Litercurious Book Review
|Title||The Night Raven|
|Publisher||Amazon Crossing Kids (September 5, 2023)|
|Format||Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD|
|Genre||Children’s European Historical Fiction|
Children’s Books on Orphans & Foster Homes
Children’s Books on Girls’ & Women’s Issues
|ISBN 10/13||1662509588 / 978-1662509582|
“My name is Mika Moonwind, and I am no longer prey. I am a hunter.”
Mika Moonwind – The Night Raven by Johan Rundberg (2023)
Johan Rundberg is an award-winning author of children’s books who lives in Stockholm. He has written picture books, early readers, and middle grade, including Kärlekspizzan, Knockad Romeo, and the series Häxknuten. In 2021, he was awarded Sweden’s most prestigious literary prize, the
August Prize, in the children’s and YA category for Nattkorpen, the original edition of The Night Raven, which was first written in Swedish. Nattkorpen was also the winner of a Swedish Crimetime Award in the children’s and YA category. There are now four books in this series published in Sweden.
Excerpt taken from Amazon.com
In 1880 Stockholm, 12-year-old orphan Mika gets entwined in the search for the notorious serial killer the “Night Raven.” She is a very intelligent, determined and caring young girl. Not only does she help look after all of the other orphans at the Public Children’s Home, but she also works at the Chapel, a local bar.
Late one night in the orphanage, Mika answers the door to find a young boy with a new born baby. He quickly puts the child in Mika’s arms, but before he runs off he says, “The Dark Angel knows I’m the one who took her.” The boy disappears before Mika can stop him. That’s not the only odd thing happening in Stockholm that night – there is a murder! Not just any murder, but a murder that fits the modus operandi of the “Night Raven!” However, the Night Raven was supposedly dead; “The executioner’s axe made sure of that.”
Detective Valdemar Hoff, who is investigating the murder, is impressed with Mika’s uncanny ability to remember explicit details and how well she makes deductions based on her observations. He takes her to the murder scene and asks her opinion. Impressed with her analysis, he enlists her help in solving the crime. Together, they have to work in opposition to the local government and overcome police corruption to locate and apprehend the villain before they can hurt someone else.
Who was the boy that left the baby behind and who’s baby was it? Who is the “Dark Angel?” Is the Night Raven truly dead or is he on the rampage again? Can a 12-year-old orphan really help the police solve such a horrific crime?
The Night Raven is an enthralling fast-moving period crime mystery. Rundberg’s writing is well rounded, the characters are well defined, and the plot is multi-faceted and easy to follow. The descriptions of 1880’s Stockholm are detailed and allow the reader to formulate the scenes in their mind easily.
I really like this book. Even though I find a 12-year-old orphan a stretch working with the police on a gruesome murder investigation, Rundberg creates a believable justification for her involvement. She is pretty much a young Sherlock Holmes, or Holly Gibney (Stephen King).
Overall, I think this book is great for all audiences, even though it is marketed for 10-14-year olds.
There will be 4 books in The Moonwind & Hoff series: The Night Raven (November 1, 2023) , The Queen of Thieves (March 5, 2024), The Angel of Death, and The Blood Pact. I can’t wait for the other 3 books to be released in english.
One final note; SF studios has acquired the film rights to the Moonwind and Hoff series. They are expected to start filming the first movie based on “The Night Raven” in 2024 with a projected film release in 2025.
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