The Underground Moon


Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
374 Pages
Reviewed on 03/18/2022
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Author Biography

Melissa K. Magner began writing as a child, and over the years, her love of literature grew from a hobby to an all-encompassing passion. She now follows in the footsteps of her late grandmother, writing novels that defy the confines of a single genre. Though her books are rooted in dark fantasy, she incorporates themes that fall under the umbrella of speculative fiction, young-adult, horror, suspense, and mystery. Due to her proclivity to blend genres and her inclination toward the eerie and fantastical, Melissa has found her niche in the indie industry where she writes books that fall into a class of their own.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Underground Moon is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy and adventure subgenres. It is intended for the young adult reading audience but does come with a content warning for suicide and some moderate explicit language. It was penned by author Melissa K. Magner. Set in Tennessee, we find ourselves with protagonist Rosella Gill, a fifteen-year-old who is new to the area and living with her aunt after a family trauma. Looking after her younger sister Hettie and adjusting to life in a new state is hard enough, but when the girls discover a chilling forest and a dark secret at work, life becomes all the more sinister.

It can be challenging to hit the mark between suspenseful and shocking for the YA market, but author Melissa K. Magner has crafted a superb balance in this novel that will satisfy both teen and adult readers at once. I loved how the heavier subject matter was dealt with delicately but clearly, and an ethereal dark fantasy atmosphere placed around it softens the blow of some of the more terrifying aspects nicely. The work was also beautifully penned and emotionally resonant in terms of its characters and craftsmanship, with realistic dialogue and unique voices for the central players that made them so relatable. Rosella embodies a realistically mature coming of age under extraordinary dark circumstances and readers are sure to feel deeply for her and her sister as the story unfolds. Overall, The Underground Moon is a triumph in dark, thrilling fantasy, and a must-read whether you’re a YA reader or not.