Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

Source: Received an ARC from Thomas Allen and Sons for an honest review.
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

Blurb from Goodreads:

Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don’t know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won’t be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship—one that could perhaps become something more.

Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace—unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne’s brother . . .



The minotaur is probably one of the most well-known figures in mythology, and in Dark of the Moon, Tracy Barrett the myth of the minotaur and makes it her own. Knowing the myth, I expected it to go in certain ways, but Tracy kept me surprised throughout the book and I really enjoyed that. I also loved her little hints towards the original myth and the jokes that she made about them. The black sails in particular made me chuckle. :P

I really liked Ariadne and Theseus, but I could not stand Prokris...then again, I don't think I was supposed to. :P I expected there to be more of a romance angle in the story, but it focused more on the characters' striving for their freedom and survival, which I was okay with...although I do love me some romance. So, just a heads up...if you're looking for a romance, this isn't one, but it's still an interesting story. :)

My favourite aspect of the book was the way that things were misinterpreted, which kind of gave you the idea of how the myth could have evolved. For example, on his journey to Athens Theseus supposedly (in the myth) did all of these great feats, and in Dark of the Moon, nothing at all happened on his journey, at least nothing eventful. However, when he arrives in Athens he embellishes what happens and tells these incredible and pretty much impossible encounters, encounters that match up with the actual myth. This is just one example, and I loved that Tracy incorporated details of the myth into the story this way, it added an element of realism that you don't often see with mythological retellings.

Overall, I really liked Dark of the Moon. I would've liked more romance, but other than that everything was fantastic. I think that fans of mythology will like this one, especially if you enjoy thoughtful retellings that add a realistic feel to traditional myths. :)

Have you heard of the Minotaur myth??
Has anyone else read Dark of the Moon? Thoughts?
If you haven't, do retellings of myths, or even fairy tales, interest you? (I personally love 'em! :D)

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