Naomi Roberts appears to be a typical teenager. She’s eager to study abroad and broaden her horizons. Her grandmother wants nothing more for Naomi to stay in Germany, but she grudgingly accepts that Naomi will be leaving to go study in the United States. Before she leaves, she tells her of their family’s secret and cautions her to look out for anything unusual. J.J. Biddell provides a coming-of-age tale with a twist In The Shadow of the Moonlight – The Awakening.

Naomi isn’t sure about her grandmother’s story of werecats, but she feels sure she has nothing to worry about. She acclimates to the US and begins her studies. She even finds new friends in fellow student, Alice, and a town resident, Sammy. She also finds a new love interest in an instructor, Roman. Naomi maintains contact with her mother and grandmother, but is beginning to enjoy her new found freedom in the US.

But all is not as easy and joyous as it should be. Naomi and Roman have a great relationship. Naomi and Alice have a great friendship, but there’s something just a little off with Sammy. And just when Naomi is beginning to think that things couldn’t get any better, she begins to feel strange and out-of-sorts. In due time she comes to learn that her grandmother’s tale of werecats isn’t so strange or bizarre. A mysterious stranger appears and tries to teach Naomi what she needs to know about being a werecat. One lesson she doesn’t want to accept is that she must break off her relationship with Roman, especially now that she’s pregnant.

This was a hard story for me to read for a variety of reasons. First, I was reading from a digital copy and the print was bright red and couldn’t be changed. Second, there were numerous errors in syntax and semantics, not to mention typographical errors. The author is German, yet the bulk of the action is taking place in the US, and it reads like someone that has read a guide book as opposed to someone familiar with US customs, language and academics. The story isn’t bad and I can’t say that it was badly written as it was translated, so I presume that this is just a poor translation. 

In addition to these problems, there were glaring plot problems such as Naomi being raped but never knowing about and it being glossed over and only mentioned in passing. Why is Naomi’s grandmother overly protective but her mother rather laid back? I can accept that she’s concerned about the possibility of Naomi being a werecat but her actions seem a bit much. The story in the prologue doesn’t seem to be beneficial other than to say that werecats were despised as evil and possibly satanic, but that was in the 16th century and appears to have no relevance to today. How did both Sammy and Kai know that Naomi was coming to the US and coming to Maine specifically? I finished reading the story with more questions than answers. I wish I could say I enjoyed reading In The Shadow of the Moonlight – The Awakening, but the errors (grammatical, typographical and linguistic), were simply too much for me to overlook. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”