is sometimes lost in horror stories is the importance of character development. Reynolds did not miss this point. His characters were expanded in depth and weight throughout. Somehow he was able to do this with the large amount of them in this book. I look forward to hearing what comes next for Reynolds because with High Moor he has made me a fan of his imagination, as sick and twisted as it is.
All my worries were for not. Reynolds was on point. Bringing all of the carnage I expected him to bring to the party.
One of my favorite laugh out loud lines, “That’s the worst ideas since the Star Wars prequels.”
This is one of Chris Barnes’ most dynamic performances to date. So many characters with so many different accents. German, English, British, even from other countries. Being able to keep all of this straight is mind boggling, an easy thing to do for the listener, but I would guess not so much for the performer. He was even able to use the same voices that he used almost two years ago with the last book. Barnes was able to inject emotions in the appropriate places without pause, at times this was done very subtly. I am so happy that Reynolds kept with the same narrator for the entire series, I don;t think many authors understand hoe truly important this is to the listener.
Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"worthy ending to a great series"
Good story, wonderfully narrated
Would it be too obvious to say "the other two High Moor books"? Or is that cheating. I've never read werewolf books before this series, so I really have very little comparison.
Yes, I'm a big fan of Chris. This is as brilliant as all his other work
Marie. She's just awesome. I love a good strong female character
It ranks at the top of the list.
High Moor 2: Moon Struck because the overall story is fantastic. The narrator, Chris Barnes, brought this story to life.
I thoroughly enjoyed how he gave each character its unique voice. I knew which character was speaking at the moment, and the emotions were clearly delivered.
I wouldn't rename it.
"A fitting end to an amazing trilogy"
Graeme Reynolds has brought us a fine end to his High Moor Trilogy, combining the fantastic of werewolves and the every day problems of immigration and government gone rampant. He manages to use his characters as a wonderful way to reflect many of the issues currently plaguing society and the UK in particular.
As always the book is ably narrated by Chris Barnes, who continues to bring his A game with perhaps his best performance yet, really cutting to the bone with some of the most visceral and most heartbreaking material of the series.
While we'll always want more of our favorite wolves, the trilogy has been brought to a wonderful end that even in its final pages still manages to draw directly from the headlines. You will not be disappointed!
"High Speed, Great Ending!"
Don't Upset Werewolves
I found Chris's portrayal of all of the characters pretty well done, so I can't really pick a specific one. With a fairly high level of tension in the general narration, he was easily able to transition and catch some of the emotion of the characters as they battled their inner demons. Chris is a narrator I enjoy.
All in all Highmoor 3 is a pretty good close to the trilogy. This is a high tension, fast paced story and definitely not one for fans of sparkly vampires, or emo werewolves. Makes me want to reconsider camping in the woods as much as I do, or at least makes me wonder if I should find a vendor of silver bullets.
"My high expectations were exceeded by far..."
Part three of the best werewolf trilogy (and one of the best trilogies overall). From the beginning the High Moor audio production has been phenomenal.
Chris Barnes, an incredibly talented narrator, has brought this story to its full potential, and by now he's become part of the High Moor world.
The author, Graeme Reynolds, has of course already written two cracking werewolf thrillers, and took his time over the third and final installment! That extra time paid off, and I found it to be the best of the three.
By this point in the story we're already familiar with the characters and a lot has happened leading up to this moment. The stakes are high, for sure, and my absolute attention was captured from the opening sentence.
This was a riveting experience, and strongly recommended for anyone who's read the first two. Those who haven't should go buy the audio versions and catch up. Now.
"Epic story telling"
The way the narrator pulls you in from the first word. Is somthing I never experienced with an audio book before. Fast paced and never dull. Would highly recommend.
I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of Graeme Reynolds. After finishing this book, I'm tempted to give High Moor 1 & 2 another listen. I love the the world he's created for his werewolves. I certainly hope this isn't a final chapter--I'd love to learn of a High Moor 4: Moon Warden...
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