In P.R. Frost’s Hounding the Moon, Tess Noncoiré is a widowed fantasy writer who uses her experiences as the basis for her novels. As far as her readers and peers know, a secret group sworn to protect the earthly plane from demons is completely fictional. Her partner and assistant is an imp named Scrap. When he’s not transformed into a Celestial Blade and fighting demons, he’s usually eating mold, smoking a cigar, or drinking OJ and beer. When a Native American girl who was attacked by a giant hound disappears, Tess and Scrap go on the hunt. The trail leads them to misconceptions, a Native myth, and a plot to open a dimensional portal that will wreak havoc on humankind.
The scenes switching between the main and background stories make the contrived plot a bit convoluted. Hounding the Moon is more tightly knit than its sequel, but is still slightly loose. The writing is good, but I’ve read better by Frost. With humans versus demons, the portal, and Golem being an academic who keeps a quiet eye on the Sisters of the Celestial Blade, Hounding the Moon may remind one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the similarities end there. The novel is Frost’s imagination plus likes and hobbies.
Hounding the Moon was entertaining and sometimes funny light reading. Aside from Scrap, who’s a character and a half, I enjoyed it enough, but more for personal reasons than the plot and writing. I liked the references to the sci-fi/fantasy community and conventions and the incorporation of filk music. The scene of a wake during a con really reminded me of last summer’s MarCon.
It was nice to read about events and characters prior to the Moon and the Mirror, but it also made Hounding the Moon slower. It filled in the gaps. I’ll probably read the recently published Faery Moon to see how the Tess Noncoiré Adventure series continues. If one is interested in Arthurian lore, I recommend the Merlin’s Descendants series, particularly Guardian of the Balance. I look forward to reading more by P.R. Frost aka Irene Radford aka C.F. Bentley and already have another book by her in the queue for later on down the road.
Oh yea, Hounding the Moon also got me revved up for WorldCon in Montreal, which begins today and will make for a fantastically fun weekend. It’ll be a bit strange without my con friends, but local friends will be there and c’est la vie. =)