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Moonshine

de Alaya Johnson

Sèrie: Zephyr Hollis (book 1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
18614113,750 (3.97)6
"Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, she agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity-worker "cover" to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. Soon enough she's tutoring a child criminal who possesses an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir's request--all the while attempting to resist his dark, inhuman charm."--Amazon.… (més)
  1. 30
    Soulless de Gail Carriger (Mumugrrl, MyriadBooks)
    Mumugrrl: Both books are set in urban, alternative realities, with humans openly interacting with preternatural society. Both have great strong heroines.
  2. 20
    New Amsterdam de Elizabeth Bear (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Excellent alternate histories of the United States which filter in political twists on Prohibition (Moonshine) and colonial revolutions (New Amsterdam), as each book's female protagonist finds herself accidentally delving into the darker side of the current political tangles of the day.… (més)
  3. 20
    Sunshine de Robin McKinley (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two books which both involve alternate histories where vampire and supernatural creatures have become everyday occurrences - and dangers - and how two women deal with the sudden appearance of a troubled supernatural creature in their lives. Both feature memorable protagonists, as well as fascinating alternate histories of the United States.… (més)
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» Mira també 6 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 14 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This was fun and interesting; I liked Zephyr Hollis as a heroine and I liked her supporting cast (and particularly Amir); the period was well done and delivered with depth and detail. But it just didn't quite hang together wonderfully. I felt in places there was too much to it - too many things going on - for the length and depth of the novel. I would've like it to be bigger and richer, to explore things more fulsomely. (And to, for instance, elevate Aileen's storyline out of deus ex machina territory.) But fun and interesting. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Alaya Johnson, dopo una serie di pubblicazioni per giovani e giovanissimi, decide di scrivere e pubblicare un libro per adulti e, a tutti gli effetti, ci riesce perfettamente.

E’ un lavoro autoconclusivo (per adesso, visto il finale decisamente “molto” aperto) che ci trascina in una New York alternativa dei primi anni del secolo: siamo nel 1920 e Vampiri, Umani, Fate e altri “Altri” convivono, anche se non sempre pacificamente, in una città fatta di miniere, proteste e lotte fra gangs di quartiere.

L’ambientazione è estremamente accurata e lo stile di Alaya Johnson è molto fluido, elegante, perfettamente in linea con il periodo storico e ironico quel tanto che basta da rendere i suoi personaggi abbastanza frizzanti e carismatici da smorzare un po’ la serietà del romanzo. Riesce a creare un intero mondo in cui le creature soprannaturali interagiscono fra loro, riproponendo, anche se in versione romanzata, i processi integrativi che molte “razze diverse” hanno dovuto affrontare all’inizio del ’900; in questo caso sono gli Altri che dovranno farsi accettare dagli umani che non sono particolarmente inclini.

I problemi di emarginazione, razzismo, nonchè i problemi inerenti alle gangs come lo spaccio di droga, le violenze e gli omicidi sono trattati con assoluto realismo e, a combattere tutto questo troviamo lei, la suffragetta dei vampiri, Zephyr, la figlia di uno dei più grandi cacciatori di vampiri.

Zephyr sa perfettamente quali sono i pericoli che possono nascondersi nel buio delle stradine di periferia di New York ma per lei arrivare a scuola a fare lezione di integrazione ai “suoi” Altri, gli allievi intenzionati ad integrarsi, è più importante. Sarà proprio in una di queste sere che si imbatterà in un bambino, prosciugato a morte. Di norma i bambini, inadatti alla traformazione, dovrebbero essere impalati e decapitati, invece Zephyr salta in bici e lo nasconde a scuola con l’aiuto di Amir, uno dei suoi allievi più misteriosi e seducenti.

Peccato, o per fortuna, da quel momento la sua vita cambierà totalmente grazie, soprattutto, proprio a quello strano Altro che si ritrova a chiederle aiuto per trovare il più pericoloso e misterioso boss di New York…

La storia si snoderà fra colpi di scena, attimi di puro romanticismo e momenti talmente esilaranti che non mancheranno di farvi fare delle grosse risate nell’immaginare la nostra eroina, ricoperta di fango, affamata e di pessimo umore a farsi tutta NY in bici avanti e indietro fra un disastro e l’altro. Alla fine del romanzo proverete uno strano senso di pietà per quella povera bici, garantito!

Zephyr è una protagonista molto divertente, coraggiosa e delineata perfettamente in ogni sua sfaccettatura. All’avanguardia (per il 1920!), sfacciata, forte e spericolata… Una suffragetta dei vampiri che non disdegna di impalarne qualcuno se si tratta di salvarsi la vita, salvo poi soffrire di tremendi sensi di colpa per essersi lasciata trascinare dalle vecchie abitudini.

Amir, invece, è la perfetta controparte maschile, una coppia perfettamente equilibrata. Pacato, riflessivo e maschilista quanto basta da non rendelo antipatico, un vero gentiluomo di altri tempi. Le loro schermaglie amorose sono assolutamente irresisitibili, se non addirittura esilaranti.

Nulla nel romanzo di Alaya Johnson è perfettamente come sembra, in nessun caso. Le tonalità di grigio si alternano con maestria grazie alla penna dell’autrice che ci presenta dei personaggi secondari interessanti (come il “giovane” Nicholas) e decisamente intriganti, nessuno escluso.

Un romanzo per adulti caldamente consigliato a tutti gli amanti del genere fantasy con “una marcia in più”, dove amore e azione di amalgano perfettamente con un leggero tocco dark gothic che rende il tutto ancora più interessante. ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
4.5/5
This was such a delightful mess of a book with everything through in for a good measure - gangsters, vampires, social activists, demon hunters, jazz and The Prohibition, of course. Can't have roaring 20s without it!

Oh, I forgot djinn! The mysterious stranger with a dark sex appeal, the client whose dragging Zephyr in his messy dealings with gangsters started all her troubles. Yep, meet Amir.

Zephyr is a no-nonsense skinny activist, a do-gooder who fights for social equality between humans and paranormals and teaches latter in the night school. She is also an ex-demon hunter who saw that her family business was indiscriminately killing all paranormals no matter if they were criminals or not and stepped away from it. She is also a vegetarian just for the hell of it. Because you know, the rest is not enough.

So, Amir hires her to find this gangster who he suspects is a vampire. To do so, Zephyr needs to infiltrate a gang of teenage vamps who terrorise the whole neighbourhood by their unhinged cruel ways. She offers to teach their leader to read.

At the same time there is another mystery waiting to be solved - Zephyr found a brutally turned into a vampire little boy on one of the streets, and she needs to find his mother in between her detective work, protests and her newfound singing career...

The situation gets worse when her dad and a bunch of demon hunters arrive into town and his and his daughter's mark coincide...

Not only this book is full of fun, plenty of action and great characters, the atmosphere is fantastic! New York and its dirty dangerous streets, its horrible conditions for immigrant workers, and poverty are beautifully described, and I loved it!

This mix of urban fantasy and historical fiction has a great kick to it, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to find a kick ass character in a historical setting.

Wicked City, the next book in series is only available as hardback in UK at the moment. I can't afford it, but as soon as it's printed as paperback I'll buy it! ( )
1 vota kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
Meet Zephyr, the vampire suffragette (she's not a vampire, though, quite the opposite). This book hooked me and wouldn't let go. First of all, the setting: New York City, 1920s. Female heroine very involved in social justice who's also a teacher. Does it get any better than that, I wonder?
The plot reminded me of The Godfather, in a good way - different factions of a city fighting for power and blood, with a lot more social commentary than Mario Puzo's novel as well as a dollop of supernatural elements. It touches on many things - society's systematic oppression of immigrants and anyone who isn't white and human (I thought the parallel between supernatural creatures' status and that of a whole bunch of minorities was very well brought up), feminism, religion and class. Zephyr is an unforgettable heroine - finally a character I can fully root for! Doesn't happen very often but she's passionate, driven, idealistic and down-to-earth and just plain charming. I loved her and it was a joy following her in New York.
While I found the romance at first a little tedious (but then again, I'm not the best audience for romance, which I always find boring to read), I'll have to admit even I was interested by the end. It's got some interesting twists and turns and while I'm not completely sold on Amir, he was a funny character.

This book passes the Bechdel test easily - Zephyr has interactions with Lily and Aileen that are about more than men. Lily is a journalist that I really really enjoyed reading about, she's sharp and smart and I thought her teaming up with Zephyr provided us with some of the best scenes of the book.

Moonshine is a rare gem in that it illuminates a side of the 20s that seems to have failed making it into the history books. That all the luxury of the Roaring Twenties had a price, and for every cocktail paid for, people died of poverty, lacking basic care. That essentially, the Roaring Twenties were Roaring for the benefit of an elite. Zephyr's job (she teaches a range of subjects at her local night school) makes the link between her flapper dresses and immigrants' need to understand the law that works against them.

The reason I'm giving this book four stars is because I wish Alaya Johnson had written more of this world and developed her themes in more pages. Her ideas are wonderful and I think the book would have been even better had she detailed the universe of Moonshine more than she does here. It's fortunate that a sequel is in the works - I'll definitely be amongst the first to purchase it, I can't wait to follow Zephyr again! ( )
  RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
Very well written vampire fiction. The cheesy cover does not do this book justice. (A writer of this talent deserves a quality book cover. The publisher should refer to any Cherie Priest cover or Elizabeth Bear's books published through Subterranean Press.)

We are in 1920's post-war New York with Zephyr Hollis. It is part of daily life to share the sidewalk with vampires, faeries, genies, etc.

Zephyr is a social worker who teaches night school to immigrant "Others", volunteers at the blood bank, and helps anyone who asks.

She gets involved in a sweet, slow romance with a student who asks her a favor, a favor that could get her killed. She kicks a** and experiences some amazing action sequences.

Very well researched: you feel immersed in the 20's with language, clothing, prohibition, politics, etc. Easily one of my favorite books this year. Already ordered the 2nd book which I hope is one of many Zephyr Hollis books to come. ( )
  GirlMisanthrope | Oct 12, 2012 |
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"Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, she agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity-worker "cover" to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. Soon enough she's tutoring a child criminal who possesses an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir's request--all the while attempting to resist his dark, inhuman charm."--Amazon.

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