Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments in this series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball | Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords | Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief

Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday was written by Laura Ellen Anderson and first published in 2019. It tells the story of the continuing adventures of Amelia Fang – a brave little vampire – and her monstrous friends as they go on a trip to an unusual island. The novel forms the fourth part of the Amelia Fang series, following Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (2017), Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords (2018) and Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief (2018).

Amelia Fang is both nervous and excited to be going on her first holiday without her parents. Her Rainbow Rangers troop will be heading away for the entire of the Half-Moon Holidays, camping on the remote and uninhabited Sugarplum Island. Amelia is looking forward to spending time with her best friends – Tangine, Florence and Grimaldi – but more than anything she wants to earn the most badges and be named the Rainbow Ranger Captain.

However, things get off to a strange start for Amelia as she thinks that she sees something strange in the Sea of Sparkles. Yet this odd encounter is not enough to prepare her for what happens on the island. While trying to earn their Food Foraging badge, the team eat some mysterious glowing fruit and find themselves shrunk to the size of insects!

With the help of King Jamie the Eighth of Buggingtonshire, the group must try to find out exactly what happened to them and how to break the curse. If they don’t, they will have no chance of returning home or doing the things that they love ever again!

It is now four books into the series and Amelia Fang is still simply wonderful. While the last instalment was purely set Nocturnia, this time we get to return to the Kingdom of the Light and explore a small corner of it that we have never seen before. Naturally, this gives the reader plenty of time to meet even more of its cute and whimsical inhabitants, from Bumblecorns and Bombastic Bugs (which are recognisable by their pompous attitudes and canes) to aquatic Mer-pires!

The adventure this time is always bright and cheerful, however I did feel that it wasn’t very connected to previous instalments. Although the first three books do stand on their own fairly well, they have all been linked by the themes of not judging others based on appearances and, more generally, trying to reunite the people of Nocturnia and the Kingdom of the Light. Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon holidays does not make much reference to the previous books at all, which does make it a good starting point for newcomers. However, this does come at cost of the supporting cast who are largely absent from this novel.

The plot of Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday is incredibly light and very easy for a young reader to get their teeth into. I would also strongly recommend buying a physical copy of this book as it is simply gorgeous. As with the previous instalments, it has coloured edges to the paper and lovely foil elements on the cover. If you do purchase the paperback it also means that you can fully appreciate Anderson’s fantastic illustrations, which can be found on every page and really capture the personality of the characters.

As the novel does not really carry the baggage of previous instalments, it should also be noted that it had a very different feel to it. While all of the books in this series have been very cheery reads, all of the previous novels did contain a sense of very mild peril – from the fear of cruel Creatures of the Light to Amelia’s decision to sacrifice her memories to save her friends. However, there was nothing to this degree in Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday. The creatures that Amelia meets, no matter how monstrous in appearance, are all friendly and it never felt as though she was ever in danger. Because of this, I would confidently recommend this book to readers of all ages.

However, the lack of peril in the story also made it feel a lot simpler than the other instalments. All three of the previous books have held some sort of mystery, such as the truth about Tangine’s mother in Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball or the reason why people are forgetting things in Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief. While Amelia and her friends need to find a way to break the curse, there is no real mystery to solve this time around. The novel does not keep the reader guessing or contain a twist. It is just, simply, fun.

Yet, despite the lack of a mystery, Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday is by no means a bad novel and certainly is in-keeping with the spirit of previous instalments, containing a wonderful mixture of cute critters, gentle humour and gross foods. The story is sure to keep a young reader’s attention throughout purely due to the sense of joy and optimism that it gives off. The characters are all brave, resourceful and never give up. Even when bad things happen to them, they never get down and ultimately do what is right. Friendship is always shown as being the most important thing, and the characters always do their best to work together to find solutions. And that’s very difficult to dislike.

That said, I was disappointed to find that there was not a lot of character development in Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday. While the previous instalments focused on the protagonists overcoming their flaws through personal little plot arcs, such as Amelia connecting with her mother in Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief, this time there was none of this to be found. It was just a light adventure that did not do much to further the characters or bring out more of their unique abilities.

Apologies for the short review, but I think I’ve probably said enough. Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday lacked some of the depth of previous instalments but I still found it to be a joy to read. The characters are all still really lovable and it was a very fun and light read. It is certainly a book that I would recommend to the parents of young or reluctant readers.

Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday can be purchased as a Paperback, eBook and Audio Book on Amazon.co.uk

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Amelia Fang and the Lost Yeti Treasures | Arkham Reviews

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© Kim Dyer and Arkham Reviews, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kim Dyer and Arkham Reviews with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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