Review and Giveaway: Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

Raven Stole The Moon by Garth SteinThis book was first published in 1996 and I hadn’t heard of it. Well, Garth Stein wasn’t yet famous for his The Art of Racing in the Rain (the book in which a dog tells the heart breaking story of the family he lives with) so I guess it sort of missed my radar. The book has now been reprinted and I was very keen when asked to review it.

So here’s my review of the book. Courtesy of Sarah from Terra Communications, I’m also running a giveaway of the book and an umbrella and it’s international. See below on how to enter.

What is the book about?
This is the story of Jenna who lost her young son two years ago and has not really connected with her husband since. One night, when she sees her husband enjoying himself at a party while she is not feeling at all happy there, she has enough. She takes the car and keeps driving, on and on. She lives in Seattle, but she drives a long way North, and ends up near the ferry terminal for Alaska.

On a whim, she buys a ticket and takes the ferry to her late grandmother’s old town, Wrangell, Alaska. This is close to where her son drowned. While walking in the woods, she is spooked by a strange man that tries to get her to come with him.

Later, she hears native Indian stories about kushtaka. These are otters that take the spirits of humans and can transform into humans, otters, and other animals at will. She believes that the man in the woods was a kushtaka although other people tell her it’s nonsense.

We follow Jenna as she tries to find out more about the old Indian beliefs. She also attempts to deal with her son’s death and with her relationship problems.

What I thought
I very much enjoyed this book! I found the setting, Alaska, very interesting. The woods, the sea, the people. The book was sometimes spookily scary which I actually enjoyed a lot. The traveling by boat and plane added a sense of distance and isolation which made the place mysterious and interesting.

While in Wrangell Jenna rents a room from a man called Eddie, and there is instant attraction between the two. I enjoyed reading about their feelings for each other. The way they hovered around each other seemed quite realistic.

I was a bit put off when reading about the kushtaka at first. I could not believe there might be shape shifters in the book, as it looked more serious than that! Whether there really are any, I will not reveal, but there certainly is an element of the supernatural in the book. That didn’t bother me. In the situation, the Alaskan wilderness and the Indian heritage of the place, the supernatural element felt quite right.

I liked Jenna but I didn’t feel very close to her. I couldn’t identify with her very well, especially after she started believing in supernatural beings. Luckily, her friend Eddie was more of an alter ego for me. He didn’t believe it either, and tried to help her sort out her problems.

In all, a very good book. I enjoyed it a lot and it really made me want to visit Alaska!

Rating: 4.5/5

I got this book: from Sarah of Terra Communications, for review

I read this in: the original language, English.

Interview with Garth Stein

Garth SteinGarth discusses Raven Stole the Moon with Author Magazine. Did you know it was first marketed as a horror story? Hear all about it in the interview about the re-release of this book. Note that it’s not actually a horror story at all, although there are some creepy moments!

In the interview, you can also learn more about Alaskan Indian myths and legends and how Garth Stein has used them in his book.

If you’d like to own this book and a lovely Moon umbrella, leave a comment below with your email address. The giveaway runs until Friday October 15th.

Anyone can enter as the giveaway is international and you do not have to be a follower of my blog (although I strongly recommend it if you like my blog and want to follow it more regularly!).

If you’d like to twitter about this giveaway, that would be so nice! You’ll get one extra entry if you do. Add the tweet link to your comment and I’ll count your entry twice. (To get the tweet link, click on X minutes ago under the tweet and copy the link from the address bar).

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

54 Responses to Review and Giveaway: Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

  1. Teresa says:

    Please count me in.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

    I am a follower.

  2. Erin says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    erinreadsblog {at} gmail {dot} com

  3. diana mack says:

    i’m an email subscriber
    loved loved loved racing with the moon so would love to read this one!

  4. Mystica says:

    Thanks for opening it to all. Much appreciated.
    Would like to be counted in for this giveaway.

  5. Misha Mathew says:

    Thank you for the contest! I was curious about this book. I am already a follower of your blog.
    i tweeted!/Misha_1989/status/26807556279

  6. Great review! I’d love to win this book. But even so, you made it sound so good, I’d go out and buy it as long as it isn’t Steven King like. Gives me nightmares.

    Buried in Books

    I’m done with Twitter tonight! New twitter stinks tonight!

    • leeswammes says:

      Heather, it’s nothing like Stephen King. I hardly ever read his books because they’re way too scary. This is more like normal fiction with a few scary moments and some supernatural elements. Definitely worth a read.

  7. Carin B. says:

    Oooo. I loved Art of Racing in the Rain. I know, I don’t need more books, but enter me anyway because I’m a glutton for punishment!

  8. rikkiscraps says:

    Yes, please, enter me, Judith.


  9. SiNn says:

    this sounds totaly utterly awesome Deff sounds like something id wanna read for sure great interview and post deff sounds like something id wanna read I have a hugeeee obssession with the moon and that umbrella is just adorable

  10. Iris says:

    Please enter me Judith! I’d love to read this!

    irisonbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

    Oh, and I also shared it on twitter, which I never do with contests that give extra entries, but I want this book badly 😛

    • leeswammes says:

      Ha ha, I like that Iris! I never make people do 500 things for extra entries, but I want to get as many people as possible know about this giveaway so that’s why I’m asking for a tweet here and there. Thanks, Iris!

  11. Esme says:

    Count me in-I would be happy just with a bright red umbrella.

  12. After reading your review, I sure want to read this book myself. It sounds great!

  13. Count me in! The book looks great – and I’m already a follower anyway.
    emp501 (at) hotmail (dot) co (dot) uk

  14. ikkinlala says:

    I’d like to enter, please – this looks like an interesting book.

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

  15. This book sounds really interesting. I’d like to enter please!

  16. Maaike says:

    Sounds good, Judith. I’d love to win it and read it. Hope you survive the hardest part of your readathon: the night. Good luck!

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Maaike. I don’t think I’ll survive the night for very long. But that’s OK. I still have tomorrow morning to read too. The readathon finishes at 2 in the afternoon (for me).

      I’ll enter you for the book. Good luck!

  17. leeswammes says:

    Also enter: debnance at readerbuzz. Her details are in the Readathon hours 1-6 post.

  18. Please include me. Hope you’re enjoying the Readathon.

    cuc15 at psu dot edu

  19. Please enter me. bkhabel at gmail dot com

  20. Susi N. says:

    Sounds great. Count me in! 🙂

  21. gnoegnoe says:

    Can you ever have enough umbrella’s in Holland? LOL. I’m in!

  22. gnoegnoe says:

    Do I need to add the tweet status? 😉

  23. Novroz says:

    Count me is Judith 🙂 The su#ernatural thing intrigued me

    I can’t copy my twitter status right now (can’t copy any url in my mobile) Will do it later.

  24. Eva SB says:

    The premise sounds interesting and I love the Alaskan setting

    I tweeted

  25. Pam says:

    Count me in and for a tweet as well. Sounds lovely.

  26. Aleksandra says:

    Sounds like a great book, so please enter me 🙂
    I’m a new follower of your blog.
    I also tweeted:!/Sandra_s_Page/status/26916101455

  27. Robbie says:

    Sign me up! rubbieburns at gmail dot com

  28. ibeeeg says:

    This books sounds like it could be a good read. The whole kushtaka thing has me wondering…I am curious.

    Please enter me.
    I tweeted.


  29. Count me in! I do you follow on google reader!


  30. Andrea says:

    The book does sound interesting, I hadn’t heard about it before… Thanks for making the giveaway international!


    email: adbcoz(at)gmail(dot)com

  31. tanabata says:

    Your review of this has me very intrigued. The Alaskan setting and the native Indian legends. It sounds great! Please count me in the for the giveaway, thanks.

  32. tanabata says:

    Course I forgot to add my email address:
    inspringthedawn at gmail dot com

    And I tweeted:


  33. Rachel says:

    Count me in!

    I can’t wait to see what you thought of The Passage!

  34. amcatoir says:

    This sounds really interesting, I had no idea Stein had another book out. sanguinepiskie @ gmail .com

  35. I absolutely loved this book as well!! So glad to see that you enjoyed it!!

  36. I came from the Saturday Situation hosted by Candace’s Book Blog and Pure Imagination.

    It’s a bit sad in my opinion when the secondary character is more well-developed than the main protagonist.

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com
    (not an entry)

  37. Care says:

    Cool! Just tried the Tweet idea. 🙂 I would love to read the book and I need a new umbrella! Thanks.
    BkClubCare [at] gmail [dot] com

  38. I would love to be entered in the giveaway! I really loved the art of racing in the rain. I would love to read this book by garth stein as well. To me he is a clever writer. I retweeted now too!

  39. Sarah says:

    The book sounds intriguing! Please enter me in the giveaway:

    sarahesullivan at gmail . com

    Thank you!

  40. jen7waters says:

    Toss my name on that hat please!


  41. firepages says:

    I would love to be entered into this giveaway! My e-mail is, and here is my Twitter Link:

  42. Anaiz says:

    Sounds great!
    nizmart at gmail dot com

  43. stilettostorytime says:

    I really liked this books as well….I read and reviewed it awhile back. I have thought about a re-read even. Thanks for the giveaway!

    stilettostorytime at gmail dot com

  44. Elizabeth says:

    I have wanted to read this book also…loved THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    silversolara AT gmail DOT com

  45. Kate says:

    Hey! Thanks for stopping over at Kate’s Library! I subscribe to your blog but must have missed this post – this is what happens when I go through my google reader at work! 🙂

    Count me in!

    kateslibrary @ gmail . com

  46. leeswammes says:

    This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced this weekend.

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