Review: Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

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 . . .

First off, I’d just like to point out that before I read this book, I had little to no familiarity to the Greek myth it’s based off of. I’ve only encountered minotaurs briefly ‘in passing’ while reading other books (The Immortals by Tamora Pierce, anyone?) Which is part of the reason why I was intrigued, especially with a synopsis like that and the cover.

However, it kind of fizzled. It seemed as if the author spent too much time trying to create her world and set the rules for all the different people and explain the whole government, as well as trying to tell the story from two different perspectives. It was just too much happening all at once. One character maybe would’ve worked, or a less complex world and two perspectives. Just not all at once.

The synopsis, also, is a fairly big factor in what turned me off by the end- it was misleading. It hints at a romance, which the book wasn’t. It also says that bit about Theseus at the end, which I still for the life of me cannot figure out why Tracy Barrett said that- it wasn’t a pivotal point in the story and it was only a small part of the plot- if you turned your brain sideways and squinted at it through a kaleidoscope. 

1. What time period does this books setting remind you of? Well, I’m not completely sure where in the world Crete and Knossos was, but I got the impression it was similar to Ancient Greece and in a similiar location. That’s one thing about the book that I did like- the setting.

2. Who was your least favourite character? Unfortunately, Ariadne. It’s never a good thing when you can’t stand a main character. I’m not completely sure why I didn’t like her, I just didn’t. She seemed kind of... flat, and boring. A bit whiny, and she didn’t really seem to put a lot of effort into making things better for herself. I did like how she stood up for her brother, though. That was a redeeming quality.

3. Would you read the sequel if there is one? No, probably not.

One of the things that bugged me is the way the author switched perspectives. I’ve said before that POV shifts can be really good, or can completely mess up a book. I think it served to mess up this book. The shifts in perspective didn’t really have a different ‘voice’, and it seemed to me that for the most part, they just re-told lots of the same scenes again and again, as well as having weird time jumps, going back and forth in time and it was annoying to keep track of when a chapter was taking place.

HOWEVER, I flipped through some other reviews of this book from other people on the internet, and it seemed like lots of other people DID enjoy this book- mostly people that were familiar with the myth before reading it. I’m going to try and find the original version of this myth  now, because I’m curious as to what it was supposed to be all about.

The Good: Setting, time period
The Bad: POV shifts, time switching, too much set up
The Verdict: 2/5

I would recommend this to: People that like mythology and are familiar with the myth of the Minotaur.


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