Book Reviews of Raven Stole the Moon

Raven Stole the Moon
Raven Stole the Moon
Author: Garth Stein
ISBN-13: 9780671004606
ISBN-10: 0671004603
Publication Date: 2/1/1999
Pages: 480
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 19

3.9 stars, based on 19 ratings
Publisher: Pocket Star
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

12 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Haunting. Poetic. Nightmarish. This was probably one of the weirdest, yet most interesting, books I've ever read. I don't know if it's a book for everyone- it has a lot of dark moments, especially concerning death, and some very brief, but vivid sex scenes. But the visualization and the writing is just amazing. I think it's one that will stick with me for a long time.
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Helpful Score: 2
Unusual book concerning native american shaman in Alaska who tries to protect the land.
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 70 more book reviews
Garth Stein wrote The Art of Racing in the Rain, but I unfortunately never got a chance to pick it up and read it. I always meant to get to it, but life seemed to get in the way. So I was even more excited to receive a copy of Raven Stole the Moon from Sarah Daily at Terra Communications. Originally released in 1998, it's now been released again -- and rightfully so. After reading it, I can see how it fits much better into today's market, and I fully expect this book to become incredibly popular.

Jenna Rosen is married and living in Seattle with her husband, Robert. Her life now is strained and tired and she is unable to move through it with some type of normalcy. Some time has passed since the heartbreaking day when her young five-year-old son slipped over into the water, disappearing from the surface while on a vacation near her Native American grandmother's hometown of Wrangell, Alaska. The resort of Thunder Bay was never approved to be built by the local shaman, but investors and sales pushed forward. The need to make money kept the shaman's advice buried and tragedy happened. Jenna's life is now filled with therapists, medication, and alcohol, all in hopes to rebuild some type of life, but nothing seems quite right. One night two years later, Jenna is compelled to travel to Alaska from Seattle, leaving her husband and strained marriage behind at a party of co-workers with no idea of where she went.

What follows is an incredible mixture of Native American tradition and culture with a searing mystery and deep love, loss, and sadness. I was perplexed and drawn into the mystery of the kushtaka and felt the creepy and prickly fear of looking over my shoulder as I learned about lost souls, native rituals and the Tlingit shaman strength to protect the land and people. My heart broke for Jenna as she struggled to understand what happened on "that day," how Native American legend may play a part of it, and I was completely racing with page-turning anxiety any time she was alone in a hotel room, the forest, or on the Alaskan shoreline. Is Jenna crazy or is the legend of the shapeshifting kushtaka true? And could the dog that saved her life really be something much more?

Garth Stein has captured an atmosphere within Raven Stole the Moon that is memorable and spooky -- a re-released debut novel that effortlessly combines a story of true loss and one woman's path while grieving, with the supernatural touch of true Native American culture. I could not put this one down, and read it within a couple of days. If I didn't have that pesky day job, it would easily have been finished in one sitting, as I enjoyed it so.

This is one to read at the fireside and have your dog or cat by your side to let you know if you really should pay attention to the bristling hairs on the back of your neck...

http://coffeeandabookchick.blogspot.com
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 79 more book reviews
A haunting tale.
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 143 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book and have been watching for another Garth Stein book for years without success.
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 9 more book reviews
Set in Alaska, this book is about Jenna trying to find some peace after the death of her son.
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 39 more book reviews
I wanted to read this because I enjoyed Stein's book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, so much. This was an interesting story that started out well, but got pretty weird by the end. The characters were well developed but that didn't make me particularly care about them. A little more sci-fi than I expected.
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 70 more book reviews
Garth Stein wrote The Art of Racing in the Rain, but I unfortunately never got a chance to pick it up and read it. I always meant to get to it, but life seemed to get in the way. So I was even more excited to receive a copy of Raven Stole the Moon from Sarah Daily at Terra Communications. Originally released in 1998, it's now been released again -- and rightfully so. After reading it, I can see how it fits much better into today's market, and I fully expect this book to become incredibly popular.

Jenna Rosen is married and living in Seattle with her husband, Robert. Her life now is strained and tired and she is unable to move through it with some type of normalcy. Some time has passed since the heartbreaking day when her young five-year-old son slipped over into the water, disappearing from the surface while on a vacation near her Native American grandmother's hometown of Wrangell, Alaska. The resort of Thunder Bay was never approved to be built by the local shaman, but investors and sales pushed forward. The need to make money kept the shaman's advice buried and tragedy happened. Jenna's life is now filled with therapists, medication, and alcohol, all in hopes to rebuild some type of life, but nothing seems quite right. One night two years later, Jenna is compelled to travel to Alaska from Seattle, leaving her husband and strained marriage behind at a party of co-workers with no idea of where she went.

What follows is an incredible mixture of Native American tradition and culture with a searing mystery and deep love, loss, and sadness. I was perplexed and drawn into the mystery of the kushtaka and felt the creepy and prickly fear of looking over my shoulder as I learned about lost souls, native rituals and the Tlingit shaman strength to protect the land and people. My heart broke for Jenna as she struggled to understand what happened on "that day," how Native American legend may play a part of it, and I was completely racing with page-turning anxiety any time she was alone in a hotel room, the forest, or on the Alaskan shoreline. Is Jenna crazy or is the legend of the shapeshifting kushtaka true? And could the dog that saved her life really be something much more?

Garth Stein has captured an atmosphere within Raven Stole the Moon that is memorable and spooky -- a re-released debut novel that effortlessly combines a story of true loss and one woman's path while grieving, with the supernatural touch of true Native American culture. I could not put this one down, and read it within a couple of days. If I didn't have that pesky day job, it would easily have been finished in one sitting, as I enjoyed it so.

This is one to read at the fireside and have your dog or cat by your side to let you know if you really should pay attention to the bristling hairs on the back of your neck...

http://coffeeandabookchick.blogspot.com
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 121 more book reviews
Story Overview

On the surface, Jenna Rosen has it all: a husband who loves her, a comfortable life in Seattle, and good looks. But Jenna is troubled; it shows in her excessive drinking, Valium addiction, depression and the increasing discord in her marriage. But her problems can all be traced back to the loss of her son Bobby, who drowned during a family vacation in Alaska two years ago. Jenna blames herself for Bobby's death and cannot get past it. Yet her husband Robert seems to have been able to put the past to rest. One night at a party, Jenna gets in Robert's car and keeps on driving. Her trip leads her to Bellingham, WA, where she impulsively boards the ferry that will take her to Wrangell, Alaskaa small town where her Native American grandmother lived and close to the Thunder Bay Resort where Bobby died.

Once in Wrangell, things happen that lead her to believe that something is calling her to discover the truth about Bobby's death. Her grandmother's Tlingit ancestry begins to manifest itself in strange and frightening ways. As Jenna begins to explore the Tlingit legends of the kushtaka, she begins to believe that Bobby's death was no accident. Determined to find the truth, Jenna embarks on a quest to discover what really happened at Thunder Bay. The result is a terrifying but liberating journey into the heart of the Alaska wilderness and the ancient legends of the Tlingits.

My Thoughts

Contrary to what you might think, this isn't a new book by Garth Stein, author of the best-selling Art of Racing in the Rain (which is on my TBR list for later this year). Rather, this is a rerelease of his first novel, which was published in 1998. (Note to authors: If your first book is not very successful, keep on trying. You may score later on and then get a rerelease for your earlier books!) Raven Stole the Moon has been out of print for several years, but is being rereleased on March 9. Remember how I told you I was reading a mystery book that I couldn't talk about? This was it!

Anyway, on to my thoughts about the book. I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I enjoy stories of ancient legends coming to life in our modern world, and I thought the sections dealing with the kushtaka were disturbing and frightening at times. (Let me tell you, after reading this book, I won't look at otters quite the same way again!) On the other hand, I had some issues with the tone and writing in the book. In many ways, the book is told in a very plain, straightforward way: She did this. Then she did that. He reacted this way. Then the author mixes in some stream-of-consciousness stuff that I found a bit jarring. Here is a small example:

She got off the freeway in Bellingham feeling tired and hungry. She pulled into a gas station to get some fuel for the Machine, and she picked up some Corn Nuts and a Cokefuel for herself. The trip suddenly had the feeling of an all-night drive. Standing under a canopy of fluorescent bulbs. Artificial sunlight. Electrified reality. Everyone would be asleep if they weren't plugged in.

My other quibble was that I thought the emotional lives of characters could have been better developed. We know Jenna is devastated by the loss of her son because the author tells us, but I never really felt it from Jenna herself. For me, this kept the book from being more than a competently told story with some supernatural elements. I think with a little more work and polishing, this book could have been something special. However, in the end, I think it falls shy of the mark.

My Final Recommendation

If you enjoy books with supernatural elements related to Native American culture, this would be a good read for you. The Tlingit legends and story line were the most compelling part of the story for me, and the descriptions of the kushtaka were interesting and a bit frightening. Although the writing is competent and the story moves along quickly, I didn't think it was unforgettable or out of the ordinary. For this reason, I'm giving it 3 stars.
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 161 more book reviews
Creepy - deliciously creepy!
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 89 more book reviews
Wow! This one takes you on a ride! Stein goes back to his Native American roots and weaves an astounding tale of love, loss, redemption and joy.

I couldn't put this one down the whole time I was reading it! It had some very strange aspects to it as the plot developed and we entered the Spirit World.

If you have an interest in Native American culture or just love a good story, this one is terrific!
reviewed Raven Stole the Moon on + 224 more book reviews
This was well-written but a bit of a disappointment after "Racing in the Rain". It's still better than most books, so if I wasn't comparing I'd probably like it a lot more!