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Nicholas Donner
The Blue Moon Narthex
N. J. Donner, author

Children/Young Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Following the sudden death of his father, thirteen-year-old Cole McCarthy finds his grief interrupted by strange discoveries. An odd stone-shaped object unlocks his father’s secret life and thrust Cole and two school mates into the middle of the Karmanic battle between good and evil. The Blue Moon Narthex follows Cole, Britten and Sophie into hidden worlds where the keepers of good fight to keep dark forces in check. With only the powerful stone, a letter and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover not only who Cole’s fathers was but to stay safe themselves.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10


After his father’s death in 1918, 13-year-old Cole McCarthy discovers that his dad has left behind a secret with many responsibilities, including the Blue Moon Narthex, a stone that introduces him to the Karmanic Sovereign Legion. Despite laying necessary groundwork, Donner manages to keep the action moving. Primary characters like Cole are well-developed while secondary characters feel less genuine. The tech and trains give the novel a steampunk feel. Donner has left room for a sequel and left readers wanting more.

Date Submitted: September 27, 2016