Book Review: Allison Pang’s A Trace of Moonlight

Posted January 2, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Allison Pang’s A Trace of Moonlight

A Trace of Moonlight

on October 30, 2012 and has 381 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Third in the Abby Sinclair urban fantasy series revolving around Abby, a half-fae, half-human KeyStone who can function as a TouchStone to anyone.

My Take

The writing is getting better and Abby is being less of a ditz. Although that’s not really saying much as she’s a major idiot at the beginning. I still want to slice her up with a sword. Stupid woman. After overhearing that conversation in the garden, I do NOT understand how she could interpret it as she does. I suspect someone just read this section over quickly and couldn’t be bothered with a proper editing job.

It’s not exactly a raving endorsement to read this, I realize. I do like Pang’s basic storyline. It’s interesting how she’s created a fey culture with these particular twists. But Abby is so stupid. And wishy-washy. Arghh. She’s so clueless about how Faerie operates and she just rushes in, rushes off, releasing and connecting.

Worse, it’s so damned confusing as to what is going on. Talivar wants her, doesn’t want her. Ion has done something in the Dreaming Heart, but we don’t really know what. Talivar is willing to share, but he’s not. Talivar knows she loves Ion, but he’s surprised to find out she does. I mean, WTF? I simply got another headache trying to make sense of this.

Maurice’s escape was confusing. Fair, I suppose, as Abby was dying, so she was particularly coherent.

As horrific as Maurice is, why are they letting him wander around as unencumbered as they do?

I am confused as to where Abby’s relationships sit with regards to Ion and Talivar. After events in A Sliver of Shadow, I had thought she’d be off with Nobu and not luxuriating at the palace. This was all a bit vague and doesn’t really improve. I get the impression that Talivar doesn’t really want Abby…and then again I think he does. I suspect Pang intended to create a three-way conflict and it doesn’t work until much further in. The whole bells thing was poorly done.

The Story

Abby drank from the River Lethe and pledged to be the Devil’s Tithe. Meanwhile Moira, Phin, Talivar, and Ion are desperately trying to figure out how to save her without becoming oathbreakers.

But the memory loss doesn’t hold and Abby must flee the Queen’s displeasure. Right along with Talivar. And they fall into a new alliance that will have far-reaching consequences.

Now if they can just keep the Eidolon Tree from dying and find the escaped Maurice.

The Characters

Abby Sinclair is a Dreamer, a living KeyStone. She’s also Moira’s half-sister, and they share a father, True Thomas of Ercildune who is the Queen’s Steward, lover, and her TouchStone. Phineas is a perverted little unicorn, whom I just adore.

Talivar is Abby’s fiancé, Moira’s brother. Moira is the heir to Faerie and making plans to take over from the mad Queen.

Ion/Brystion is an incubus, a daemon, who can move through dreams and is in love with Abby. He’s desperate to help rescue her and pulls a very risky stunt. Sonja is his sister, a succubus.

Topher gives Abby options. Maurice was Moira’s TouchStone until he wanted more than Moira could give. He’s a poisonous toad who should have been watched much more carefully.

Back in Portsmyth
Roweena DuMont is the fae liaison between the Faery Court and the Protectorate’s Council. Melanie is human, but a Door Maker with her violin, playing to open the Crossroads for those with the price. When Abby died, she ran, and no one can find her now. Benjamin is Moira and Robert’s baby, half-fae and half-angel right up to the wings on his back. Charlie is Robert’s girlfriend and very unhappy that he would cheat on her, but she does love Benjamin whom Moira left with her and Robert. Katy is a young human who is the TouchStone for Brandon, a werewolf who owns the Hallows, the OtherFolk pub. Katy is currently away at college. Didi is a PETA pixie sent off to hunt Melanie down.

The Unseelie Court
Kitsune leads the banished fae and has a proposition for Talivar. Jimmy Squarefoot, a piglike man, is one of the lesser fae and blessed with an excellent sense of smell.

Nobu is a daemon who knows Melanie very well, and he loves her. He will betray anyone for her.

OtherFolk are the elves, the fae, etc. To be able to travel the CrossRoads as they please and to stay in the mortal world without problems, they need a TouchStone. A human with whom they make a Contract. A KeyStone can TouchStone OtherFolk on contact, seeing the OtherFolk’s inner personality.

The Cover and Title

The cover is sparkles in the sunlit woods with Abby up front and center in her cropped, slip of a halter top and low-cut jeans, wearing her mother’s necklace.

The title is consistent with the previous ones with its reference to a light, quick contact, A Trace of Moonlight. And that’s as close as it comes to being relevant to the story.