Malkin Moonlight by Emma Cox, reviewed by Momo.
Malkin is a true hero. He is a cat with nine lives, but early in his life one is lost. He knows he has a destiny – he feels the tug of some unseen force. The moon explains this :
“There is a kindness inside you, little cat, and peace. … You will be brave, even when those around you are afraid. And you will make great sacrifices for friendship – you will be a true friend.”
As a young kitten he is nearly downed, along with his brothers and sister, by his owner. Luckily Malkin escapes and finds his way to an inn where he meets Roux.
“Malkin has not seen a cat that looks like this before. She is the colour of cream and smoke. Her fur is longer than his and softer looking. … She smells of wet grass and small flowers.”
When the inn is sold Roux and Malkin move to the recycling centre. He finds a group of cats living there and while they welcome this new pair they warn of danger over the wall. Malkin knows, however, this is the place, over the wall, that he needs to go. He must use his gifts to reunite this group of cats – the wild and the domestic, the clean and the unclean – but first come some terrible fights between this group of recycling cats and the Putrescibles. These are the cats who have been exiled to live in the garbage dump beside the recycling centre. It is a truly terrible place. These cats, led by the aptly named Toxic, are starving and smell utterly putrid.
Some things you need to know about the cats in this book :
- They have nine lives as you might expect but when a life is lost is quite harrowing
- Their senses are very keen but can be ‘turned off’ which is lucky when Malkin ventures over the wall
- Cats have a sixth sense which allows one cat to ‘read’ another
- The moon is a special friend to all cats
There are a lot of themes in Malkin Moonlight but the love story between Malkin and Roux is especially beautiful. The scenes in the garbage dump are also well described and I almost needed to hold my breath so I would not smell the putrid environment. The names used for each section in the recycling centre will make you smile – glass bottles and jars, mattresses, mixed textiles and clothes and my favourite section – Newspapers where the cats go to read the news each day.
Here is a set of writing ideas based on each chapter, written by the author.
After reading Malkin Moonlight I recommend you look for Varjak Paw and The story of a seagull and the cat who taught her to fly.
I am not really a cat person but I thoroughly enjoyed Malkin Moonlight. If you pick up this book and you are not sure about reading it take a look at chapter 36 and 37 – they will give you an excellent idea of the emotions and action in this story.