De Lint creates strong female protagonists in many of his works, and there is a wealth of female protagonists in Drink Down the Moon. They are realistic in the sense that they are determined but not invincible and proud but not unable to accept help. They perform remarkable feats, as when Jackie leaps from the window and teaches herself to fly in midair and when Jemi comes in from the rain, catches hold of the wizard’s heart, and crushes it under her foot. It is easy to see how a light, plot-reliant novel such as Drink Down the Moon could have been preparation for later, richer novels such as The Little Country (1991) and Dreams Underfoot (1993). De Lint’s later works definitely are more touched by artistry.
The plot moves quickly in Drink Down the Moon, and there are no lags. This means that there is not much room for intense character development, but there is enough to bind readers and make them care about the fate of the main characters.
In Drink Down the Moon, de Lint creates believable fantasy in modern settings, managing to juxtapose magic and all-night coffee shops. The plot blends the tension of a murder mystery with the wonder of a fantasy novel. De Lint’s talent is in taking the ordinary and painting it in a new fantastic light, forcing his readers to find the wonder in the ordinary.
De Lint uses music as a mainstay for his plot. Jemi, Johnny, and Henk are all musicians, and the subculture of small struggling bands runs through the novel. Music is the language of fairy in this novel, as it is in other novels by de Lint. Visual images in Drink Down the Moon are refreshingly strong and startling, and de Lint appeals to all the reader’s senses. The novel is a light, engaging modern fantasy offering fast, enjoyable reading.
Drink Down the Moon originally appeared as its own novel but was later combined with Jack, the Giant-Killer to form the collection Jack of Kinrowan (1995).