A powerful tale of magic, love, and revenge set in fairy-tale Japan. Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to re-create herself in any form – a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? Or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or is she Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even the one true aspect of her life- her love for a fellow shadow-weaver. (from Amazon)
This is an AWESOME book. What makes it awesome? I’ll tell you what makes it awesome:
1. the characters! Specifically, Suzume and her development over the course of the book. She goes from spoiled normal kid to PTSD-ed refugee with magical powers to someone with a lot of spoilers hanging around. It’s great!
Can I just say? After reading this book and Hunger Games and the Chaos Walking series I don’t think I can really enjoy any book that puts its characters through traumatizing experiences but doesn’t acknowledge that they’re traumatized. It’s just not as believable if your character walks away from something horrible unchanged. Unless it’s a comedy book, maybe. idk.
Oh, and also: every major character in here is non-white. And one’s transgendered, too!
2. I actually liked the romance. What! I hear you cry. Yes! I did! It has a fairly major role in the book but I never felt like it “took over” the non-romance bits. It helped that the romantic hero was ADORABLE and ACTUALLY HEROIC and NOT AT ALL CREEPY unlike some other dudes I could name in other YA books.
IT WAS SO CUTE. And it’s also an interracial romance, too!
3. The plot was exciting and scary and very sad in parts, and though the first chapter was a bit meh the rest was so fast-paced I zoomed through the whole thing in, like, two seconds. I couldn’t stop reading it!
Overall I seriously enjoyed Shadows on the Moon and writing this review makes me want to read it again. I wish the beginning was a bit snappier, and it annoys me that there’s random Japanese words included since it’s supposed to be set in a land that’s not, actually, supposed to be Japan1, but the majority of my reading experience was positive.
Read: March 7-8, 2012
It’s ALSO a retelling of Cinderella! Only the Cinderella in this book saves herself! Yay!
- which is a whole other rant which I had to cut because it was just rambleramblewordvomit, but I may rewrite it and post it as a separate discussion post later. ↩