Winnie Wednesday finds herself back in with the Luminaries and as the center of attention after the events of the first book. It is everything she ever wanted, but it just feels…wrong. To complicate matters even more, everyone’s attention is focused on the wrong nightmare as bodies continue to pile up around town. With no one but Jay Friday to help her, Winnie finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew to be true…and where her fierce loyalty truly lies.

As someone who came of age alongside the rise of YA stories like TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES, I was beyond excited to dive into the world of the Luminaries, a world I was told that was incredibly reminiscent of those early 2000s YA stories. Winnie is the kind of heroine that I live for—quirky, smart, awkward, and an outcast. She’s the kind of character that I would find myself rooting for even if she wasn’t the main character and the growth she has even from the beginning of this book to the end feels so natural and even empowering.

Even though I read the first book almost immediately before diving into this sequel, my memory is…not the greatest…but Sooz manages to fill in any gaps in my memory without it feeling like the story gets bogged down with a bunch of repetitive exposition. The stakes are just as high, maybe even more so, and I found myself on the edge my seat and anxious about what would happen next. Elements of the story were (understandably) predictable while other parts took me by surprise in the best way.

The slow burn romance continues to simmer just below the surface and frustrate the hell out of this romance girlie. The tension between Winnie and Jay is thick enough to cut with a knife and things only continue to get more complicated as the story reaches its conclusion.

As I would expect from any book two in a trilogy, this story answered some questions left behind from book one while simultaneously leaving me with even more questions after the end. This world is one that I can see myself returning to time and time again and feeling comfort even amidst all the anxiety-inducing action that happens throughout.

THE HUNTING MOON is the second book in the Luminaries series by Susan Dennard. It is available now and you can grab a copy here. And, if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of book one, THE LUMINARIES, and fall in love with Winnie, Jay, and everyone else before the thrilling conclusion hits shelves in 2024!

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."