Title: Moon Chosen (2016)
Series: Tales of a New World – Book 1
Author: P. C. Cast
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 600 pages
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…
Now, darkness is coming, and with it, a force, more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By forming a tumultuous alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and obliterate the forces that threaten to destroy them all.
Moon Chosen is actually the first I heard of P. C. Cast, who apparently is quite a big-name author back when vampires were making the rounds in fiction! Now, I missed that boat pretty much entirely, but I was glad for the chance to get acquainted with her writing through this book. Was I as impressed as I wanted to be? Well…
This story is about Mari, an Earth Walker who is the daughter of a priestess whose job is to ‘Wash’ the clan away of evilness every few days or so. Supposedly the heir to those powers, Mari has a secret: her father was a Companion, a rival clan who ‘hunted’ and basically enslaved Earth Walkers, and she too has been chosen by an animal ally called Rigel. After a tragedy, Mari must now learn the extent of her powers and discover what her destiny is.
“Rigel has changed everything and nothing. Everything and nothing.”
First off, this book is really quite wordy. There’s quite a lot of world-building to get through right from the onset, so the majority of the story is pretty slow-paced, with two major plot threads (and one minor one) to follow. Neither of them are hard to understand, exactly, but I did feel like there were a lot of things left unexplained, a lot of history that we didn’t get to see, and I can’t say that I was ever truly immersed in the story.
There are also so many characters, and unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble connecting with them. Most of them were pretty distinctive from one another, but I didn’t quite understand why they were needed and I’m not sure that they were utilised as best as they could. Save for Nik, Mari and perhaps Sora, the other characters didn’t really engage me.
“Sometimes it is our greatest kindness that are the most difficult to bear.”
The main reason why I kept reading (and finished!) was because the world was truly unique and inventive. it’s a high fantasy, but it’s a world that came into being after the demise of humankind due to technology, so in a way it’s also futuristic. Mari’s tribe, the Earth Walkers, needed to be ‘Washed’ by the powers of the moon every few days, or they’d turn evil. Nik’s clan lived on top of trees and had canines as companions. Another tribe, only mentioned here, seemed to have felines as companions. Sounds cool? Damn right it was.
In the end, Moon Chosen has all the elements for a great fantasy book — they just need to be unearthed from all the words, characters, and plotlines. I suspect with a good, heavy dose of structural editing, the book would be much, much better and make for an easier, more entertaining read.
* I received an ARC of MOON CHOSEN from the Pan Macmillan. Quotes included in this review might be subject to change in the final publication.
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