Review: The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard

The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard cover shows a bird's skeleton, wings outstretched, with vines and blue flowers woven through the wing bones.

The Hunting Moon (The Luminaries #2)
Susan Dennard
Tor Teen
Published November 7, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Hunting Moon

The highly anticipated sequel to THE LUMINARIES by New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard.

Winnie Wednesday has gotten everything she thought she wanted. She passed the deadly hunter trials, her family has been welcomed back into the Luminaries, and overnight, she has become a local celebrity.

The Girl Who Jumped. The Girl Who Got Bitten.

Unfortunately, it all feels wrong. For one, nobody will believe her about the new nightmare called the Whisperer that’s killing hunters each night. Everyone blames the werewolf, even though Winnie is certain the wolf is innocent.

On top of that, following her dad’s convoluted clues about the Dianas, their magic, and what happened in Hemlock Falls four years ago is leaving her with more questions than answers.

Then to complicate it all, there is still only one person who can help her: Jay Friday, the boy with plenty of problems all his own.

As bodies and secrets pile up around town, Winnie finds herself questioning what it means to be a true Wednesday and a true Luminary—and also where her fierce-hearted loyalties might ultimately have to lie.

The Hunting Moon on Goodreads

My Review

I loved the first book in this series, so I’ve had this sequel on my reading list since I finished THE LUMINARIES. Susan Dennard has a choose-your-own adventure-type story about these characters on her social media (maybe it’s on her Substack now?), which I followed for a while, but I’ve lost track of it lately. It was a lot of fun, though.

All that to say, the Luminary world stayed fresh in my mind, and I was excited to start reading book two in the series. It was easy to dive right back in. THE HUNTING MOON begins pretty much exactly where THE LUMINARIES ends, as Winnie deals with the aftermath of her trial.

One thing that stood out to me was how the supernatural creatures’ existences are integrated into the story. Like, Winnie often makes comparisons to things based on monsters’ attributes in the story. I liked that and felt like it kept the story anchored in the alternate world in which Winnie lives.

Also– Winnie and Jay. Omg. The tension. And the way they’re both like, “You don’t like me, so whatever.” I couldn’t read fast enough. They’re so sweet and so innocent. I love it so much!

The only thing I felt disappointed about is that I felt like Winnie didn’t make as much progress toward clearing her dad’s name as I expected. From how the first book ended, I thought the second book would be the quest to clear his name and that she would at least make contact with him. That’s not the direction the story goes, though much of what happens is in service of ultimately clearing his name.


I liked the story in this book– it just wasn’t the one I expected to find. The mystery of the werewolf takes center stage, which is another thing that I wanted to know more about, so that easily held my attention.

All in all, I am still a hardcore Luminaries fan. I’m excited to see where the series goes from here, and I will probably try to reconnect with the live and unfolding adventure on the author’s social media again.

The Hunting Moon on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Major characters are white.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Some discussion of kissing.

Spiritual Content
Some characters have the ability to shapeshift or perform magic. Winnie lives in a world where supernatural creatures exist and some attack humans.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Some battle scenes between monsters and humans. Winnie is part of a clean-up crew that helps collect the remains of dead monsters or people who’ve been killed by them.

Drug Content
Teens drink beer at a party. Winnie drinks a compound that helps her heal but also makes her seem high.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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