Shel’s Moor by Jessica Ennis

Shel’s Moor by Jessica Ennis
Publisher: Prizm Books
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Age Recommendation: 12+
Reviewed by Astilbe

Cedric and his best friend and schoolmate Brigham can’t resist the mysteries of the Moor near Cedric’s house, especially after hearing tales of a monster. The monster they seek turns out to be a young werewolf living in isolation — who cannot risk word of his existence getting to the superstitious townsfolk. In order to assure his continued safety, the werewolf takes Brigham as a hostage. While Brigham faces confinement with a monster, he will soon discover the young man underneath the legend.

Brigham and Cedric walked into the woods hoping to meet a real life monster, but little did they know how well their wish would be granted.

Cedric and Brigham’s sense of adventure endeared me to this story immediately. Both boys are convinced that there is such a thing as monster, and they would do anything to meet one in person. Little is revealed about their childhoods, but I could tell they’d been fast friends for a long time based on how well these characters knew one another.

As the plot progressed I wondered why no one seemed to be looking for Brigham when it became obvious that he wasn’t coming home for dinner. The reason we’re given for the lack of interest in Brigham’s well-being makes sense over a shorter time period, but eventually the authorities would become involved if someone this age suddenly stopped attending school.

I had some difficulty determining the appropriate age recommendation for this book. Some parents might find the mild cursing inappropriate for younger kids. There were also kissing scenes that, while quite innocent, once again might not appeal to readers who haven’t hit puberty yet. Other than these concerns I would have no qualms recommending it for readers 10 and older. The plot and the author’s sense of humor would definitely appeal to this age group. Perhaps one day it will even become a series! I don’t know if Ms. Ennis is interested in writing more about Cedric and Brigham’s adventures, but I do see potential for such a thing to be developed.

Shel’s Moor is a great recommendation for reluctant readers. The action-driven plot and subtle humor compelled me to keep reading until I knew how it all ended, and when it was finished I wished I could spend just a few more pages with these characters!

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