cover image The Moonlit World

The Moonlit World

Edward Willett. DAW, $17 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1714-7

Willett inches his Worldshapers series forward with this inventive but underwhelming third installment. Immediately following the events of 2019’s Master of the World, Shawna Keys, who only recently discovered her true nature as a Shaper of worlds, continues her quest to save reality by seeking out fellow Shapers in the worlds of their own creation and absorbing their powers. This time, she and her companion, Karl Yatsar, travel to a postapocalyptic land where humans, werewolves, and vampires uneasily coexist. The two Shapers of this horrific world rule as opposing queens of the vampires and werewolves, with the few remaining humans caught in the middle of their feud. Soon after their arrival, Shawna and Karl are separated and wind up on opposite sides of the brewing supernatural conflict. Willett continues to use his innovative worldbuilding to play with genre tropes; there’s a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness to this desolate world that will please fans of dark fiction. Readers will be disappointed, however, with the way the episodic plot overpowers the series arc, undermining the momentum of Shawna’s quest. And a scene in which Karl is seduced against his will by a vampire receives little follow-up, which will prove uncomfortable for many readers. While entertaining, this entry feels like filler. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. (Sept.)