Book Title: Eye of the Moon
Author: Ivan Obolensky
Published: February 6th 2018 by Smith-Obolensky Media
Percy was brought up with his childhood friend Johnny Dodge at Rhinebeck, the Dodges’ sumptuous estate overlooking the Hudson. The two part company after a trading disaster, and his ties to the Dodge family are weakened. Ever loyal, Johnny eventually persuades Percy to join him for a weekend house party at Rhinebeck, with a volatile group of family and guests. Once owned by Johnny’s legendary socialite Aunt Alice, Rhinebeck holds more than just childhood memories. Alice mysteriously died while reading the Egyptian Book of the Dead when Johnny and Percy were ten, and they have been kept in the dark about that night ever since.
But this weekend, the family butler, long a faithful servant to the Dodge family, agrees to reveal her story, and they learn that Alice’s history is far darker than they were led to believe. Family secrets, strategic alliances, new love, unexplained visitations: Percy must confront his past if he is to take hold of all that is now shrouded within the gates of Rhinebeck.
When Johnny was just ten years old, he lost his Aunt Alice under mysterious circumstances. Twenty years later, Johnny and Percy are reunited for a long weekend at the Rhinebeck estate from a celebratory dinner after many years of no contact. Together they seek to find out the secrets of what happened all those years ago and are taken on a journey as they uncover the many mysteries the estate holds.
I am surprised to know this is Ivan’s debut novel. Ivan’s storytelling is very well written, and his words flow seamlessly. At 500+ pages this novel may be one readers who enjoy books that are less lengthy would possibly turn their cheek to. However, judging whether or not you should read this novel due to its length would be an utter mistake. With its length one would expect fluffed pages and unnecessary add ins to lengthen the story, but none of this is found here. Each word Ivan used was used with purpose, and this is something I truly appreciate when done.
While the story started off at a slow pace, it picked up rather quickly and was an enjoyable adventure until its conclusion; with multiple twists and turns delivered along the way. Some novels endings fall flat, but Ivan Obolensky offers his reader a fulfilling and satisfactory ending. Though this ending does leaving on a bit of a cliffhanger, I feel Ivan doing so make his reader wanting to explore more of not only this story but his future works.
Ivan also develops realistic characters not only through Johnny and Percy, but the additional characters met along the way. While I did not find myself relating to any of these characters, they all were very likable, and I did find the characterization intriguing. What is interesting to note is a novel on the topics found within would often times give a reader an ‘on edge’ feeling, but Ivan’s creative telling gave me a very unexpected relaxed and cozy feel which I really enjoyed. I also found the Egyptian inclusion to be very interesting. The Egyptian culture has always been of great interest to my older sister, so I will be forwarding my copy for her enjoyment in this story as well.
With its mixture of mystery, romance, drama and splashes of humor, Eye of the Moon has a lot to offer readers of all types. I’m unsure if Ivan has any plans to make this novel into a series, but I would enjoy hearing more of Aunt Alice’s story or the continuation of this story. Either way, count me in.
Many thanks to Ivan Obolensky and Smith-Obolensky Media for an advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review and request to join its blog tour.
Praise for Eye of the Moon:
“A thrillingly eerie mystery novel with a Gothic ambiance and supernatural elements seeping through the storyline… a fabulously spine-chilling plot.” — Readers’ Favorite
“Sumptuous in its description of white-tie dinner parties and sexual tensions with baronesses, and sharp in its maneuvering of several secret puzzles at once… a gothic mystery of the finest order.” — IndieReader
“Wealth, family politics, and the occult make for a strangely captivating and exotic brew… it has a timeless feel.” — Clarion
“Obolensky conjures a remarkably imaginative tale, seamlessly juxtaposing the quotidian and the magical in a way that renders the latter mesmerizingly plausible… ingeniously constructed… an engrossing tale of mystery and magic.” — Kirkus Reviews
“It’s like having brandy and a cigar in the library with Lord Peter Wimsey… intriguing characters and interesting twists deliver an engaging, enjoyable
read.” — BlueInk Review
FROM EYE OF THE MOON:
Stanley flicked what looked like a light switch. There was a click, a hiss, and the edge of a door appeared where before had been a blank wall. Light streamed from the opening . Johnny and I followed into a chilly space that was filled floor-to-ceiling with wooden shelving holding books of all shapes and sizes in no apparent order other than a series of numbers and letters.
“You are looking at probably one of the most extensive libraries on witchcraft and black magic in the world.”
The house was magnificent, but it had a dark side that would seep into my dreams and disturb my sleep.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ivan Obolensky grew up regaled by tales of his ancestors while surrounded by high society. Those stories of intrigue and adventure inspired him and nurtured his love of storytelling, which he brings to his writing, both fiction and nonfiction.
“Eye of the Moon” is colored by the stories of his youth. It was inspired by two questions: If life has given us gifts, what do we owe for having squandered them? To whom do we owe exactly and what will that payment be? Set in a family estate at Rhinebeck, the plot is a complex and sophisticated web of mystery, Egyptian occultism, sumptuous elegance, and intrigue.
Ivan is a lifelong reader and seeker of the way worlds intersect and connect. His nonfiction articles, weaving history, current events, science and finance, are published online.
Ivan lives in Southern California with his wife, Mary Jo. His hobbies include running, photography, and music.