Thank you Pan Macmillan for sending this to me for review!
The twisted uniqueness of this world was what made this book enjoyable. It was also super interesting to follow characters that were eighteen and twenty-three, rather than significantly younger!
Moon Chosen featured perspectives from both Mari, the daughter of the clan Moon Woman living in a burrow on the forest floor. And Nik, son to the Sun Priest whose tribe develops bonds with canine Companions and live off ground in the trees to avoid the nightly terrors.
The story stretched slowly between the pair, the world building extending for more than half of this hefty book. It was a world you had to settle in, with terminology you had to roll with, in order to sink into the story. I was sucked in by the concept of the sun tribe and moon clan and what their various cultures meant.
But the end, where the two worlds collided drastically, was my favourite part. Nik, although he’s twenty-three, seemed exuberant (sometimes childish) and puppy-like throughout the book. But at the end he was somber, more serious, and I really liked that turn his character took! Similarly with Mari, she was alone and curious at the beginning but she grew into her responsibility and leadership and I loved seeing the change in her. Plus the development of Sora, that was definitely a surprise!!
What I didn’t enjoy was that this was so hefty, it felt like I had to read for a long time before the plot would take another direction. If that’s what you’re looking for, that’s great! But I expected Moon Chosen to be a little faster in its pace, as P C Cast’s Marked series seemed quicker to read, if my memory serves correctly!
Although, the parts that featured Dead Eye made my skin crawl… so I read through them very quickly! It was written so graphically; I’m cringing just thinking about him… *shudder*
Overall, the character development was excellent, there were significant changes that I really loved seeing in Mari and Nik by the end of the book! And the Companion dogs… they just made my heart swell. So much. Give all of the dogs to me. If you’ve read Marked, this is entirely different in its world and pacing, but the Goddess worship is similar and I enjoyed that a lot, too.
If you like YA fantasy but want something a little grittier, then I’d recommend Moon Chosen to you. It’s got a darkness to its themes and world which I both enjoyed and shuddered at!
3 / 5 stars