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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Once in a Blue Moon is a young adult fantasy novel by Tara Fox Hall. Best friends Suzanne and Molly's much anticipated Valentine's Day dance at school turns into a nightmare when they run into the mysterious Shadow Man, who has somehow turned all the teachers and students into monstrous zombies. Soon, the two friends find themselves transported to the magical world of Valencia, where they meet Danny, an elf, and the unicorn, Millicent. Danny promises to help the girls find their way back home in exchange for their help in freeing Valencia from the tyrannical rule of the evil sorcerer Raven and his son, the Shadow Man. Suzanne must now get herself a staff that allows her to face Raven and turn the inhabitants of Valencia back into their original selves before her final confrontation with the Shadow Man.
Featuring evil sorcerers, flesh-eating zombies, and a host of other magical creatures, Once in a Blue Moon is a fantastical adventure full of action, mystery, and intrigue with a sprinkling of romance. Tara Fox Hall doesn't miss a beat and puts you into the midst of the action from the get-go, with a fast-paced plot that is as absorbing as it's unpredictable. There is a whimsical feel to the world of Valencia that you can't help but immerse yourselves in, and coupled with some compelling character work, the book is an absolute blast to read. I particularly enjoyed the friendships between Suzanne, Molly, Jake, and Danny. All in all, an entertaining fantasy odyssey for young adults.