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Dragon Moon

Alan F. Troop

RoC / Penguin-Putnam

US Mass Market Paperback

ISBN 0-451-45920-2

Publication Date: April 2003

290 Pages; $6.50

Date Reviewed: 17-05-03

Reviewed by: Katie Dean © 2003



Horror, Fantasy

02-14-02, 02-25-03

'Dragon Moon' (Alan F. Troop) continues the life story of Peter Delasangre. In it, Peter's story continues at the same exciting pace as he faces yet more trials and tribulations. Many of the characters will be familiar, but there are some notable new additions, just as well drawn as in Troop's previous novel. Anyone who has read Troop's 'The Dragon Delasangre' and enjoyed it should definitely read this sequel.

Troop once again puts his experiences of Florida, his home State, to good use. The sights and sounds of Miami and the Florida coastline are really brought to life. As in 'The Dragon Delasangre', a significant portion of 'Dragon Moon' is set in Jamaica where the various coastal towns and hilly interior that is cockpit country, are well described.

'Dragon Moon' contains many characters, some familiar, some new, but all with well defined personalities. Troop largely avoids clichéd "good" and "bad" characters. The elements of good and evil, or perhaps friends versus enemies where Peter is concerned, are clearly evident, but no character is wholly good or wholly evil. For example, the reader has to spend several chapters guessing whether Rita Santiago is really the friend that she appears to be or whether Ian Tindall will prove as scheming and disloyal as his father. Again, this book is also peppered with dragon lore. Being familiar with the powers possessed by dragons, the reader learns a little more about the history of dragons and the various different clans that existed in a bygone age. If anybody has been wondering why Peter Delasangre and his in-laws, the Bloods, never seemed to breathe fire, as all fairytales indicate that they should, this too will be revealed.

In terms of the plot, 'Dragon Moon' is much the same as 'The Dragon Delasangre'. Peter once again finds himself looking for a dragon wife and once more, largely as a result of his trusting nature, finds himself facing a large number of dragon and human enemies. The element of mystery is perhaps less apparent in this novel. It is clear who is plotting against Peter and equally clear how the various different foes will unite. However, the plot is not totally predictable. Troop manages to maintain some elements of doubt as to whether or not Peter will get his wife and when his enemies will strike.

'Dragon Moon' reads like a Hollywood blockbuster, as did its prequel. The only problem with this lies in the opening chapters. It is always difficult for the author to know how to handle a sequel, particularly one whose story follows on so closely from the previous novel. The author must always wonder how much to refer back to events that have already taken place for the benefit of new readers or those who have forgotten the previous novel. Unfortunately Troop panders too much to the needs of these people. Significant parts of the opening chapters are too clearly signposted "Previously on...", giving clumsy references to events that took place in 'The Dragon Delasangre'. For anyone reading 'Dragon Moon' on its own, this is ideal, they will be able to follow the story without referring to the prequel. However, for anyone who has read 'The Dragon Delasangre', these clumsy references are rather patronizing. It seems a shame that Troop should be discouraging readers of 'Dragon Moon' from also reading his first novel.

Alan Troop's second novel, 'Dragon Moon' lives up to expectations set by his first novel. He continues to bring Peter Delasangre's story to life and sets it against a believable background peopled with interesting characters. Anyone who enjoyed 'The Dragon Delasangre' should not be disappointed in this novel.