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The Book of Night with Moon [Mass Market Paperback]

Diane Duane
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1 1999
Rhiow seems a perfectly ordinary New York City cat. Or so her humans think -- but she is much more than she appears. With her partners Saash and Urruah, she collaborates with human wizards to protect the earth from dark forces and maintain the network of magical gateways that connect to different realities. But amid this amazing secret animal world lies a danger that threatens not only the cats of the world, but humans as well.

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Product Description

From Kirkus Reviews

Fantasy set in the universe Duane created in a YA series (Deep Wizardry, 1990, etc.). Cats are intelligent and have their own language, Ailurin; feline wizards with their human counterparts keep transit gates open and the world safe from disasters and invasions. Three New York wizards, house pet Rhiow, neurotic Saash, and dumpster resident Urruah, are detailed by the Powers That Be to repair a malfunctioning gate beneath Grand Central Station before a train accidentally gets hurled into another dimension. In the train tunnel the three battle hordes of rats and rescue a kitten, Arhu, who, though resentful and hostile, is destined to become a wizard, too. Next, the trio must travel into an alternate world of the past, Downside, to locate the gate's power source--but the locals are dinosaurs, and very belligerent. Then the investigators' human Area Advisory vanishes; they discover a magic spell written in Ailurin on an ancient Egyptian papyrus; Arhu develops a talent for seeing the future; and it becomes clear that they're being opposed by a dinosaur wizard backed by the evil Lone Power. Often intriguing, with a well-worked backdrop, but it's hard to find a logical or emotional connection between cats and dinosaurs. Still, fantasy-loving ailurophiles will curl up and purr. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
They never turn the lights off in Grand Central; and they may lock the doors between 1 and 5:30 A.M., but the place never quite becomes still. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark and Furry Fantasy for Cat-Lovers Aug. 12 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Set in the same Universe as the Young Wizards tetralogy (and featuring guest appearances by its main characters, Nita and Kit, and their immediate wizardly supervisors, Tom and Carl), this fascinating if sometimes sad and depressing fantasy tale focuses on a team of wizards who are both Terran and nonhuman--in short, cats. It seems that we humans share this planet with many sentient species--whales, dogs, and cats among them--and in each of these wizards are born on a regular basis. Rhiow, a black New York City housecat, is one of them, the leader of a team that includes the constantly itching Saash (no, she doesn't have fleas, though her ehhif (Cat-language for humans) think she does) and the young tomcat Urruah. Deep underneath Grand Central Station to investigate the malfunctioning of one of the many Gates that lead from world to world, the trio find an injured kitten, Arhu, who turns out to be a wizard-on-Ordeal--if he survives, he'll come into his power, just as they did in their time. Gradually it becomes clear that Something very nasty is messing with the Gates, and the cats must not only help to defend the City from a plague of dinosaurs that come charging through, but penetrate to the dinos' universe of origin and find a way to stop further incursions.
Reflecting her other career as a writer of sf (she's perhaps best known for several Star Trek:TOS novels including the excellent Rihannsu subseries), and perhaps a belief in the corollary of Arthur C. Clarke's maxim "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," Duane's magic is sometimes extremely technical (I can't work out how the Gates function *at all*, though the cats can).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cat Scratch Magic Sept. 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book combines two of my favourite elements: cats and wizards. The striking cover art catches the eye immediately, and the story synopsis completes the allure. My previous familiarity with Duane’s work is limited to her Star Trek novels, but I consider her contributions to be a high point of the series. All these things combine to make this a novel I would want to buy at first glance.
Chalk it up to my love of cats, but I find it easy to step into their world. Or maybe it’s the writing. Either way, the transition is smooth. The plot unravels slowly, building to a climax that is well worth the wait. Duane’s attention to character development pays off. The reader cares what happens to the four feline wizards.
The fact that most of the characters are cats could have been reduced to the level of gimmick. This is an area where Duane’s skills as a storyteller are quite apparent. She invites you into a willing suspension of disbelief, and you happily accept. While the cats seem as "real" as people, one never forgets that they are cats. Body language, indeed. Every movement, every reaction, is true to feline behaviour.
Each of the cats has a distinct personality, which keeps the reader's interest even through the slower parts of the story. Urruah is the most entertaining, with his sardonic attitude toward just about everything. Saash is the ultra-professional, despite the fact that she has the most to lose. Rhiow functions well in her central role, giving the reader an accessible heroine. Arhu is the most riveting of the main characters. He undergoes the broadest changes, which serve as a benchmark for the developing plot.
As much as I like Ith, I find it difficult to take him seriously.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a Cat Thinks March 27 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many books and movies attempt to tell us how animals see the world. Unfortunately so many of them try to make the animals think and talk the way humans do. Diane Duane knows that cats are a different species and therefore have different ways of thinking. From that she created an entire book in which we see the world through a cat's eyes. The cat's words are translated into English for our convenience, but we are told when the English word just isn't a good translation, or when body language is used instead. She creates personalities and mannerisms and everything feline based on what we already know of cats, or at least the real cat lovers do. In fact, she's so accurate that you'll probably look at your own cat and wonder if you have a normal cat or a wizard on your hands. Because, you see, the cats in this novel are not just ordinary cats going about their feline ways, they are actually wizards, working hard to keep the world and New York in balance. If you are a big Diane Duane fan, you have to read this book, and if you like the Young Wizard series, then you're in for a treat, because it's set in the same world and has a few cameo cross overs. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rattling good fantasy July 7 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When an ancient evil invades our world, flooding it with surreal horror, it falls to four small wizards - feline champions - to fight this evil with every bit of magic at their disposal. Together they must cross the River of Fire and hunt the Children of the Serpent, spending many of their nine lives in a battle between the light of their world (and ours) and the darkness from another dimension.
In "The Book of Night with Moon" Duane covers a lot of ground; her central characters are all cats, and this in itself is difficult enough, given that very few authors have done this genre as well as Richard Adams did with "Watership Down." She gives us a quest, which is a very potent plot in western literature, and she gives us a rattling good urban fantasy a la Charles de Lint.
The plot is simple enough, and one that's done in a great many fantasy novels: Seemingly unstoppable evil must be faced and defeated by the hero(es) who are really just regular people (or cats) at bottom. Tolkien almost defined the genre with his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and since then, every fantasy author worth her/his salt has tried to ring an interesting change on the formula. And in fact, when it fails, this plot is just that, formulaic. But in Duane's hands this plot becomes quirky as a cat, "full of sass and vinegar" to quote Jane Yolen (from the back cover.) Feline character informs the plot, moves it and shapes it, and this is what makes the book so special.
Duane's central character, Rhiow is well drawn, and - dare I say it? - very human as well as being very feline. All of her characters, human as well as cat, are well drawn, which is one of the great pleasures of this book.
But it's Duane's craft which really makes this novel more interesting than a lot of others of its type.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to The Young Wizards series!
If you enjoyed Kit and Nita's adventures, you'll probably enjoy Rhiow and her team's adventures in the line of work! Read more
Published on May 29 2003 by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly revealed Felines
Although the main stars are of the feline persuasion, even those who do not care for cats should like this series. Read more
Published on July 27 2002 by Anna MacSorley
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not as engaging as Duane's others
The Book of Night with Moon is not, as some Duane fans might hope, what it sounds like. The mythical Book of Night with Moon figures prominently in some of Duane's other stories,... Read more
Published on June 25 2002 by "ckbiehn"
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Those Cats!
I have always loved Diane Duane's deft handling of alien characters in her books, so I wasn't surprised when she got the character of cats down pat. Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2001 by Angelheart S. Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Love magic, love cats, love NYC!
This morning I was sitting in Grand Central reading Book of Night with Moon for probably the tenth time. Read more
Published on July 26 2001 by "touchstone7"
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book
I must admit, this is one of the best books I've ever read. While the Ailurin vocabulary is slightly confusing in the beginning, and there are some slightly slower parts, the... Read more
Published on July 23 2001 by Suninos
5.0 out of 5 stars wow.
ok, how do i put this? THIS IS ONE HECK OF A BOOK!! i'll love it and if you love diane duane, this is a must! Read more
Published on July 21 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Story
Diane Duane did a wonderful job on this delightful tale. It made me laugh and cry. There was a lot of thought put in these characters. Read more
Published on July 1 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I absloutely LOVE this book!!! I've read it so many times the cover has fallen off. if you like this book, you have to read To Visit the Queen, which has some to the same... Read more
Published on May 29 2001
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