Review: Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu

I read Moa as part of a promotional tour. The book was given to me and I can win prizes for posting an excerpt from the book, an interview with the author, and my review (which you are reading right now). If you scroll to the bottom you will see more information about the tour and contest for bloggers. 

Hillary is eighteen and goes to Hawaii to visit her sister, Molly, and niece, Heidi. Molly and Heidi are dealing with the death of their husband/dad – a fact that seems like it will be more important than it is, it really serves to create a touching moment later in the book and solidify Molly’s believe in Moa. Hillary doesn’t think of herself as a witch (a sure sign that she is one), yet does create spells to redirect positive energy her way and to influence events. Hillary arrives just in time to play a major role in saving Hawaii by helping Moa, the spirit of a seven-year old.   

This book is billed as Young Adult (YA) but is more Y than A. I might recommend this book (if I couldn’t think of any alternatives) to a struggling reader in the 7th or 8th grades, however I’m not sure that the plot would be enough to keep their attention. I was not impressed by this book at all. The characters are flat, the plot seeks to be philosophical and deep, but rather comes off as a cheesy advertisement for a Christian afterlife under the cover of Hawaiian culture. Moa’s whole personality struck me as a caricature of the benevolent spirit, granted she is the spirit of a seven-year old, but she has been a spirit for much, much longer and that was not reflected well. The scenes that were meant to be suspenseful (Hillary racing through the town full of evil spirits that are in the guise of humans) seemed to me contrived. I was never hooked into the story. 

The interview with Shiu (read it here), reveals that the book comes from personal beliefs and draws on personal experiences, including visits to Hawaii and from spirits bearing messages. (As far as I know Shiu did not save Hawaii at anytime, but that is the sort of thing people never get credit for). The interview supports the idea that Shiu really wanted to write about her metaphysical beliefs but didn’t know/wasn’t sure how to do that in a non-fiction manner. I think if the book had taken shape as a non-fiction book, drawing on her personal experiences it would have resulted in a more interesting read. Needless to say (which is an interestingly untrue phrase isn’t it?) I will not be reading the sequel. 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku: The second book in the Moa Book Series, “The Statue of Ku” follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by tstewartshiu on June 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks for giving “Moa” a shot. Sorry it didn’t work out for you and even if you didn’t care for the book, your comment “(As far as I know Shiu did not save Hawaii at anytime, but that is the sort of thing people never get credit for)” made me smile. Hope you have a great day.


  2. Thank you for your review. Moa read like nonfiction to me as well, and I couldn’t help but think a great deal of it is based on the author’s true experiences. I will be sure to ask her if she ever saved Hawaii–ha, that would be such an interesting conversation! I’m sorry the book wasn’t your cup of tea, but I thank you for writing an honest and well-thought out review 😀


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