Review: Crescent Moon by James Fahy (Phoebe Harkness, #2) - CookieBreak Skip to content

Review: Crescent Moon by James Fahy (Phoebe Harkness, #2)

“What do you do when your world is turned upside down?

When you discover your father had a direct hand in the genocide of much of the world’s human population?

Phoebe Harkness’ life has changed forever. Thirty years after a cataclysmic world war that eviscerated one third of the human population, a new sub-species of vampire-like drones has set its teeth to the survivors of humanity.

They’re not the only ones: ‘Genetic Others’ such as vampires, werewolves and more roam the streets of New Oxford, trying – and sometimes failing – to live peacefully amongst humankind.

But that is all about to change.

A spate of serial killings have occurred, rocking the already fragile ecosystem of New Oxford.

Brutal murders and mutilation are now commonplace.

Phoebe must get to work. She is named as liaison between the Genetic Others and the Cabal, the ruling order of the walled city.

She must negotiate with the Tribals, a subset of werewolves cast aside by the cultural hegemony of the Cabal.

But before she can make any progress with the Tribal leader, Kane, she learns of more murders – and three missing students. And Kane’s daughter is among the missing…

One of the victims leaves a message in blood: ‘Crescent Moon’.

Now Phoebe must act urgently with the help of Kane and her former paramour, vampire Allesandro to track down the culprit of these horrific killings.

But who is conducting all of these strange happenings behind the scenes?

And what does it have to do with the Crescent Moon…?

Crescent Moon is the gripping second instalment of the urban gothic Phoebe Harkness series. It follows the young doctor as she stalks through the corrupt dystopia of New Oxford.”

What I thought:

I won’t lie, Phoebe’s sarcasm was the number one thing I looked forward to 😀

I’d never considered, before trying this ambassador lark, what a delicate and dangerous balance we struck between the different GO factions and the humans of the city. And behind it all, patient and hungry outside our walls, just waiting for our brave new civilisation to fail and collapse, were the countless multitudes of the Pale.

In the first book of this series Fahy introduced the vampires of New Oxford, but the focus in Crescent Moon is on the Tribals – a race similar to werewolves but not restricted to wolves. Tribals come in all shapes – wolves, bears, panthers – and they are large. Large as in easily-towering-over-anyone-normal-human-height large. So Phoebe’s in for a treat! I was especially curious about the Tribals after Book 1, so this was interesting for both of us. Although I, at least, was in no danger of being torn to shreds unlike Phoebe.

Throughout the book, tensions between the human movement and the Genetic Others supporters grow as both seem to head towards civil war. It’s a bit like watching water heat in a sauce pan until it eventually boils over (just, you know, you could totally stop the water by taking it off the heat). Neither side is willing to step down or compromise, and so tensions grow. While the situation doesn’t truly escalate, I worry about where it’s headed in the next book.

After months of non-contact, erotic and surreal dreams and waking hallucinations of the man notwithstanding, I was apparently off to meet with Allesandro again, Clan Master of St Giles, at the behest of the tribal Leader. This was bound to end well.

I fervently wished I was back in the lab with the diseased corpse.

One of my favourite parts were the scenes were Phoebe got to leaf through the bloody Voynich manuscript. I admit to mild strong jealousy.

Now, as much as I enjoyed the plot, I have to admit that the heavy use of adverbs was grinding on me. I don’t mind an adverb here and there as long as it adds something, but unfortunately this book was littered with them and it affected my enjoyment more than a little. If they bug you as much as they bugged me, do what I did and ignore them. It took a bit of practice but it helped.

If you’re looking for a gothic urban fantasy then I recommend this series! The first book is Hell’s Teeth, so you’ll want to start there 😉


Have you read Crescent Moon, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

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  1. I’m in the thick of it right now and I just adore it. The snarky wit of Cloves, Phoebe and Alessandro are an absolute highlight I just love James writing and the historical twist to Crescent Moon is everything I love in a book. I absolute love that he’s brought in a real historical artefact and twisted it into this already fascinating story

    • sarinalangerwriter sarinalangerwriter

      Ah, I should have waited, we could have been reading buddies! 😀

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