Monday, June 21, 2010

Moonshine by Alaya Johnson

Moonshine: A Novel
From Goodreads: Imagining vampires at the heart of the social struggles of 1920s, Moonshineblends a tempestuous romance with dramatic historical fiction, populated by a lively mythology inhabiting the gritty New York City streets 
Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, Zephyr agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity worker cover to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. What he doesn’t tell her is why. Soon enough she’s tutoring a child criminal with an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir’s request—not to mention attempting to resist his dark, inhuman charm.
This book is set in the 20s. Not exactly the roaring 20s we usually are privileged to have in our movies, but more like the social problems of the 20s we rarely see. This book, of course, goes further and has another group of people who suffer the injustices of prejudice. "The Others" are any groups of people who aren't human.

Zephyr is a "do-gooder" with a heart of gold. She doesn't blindly try to help anyone in need (but she does what she can for those who ask) and sees the hypocrisy of some of the groups she has joined. She understands there is no perfect situation but also believes that everyone has a right to be treated as equals. It's not about saving everyone or that even that everyone needs saved. It's more about the fact that no one is above another. She knows who she is and is willing to suffer for that knowing. These are reasons why I just loved this character.

Amir, her mysterious student and counterpart proposes an offer she can't refuse. As she tries to discover what he is hiding and helping him catch the biggest mob boss on her side of town she starts to fall for him. Although this attraction seems mutual, there is no easy way for them to be together. They do make a good pair as they both challenge what they believe is true in their lives and why. However, as Zephyr's inquiry starts to get more dangerous, Amir tries to pull her from the fray even though he knows it is an impossible task. He respects her independence but needs her help desperately.  In the end they are both torn as to what is the right thing and living with the consequences.

Although this didn't end in a cliffhanger, it does have an open ending. I want more! I am so hoping that this is a series. I give this book 4 1/2 stars. It is a wonderful read and I recommend this to anyone looking for a different type of vampire read. Love that it was set in a specific time period.

I received this signed book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.

Moonshine by Alaya Johnson -- book trailer from Alaya Johnson on Vimeo.


  1. I stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi.
    Take a minute an check my blog out if you haven't already.
    I have lots of great giveaways going on.
    Thanks :)

  2. Hi Letherton. I'll check it out.

    @KC... if you read this... just wanted to point out that the mob thing was to get the story going. Very little actual mob stuff happen, so I consider it more a Vampire story. :)

  3. Oh, sounds like another great read. What am I going to do? Okay, I am going to have to think about it. Thanks for the great review.

  4. Don't think... just go for it. ;) I do know what you mean. My tbr is huge and my wishlist is over-flowing! :)

  5. Zephyr and Amir... what interesting names!=) I do like the idea of a certain time period.


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