One of the books I've spent most of the year plugging fairly hard is debut author Scott Cramer's Night of the Purple Moon, a stunning sci-fi novel which focuses on children rebuilding their community after the death of everyone who's past puberty.
Scott e-mailed me last week to let me know that the book would be FREE to download on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th September - so if you've been considering it but haven't got round to buying it let, this is a great opportunity to pick it up!
To get it for free tomorrow or Tuesday, US readers go here and UK readers go here.
If you need more convincing, I decided to feature it in my second 'Around the Blogs' feature today - I did this for Edward Hogan's Daylight Saving a while ago and really enjoyed putting it together but never got round to doing another one - until now!
My own review was, I believe, one of the first of Night of the Purple Moon on any blog. I'll always associate it with my dentist's waiting room, as most of it was read on my Kindle while waiting for a filling and it put the thought of that right out of my mind (a sure sign of a great read; I'm terrified of people poking around in my mouth!)
I was seriously impressed by the book, commenting 'the characters – especially Abby and Emily – are very well-developed and this makes it gut-wrenching when bad things happen to them' although I warned 'I was stunned by how dark it got at points.'
It received more praise from Bookaholics Anonymous, who gave it an A+, and were particularly taken by the way "Abby grew from a typical teenager to someone who had to learn to take charge to keep her family and friends alive and well."
Full marks also from Ramona Reads, who gave it 5 Beautiful Butterflies, and saying "This incredible story will take you on a rollercoaster ride as you engage in the adventure and journey these children have to go through in order to survive."
It got 4 out of 5 stars over at The Readiacs, who said "Night of the Purple Moon is a combination of many elements – there is romance (the exchanges between Abby and Kevin are especially sweet) there is conflict (rival gangs without bloody violence) and there is heartbreak (tissues are needed for a particular scene involving our main character) and there is hope.
Captivated Reading gave it 4.5 stars and said "there were a few parts where I had goosebumps, just imagining this happening. Mr. Cramer made it THAT believable and real," also saying that the writing and the story were both "fantastic".
Forever Young Adult - whose section-based review format is one of my favourite on the internet - complimented Scott Cramer on painting "a vivid picture of both locations, so even people who haven't had the pleasure of living there will be able to visualize his world" - especially impressive given the writer of the review has lived in both those locations, Maine and Cambridge. I also loved the call of Chloe Moretz as a perfect Abby if the book ever made it to the screen - great casting!
Over at Whispering Coyote, the book got a solid 3 star review with the comment that it was "well paced and gripping" but a warning that it "contains some scenes that would perhaps be unsettling for younger readers".
Ink Scratchers were fulsome in their praise, awarding it a B+ and saying it was "a great middle grade dystopian, a genre which is sadly lacking for this age group." (I'm agreeing with Whispering Coyote on this one, by the way - Ink Scratchers obviously know braver younger readers than we do!)
My Home Away From Home gave it 4/5, saying "The excitement of his imagery really had me on the brink of my seat, the plot and the story itself was just genius."
Scott's also taken the time to give a few interviews. Check out this very blog to find out the answers to 10 questions, including who he'd have at a literary dinner party.
Head over to Oh Brain Where Art Thou to find more questions, including Scott's inspiration for the book. Alice in Readerland has another interview, in which you can find out, amongst other things, how Scott became interested in writing, while his guest posts over at Letters Inside Out on "Why Writing Is Like Surfing" shouldn't be missed!
If you've read it, or are inspired to pick it up, let me know what you think! And if you've got a blog post about it that I've missed out, please leave a link in the comments.
If you'd like to talk to Scott directly, he's really approachable and can be found over at Twitter, by the way.