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Monday, July 30, 2012

Audio Review: Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott

Posted by Irish in Review3 Comments

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (Audio); Candlewick (Print)
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 24 Apr 12 (Audio); 24 Apr 12 (Print)
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 9781455851904 (Audio), 0763653446 (Print)
Format: Audio
Audio Length: ~11 hrs
Narrator: Amy Rubinate 

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Moon Kingdom

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First Line: On my fourteenth birthday, when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us.

In some ways Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott can almost be considered three separate stories but all with connecting parts. The main character starts off as Suzume and then later become Rin and later on changes into Yue. With each change there are changes in character and station and all shape the girl that she eventually becomes. As Suzume she lives a privileged life but its not one without heartache. She escapes her privileged life for the protection of anonymity working in a kitchen and then later on leaves there to become friends with the most notorious courtesan in her land. All her moves and changes in station aren’t always premeditated but in the end she settles on one goal. Revenge. She becomes consumed and almost blinded with the idea that she almost loses sight of herself. 

Shadows on the Moon is a story that is filled with many emotional ups and downs. I found myself lost in the audio and my heart felt so much for Suzume and all the trials that she went through. I am not sure that I would be able to remain as strong as she did through them all. I’d have totally given up but somehow Suzume always found the strength to keep going. Throughout the story there are lots of wonderful side characters that weave in and out of Suzume’s life, especially liked Otienno. 

I loved how Shadows of the Moon was filled with characters of color…the huge Asian influence was a bit intoxicating at times and it really stands out from many stories that are out today. I love the Japanese culture and it was great to see Marriott’s take on it in her fictional world which weaves in some magic and added mystery to it. I was surprised that this story was a retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella as that was never a favorite story of mine. But Marriott has a way of take the bones of that story and changing them up so that one the essence is there but its not a straight retelling. And the ending isn’t as predictable as the the one in the fairy tale. All in all, I enjoyed this book a lot and look forward to reading other books by Marriott to see how she interprets other well known fairy tales and stories.

The narrator of Shadows of the Moon, Amy Rubinate, did a very wonderful job bringing this story to life. With all the Japanese names and words I was thankful that I chose to listen to this story rather than have to determine for myself how to pronounce them all. Rubinate has a nice even voice that really lures you into the story and I would often take the long way home just to listen to more of it. Her pacing was really good and I will have to look for other books that she narrates in the future. 

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