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The Book of Night with Moon by Diane Duane

The Book of Night with Moon (1997)

by Diane Duane

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8621916,201 (4.1)43
In New York, cats race to close a gateway to another world, from where dinosaurs are planning an invasion of Earth. The cats are members of an intelligent civilization which has its own language and the novel compares their culture with that of humans.



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» See also 43 mentions

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This was an interesting addition to the universe of my beloved childhood read So You Want to Be a Wizard. This time, the wizards in question are cats, which draws me to the book all the more, being the cat fanatic I am.

I thought that the cat culture was fairly well-designed in the book, and I could tell the author had done her research. It's true that, linguistically, cats only really meow when they're trying to communicate with humans and that they usually speak in body language and softer trills with each other. The game that the cats play with each other also felt very realistic in terms of how cats interact. I did sometimes find the integration of the cats' language into the text to be somewhat annoying, though. I was fine with the fact that certain words that would have no English equivalent, such as the cats' names and cat-only concepts, would be written in the cat language, but since the majority of what the cats were saying was translated into English for the reader, I didn't understand why the author felt the need to keep so many seemingly random words in the cat language instead. It only really made them harder to read.

I had a few other complaints with the design of the story, as well. For one, I found the story to be almost too steeped in lore. It explored the lore of cat wizards and how it's similar and different to that of human wizards, but every character in the lore had multiple names to refer to them and it was difficult keeping everybody straight, especially when there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to why certain names were used at certain times. Additionally, a lot of what the cats worked with magic-wise was very technical and could be difficult for me to picture well.

Finally, the ending of the story felt a little sloppy to me. The main character had in some way obtained a spell during her Ordeal which she kept in the back of her mind but didn't understand at all, and suddenly, during the climax of the story, she understood it and was able to use it against their enemy. The spell wasn't touched upon a great deal throughout the book before that, however; it was mentioned a little, but I was frequently unclear of why. I also kind of wanted the MC to be able to use the spell due to some personal growth she went through, when in the book she could use it because of things the enemy had done. There was also kind of a throwaway solution to one of the problems of the book; when things are first starting to wind up toward the climax, a character goes missing. The mission leading to the climax was originally organized to find out what happened to him. However, the whole entire climax happens without ever finding him, and when it's all over, he's just back on his own. I found that sort of disappointing.

Despite all these things, however, I did find it a good read and would recommend it to fans of not-too-serious fantasy and science fiction. ( )
  NovelInsights | Sep 21, 2019 |
I confess that when a wizardly kitten showed up in Duane's wizard series, it gave me that shark jump feeling. Maybe that's why I'd put off so long in dipping into this spin-off about cats that maintain the gates between the worlds in Grand Central Station. They are anthropomorphized, but with enough weirdness to make it interesting. It gets pretty sad and violent by the end. And if you've got cats, why not dinosaurs? Anyway, there are cameos from the main series. I did enjoy reading it, but somehow it didn't fit all together for me. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
I've read the first two in this series already, but I don't remember them so I want to re-read.
  ca.bookwyrm | Jan 26, 2018 |
magic cats, capricious gods ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Didn't finish. I usually love DD, so it was a big surprise to find that the books about her feline wizards are pretty much all exposition, with tidbits of action thrown in just when it gets beyond boring. How could two entire books be info-dumps?
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diane Duaneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Goldstrom,RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masters, AngeleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puckey, DonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They never turn the lights off in Grand Central; and they may lock the doors between 1 and 5:30 A.M., but the place never quite becomes still.
You know how it is with the youngest wizards: they don’t know what’s impossible, so they have less trouble doing it.
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