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Moonstone    by Marilee Brothers order for
by Marilee Brothers
Order:  USA  Can
Bell Bridge, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Belle Books is a small publisher specializing in Southern fiction. However, with their new Bell Bridge imprint, they are starting to branch out into young adult and paranormal/fantasy. They sure picked a great book to launch this new line Moonstone by Marilee Brothers.

Allie Emerson does not have much going for her: she lives in a small trailer with her mother on her uncle's farm, she does not know who her father is, and she spends her school days keeping the class bully from picking on her and her friends. The one bright spot in her life is her friend, Kizzy, an eccentric older lady whom most people call the witch. Kizzy explains to Allie that she is special because she bears the mark of the star on her luna mound on her palm. Because of this marking, Allie is able to use the moonstone necklace that Kizzy gives her to tap into her psychic powers. Unfortunately, before Kizzy can tell her more, the older lady is brutally assaulted. Now it is up to Allie to figure out how to use her new powers while figuring out who hurt Kizzy and why.

Moonstone is an excellent read for any fan of YA fantasy. Brothers has a great sense of humor, even using some minor but funny potty humor when describing Allie's uncle's prized bull. Brothers also has a knack for keeping the action moving - which gets the reader hooked - and helping the reader feel what Allie is feeling - which keeps the reader enraptured. Also, while there are other books out there about teens finding out they have some sort of mystical powers, Brothers is not afraid to take the story in a unique direction.

Moonstone is the first book in Marilee Brother's Unbidden Magic series. I cannot wait to see what is next from this delightfully fun and refreshing debut author. I also cannot wait to see what other YA fantasy Bell Bridge Books puts out.

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