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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Nineteen-year-old Lilah is reading a novel about a vampire, and almost immediately upon finishing her book comes face to face with a real one named Cain. This is the catalyst for the story that follows in The Waxing Moon by Elli Morgan. Lilah convinces Cain to spare her life with flirtatious offers of companionship and wakes up later alive and alone in an unknown room with her things missing. Cain returns to tell her his life is dangerous and that to join him she would have to leave everyone she knows but he offers her an opportunity to stay and see his world. Before Cain is willing to give Lilah what she wants, she must be trained and prove she has what it takes to commit to and survive as a vampire. This happens under the tutelage of different vampires, at the conclusion of which she is reunited with Cain to face the final test of what will either be her new life as a vampire, or the end of her life altogether.
The Waxing Moon by Elli Morgan is unique in its approach to the vampire sub-sect of paranormal fiction in that it is focused primarily on Lilah's intensive training over the building of what is obviously a romance between Lilah and Cain. They are together for the first third of the book and then it is Lilah with different vampire masters—a term that is literal as Lilah is subjected to all manner of servitude—for the rest, up until the final few pages. The writing is extremely simple and as a result the pacing barrels forward at a clipping speed, and it reads with the utilitarian directness of a short story in a novel's format. Readers who look for more depth and development in their characters might not like this, but those who adore a book that cuts straight to the chase will find exactly that style here. There's sizzle and seduction and danger, and not all masters are created equal so Lilah's experiences run the gamut. I enjoyed the book as a delightful piece of escapism and am sure others who are up to giving Morgan's writing a try will feel the same.