Kogiopsis's Reviews > Liar's Moon

Liar's Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce
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Apr 22, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: fangirl-alert, favorite-2011-reads, galleys-are-win, reviewed
Read from April 17 to 22, 2011

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Yes. Yes indeed, Mr. Spock.

First things first, I cannot believe the ending of this book. The GALL. Oh, the gall. I'll give Ms. Bunce credit: she has balls to pull that off and I can't really be infuriated with her because she did it so damn well. But still. I was counting on her not to end it with a cliffhanger and she did, so that was a disappointment.
Therefore, the five star rating is actually six stars with one deducted. Got it? Good.
Now, how to review this book without spoiling the first...

Let's make an analogy out of it!

Remember this scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark?
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The Majority Of YA Today is that horribly stereotypical pseudo-Arab bad guy with the sword and the fancy moves: not really giving you anything new, not packing a punch, just throwing lots of sparkles and flashy stuff at you and hoping you're impressed.
Elizabeth C. Bunce is Indy. She knows what she's doing. She doesn't have time for your flashy fluffy substanceless crap. She's going to take you down and then she's going to go on to kick even more ass.

And if that was too circuitous: Bunce PWNS.

Why, you ask? How about a list?

- Digger is a strong female character and she doesn't have to conform to masculine stereotypes to do it. A lot of people complain about this when it comes to Katsa of Graceling: that she's only 'strong' because she does it The Male Way. Well, if that was your problem, look no further, because here's a thief who'll solve mysteries and fight wars in a skirt. Digger is... practical. Does it make more sense to dress as a man or a woman today? And whichever it is, so she goes. She doesn't feel out of place in dresses, except maybe the really fancy ones, and even in those cases she doesn't show it. Too often heroines who have no trouble fighting in trousers get sheepish in a gown - yes, even Alanna - and it's then used as an opportunity for her love interest to compliment her and build up her self-confidence - with the added bonus that it establishes that he really loves her. Not Digger. There are no such devices here. And while there is a love interest (I won't say who it is, but I'm pretty sure you can guess from the synopsis), he doesn't make a big deal about her 'dressing like a girl' because it's not so out of the way for her.
- The worldbuilding, as always, is fantastic. So many fantasy novelists want to have a Thieves' Guild, but it doesn't really ever make sense... until now. Bunce's solution is simple, elegant, and perfectly fitted to her world: the 'Guild' is actually more of a religion, since pretty much all thieves are followers of Tiboran. They have a priestess/leader (Eske is awesomesauce, by the way) who kind of bosses them around, but mostly they're as free-willed as you would expect. The structure is still present, though, and fairly believable.
Also, can I just mention how much I flipped out when I realized that I hadn't been reading the word 'moonlight' but 'moonslight'? Worldbuilding in every part of the novel is fantastic! Props to Ms. Bunce.
- The mystery is full of red herrings and twists and turns. As anyone who read StarCrossed can rightly expect, there are many many many more elements involved than readers originally thought. They're all tied up in the social, religious, and economic conflicts of a country at war - yet more points in the worldbuilding department - and they raise the stakes enough over the course of the novel that it's never boring. Also, it felt sufficiently different from StarCrossed to be natural - not that disjointed 'murder of the week' form that some series or TV shows take. While that may be entertaining, this is far better storytelling.
- The relationships. There were at least four known gay characters and one very telling hint that suggested many more. While they weren't open about their relationships, it seemed to be a lot more for sociopolitical reasons and the need to stay in certain positions to do what they had to do than from any genuine fear, though there may have been some prejudice. Digger never batted an eye, which was what made me happy- she just acted as if this was not the least out of the ordinary. This is how it should be. Further props to Ms. Bunce.
This is the book in which we find out that Digger and Tegen were definitely lovers in the full sense of the word, and it's handled extremely maturely. No, really. Digger says something to the effect of "We knew we might not have much time", which I thought a suitably practical attitude for her, but she also displayed the type of emotional attachment that goes with such an intimate act. This comes up in conversation with Durrel- I don't think that's a spoiler- and while he's surprised, it doesn't take long for him to realize that of course people not as privileged as he would have different priorities.
(Also, Digger shows herself to be very confident in the relationship area, which was wonderful. I'd say more, but... spoilers!)
Romance does appear in this book, after its very logical absence in StarCrossed. And while Digger's love interest isn't my favorite male character of the series, they have great chemistry and I loved them together. There's also a good set up for conflict in their relationship inherent in a contrast of social and economic status. The way Bunce wrote their actual romance, when it came to that, was very appropriate and almost (but not quite) spare. There are no page-long descriptions of extended kissing and melting in your love interest's arms and how good it felt and blah blah blah blah blah. But it's not "we kissed and it was nice", either. It's a little sensual, but not too much. Very fitting for the couple, and that's all I'll say.
- I'm still loving the religions and the way they're woven into everything.


I think that's it... well, all that I can say without spoiling. There is absolutely no appearance of the 'carver' from the last book, which is saddening, but the way Liar's Moon ended tells me he'll be around in the sequel.
The ending is going to drive me batshit insane. I almost regret getting an ARC, because now I have to wait SEVEN EXTRA MONTHS to find out what happens next. OH THE AGONY.


(This copy was provided by the publisher via my local library for review. I love my library.)
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Reading Progress

04/17 page 100
25.0% "Love love love love love. This is the sequel StarCrossed deserves: the same tone and beautiful writing, the same deft worldbuilding, but a wholly new plot. I'm less than exuberant about the lack of my favorite character from the first book, but it's logical."
04/17 page 100
25.0% "It is really really really hard to do homework with this book sitting next to me. I don't want to read about government; I want to find out who killed Durrel's wife!"
04/20 page 208
52.0% "How brilliant is this book? I can't even begin to tell you. Digger = made of win. Durrel = a total sweetie. Mystery = fascinating. Worldbuilding = blows my mind. So so so so loving it!"
03/31 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-46 of 46) (46 new)

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Miss Clark How do you get galleys from your library?! How utterly fantastic!

Oh, who is MIA?


message 2: by Kogiopsis (last edited Apr 17, 2011 05:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kogiopsis It's part of the teen advisory group- we call ourselves the Interesting Readers' Society. The librarians get galleys and we read and review them. It's amazing. Extra awesome because after a certain point, we get to keep the books- so right now we can keep any 2010s that are still on the cart. Mwahahaha.


To avoid any inadvertent spoilers for the first book, it's the 'carver' from the hidden room. Given that Digger is in Gerse and he's... otherwise occupied, I can forgive Bunce taking him out of the picture, but I really loved their interactions and I miss him a lot.


Miss Clark What an awesome program.


No worries, read that ages ago. Aw, really? :( That was the aspect I was most looking forward to in this book - Digger and the "carver". Please let me know if we get any scenes with those two......


Kogiopsis Indeed. I'm going to miss it when I move away for college. T_T


I will, but considering he's (view spoiler) and she's investigating a murder in the city, I'm not too hopeful. It's just... agh. I go back and forth so much. On the one hand, proper pacing means we won't see him again at least until the next book, I'm guessing. On the other hand, I would like him back now very very much. I give Bunce credit for not rushing things unrealistically to bring him back into the picture, but so. frustrating. Maybe I'll just go back and re-read StarCrossed after this.

The one downside of reading a galley: I have even longer to wait after this one than everyone else for the third book.


Miss Clark Ah, I see. That would be rather difficult to realistically have them meet up again. *le sigh* Do you know how many books are planned?


The one downside of reading a galley: I have even longer to wait after this one than everyone else for the third book. So true. Poor, poor you.


Kogiopsis No, but just from the nature of the overarching conflict it's got to be at least three. One thing I appreciate: Bunce has no qualms skipping time between books. Thank goodness. It would have been too easy for the plot of Liar's Moon to have been contrived if it had picked up right after StarCrossed and we'd had to follow the entire journey back to Gerse. I'm guessing that the series won't be as long as it would have been if everything was back to back to back, but again- better pacing.
(view spoiler)


Do I detect sarcasm?
(Eh, it could be worse. I think Bunce is a good enough writer not to end on a cliffhanger.)


Miss Clark I just hope it does not take too long between books - But Bunce was definitely good about leaving STARCROSSED at a good juncture. So much more to explore, but I was not cursing the universe for not letting me see how some awful left-field move was resolved. I just wanted a lot more.


Sarcasm? Really? Sort of. But just a tinge. I give my sisters book series to read right before the last book comes out and there are like, "We have to wait a month for the last one?" And I am like, "I have waited five years to get to this point and spared you! You have no IDEA."


Kogiopsis I definitely agree. She knows how to end a book properly. No underhanded tricks- just characters so compelling you crave the rest of their story. Lots of YA writers could learn from that.


Your sisters are lucky to have someone who times recommendations so carefully! A month is not that long in book land. Heck, Bruce Coville took nine years between two books.


message 9: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca The Unicorn Chronicles took so long to be finished that now I no longer care. :(


message 10: by Erica (daydreamer) (last edited Apr 22, 2011 05:45PM) (new) - added it

Erica (daydreamer) Fantastic review! This book sounds incredible :D I also love your Indiana Jones analogy, and the Spock picture.


Kogiopsis LOL; gracias. I knew as I was reading this that I was going to need to illustrate how awesome it was, and those were the best two I found. Most of the pictures I've got are more suited to mockery. I was considering a Doctor Who reference, but my reviews are getting more rife with those anyhow, and this one didn't need it.

And this book is indeed incredible. Except for the ending. *holding a grudge*


Miss Clark Great review (loved the visual aids!), but I am already a bit wary of how I'll feel about the romance. And a cliff-hanger!? Alas, alack! Still, sounds like an awesome read:)


Kogiopsis Considering that the love interest is a character you noted in your StarCrossed review you'd rather see with Digger, I think you won't mind. It doesn't take over the story, either, which was nice, and the way Digger handles her emotions is very mature. I think (hope) you'll like it. It's not a romance that I felt strongly about, but more of a 'Oh, that works. How sweet.' thing.

The cliffhanger is not something to look forward to- I'll explain more when you've read it, but it seems to set up for something I would very much not like to see in this series - something I thought Bunce was above. I still hope she is. But I fear that the need to be commercial will outweigh other concerns...


Miss Clark Once I have read it, I am coming back here to discuss that last part with you!


Kogiopsis Please, please do. I need to talk about it with someone ASAP. November is too far away.


message 16: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Manivong Ding-dang you write a good review! Bunce is a close friend and crit partner, and this kinda talk about her skills makes me so flippin' happy. Thanks for telling the world what I get to know first hand. Proud, proud, proud of Elizabeth! Wahooooooo!


message 17: by Kogiopsis (last edited Apr 25, 2011 02:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kogiopsis You have every reason to be proud of her; she's an awesome writer. As far as up-and-coming YA authors, she's easily in my top five to watch.


message 18: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Coon YOUR REVIEW OF LIAR'S MOON BY E.C. BUNCE IS FANTASTIC!!! NOW WE HAVE TO LET OTHER REVIEWERS ON BLOGS AND AMAZON AND SCHOLASTIC PUBLISHING KNOW HOW MUCH WE LOVE STAR CROSSED AND SOON TO BE PUBLISHED LIAR'S MOON. THE FOLLOW UP DISCUSSION WAS EXTREMELY INTERESTING, AND I WILL LOOK FORWARD TO MORE. LIZ142


message 19: by Catie (new)

Catie Oh wow! I skimmed this a bit so I wouldn't be spoiled, but you've convinced me to start this series next. I've had the first book on my shelf for a while. Thanks Anila!


Kogiopsis Catie wrote: "Oh wow! I skimmed this a bit so I wouldn't be spoiled, but you've convinced me to start this series next. I've had the first book on my shelf for a while. Thanks Anila!"

Oh, Catie, I think you'll absolutely love it. It's such a wonderful series.


Terri Rebecca wrote: "The Unicorn Chronicles took so long to be finished that now I no longer care. :("
I totally understand. The last book in the Night World series by LJ Smith, I have been waiting...15 years I think. Its set for 2014 now.


Terri Anila, did you know they are not going to publish the third book due to weak sales on StarCrossed? I just found out. Its a sad sad sad day. ;(


message 23: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca ugh really? Is she considering self publishing it at all or just stopping the series?


Terri Rebecca wrote: "ugh really? Is she considering self publishing it at all or just stopping the series?"

I have no idea but I hope so. Its just wrong to not finish a series. Especially on an ending like this one.


Kogiopsis Terri wrote: "Anila, did you know they are not going to publish the third book due to weak sales on StarCrossed? I just found out. Its a sad sad sad day. ;("

I wish you could hear the distressed noises I'm making right now because I don't know how to put them into words. Imagine high-pitched whimpering for an estimate. This series is one of the best things in YA right now and it needs to keep being published.


Kogiopsis So I found the publisher's FB page and asked them directly; hopefully I get a response soon confirming/denying this.


Terri Anila wrote: "So I found the publisher's FB page and asked them directly; hopefully I get a response soon confirming/denying this."
This is why I told you. That and I can count on you to do some butt kicking where needed. :D


Kogiopsis Not gonna lie, my first instinct was 'who can I rally to buy a ton of books and drive sales up?' That's still on the table, but I'm waiting to hear from AAL first... I really hope that they aren't going to pull the series, but considering that it's happened to things I love before, I'm genuinely nervous.


message 29: by Fatesocruel (new)

Fatesocruel ...And StarCrossed just moved up on my list of books to buy.


Kogiopsis Fatesocruel wrote: "...And StarCrossed just moved up on my list of books to buy."

As it should; it's an amazing book.


message 31: by Fatesocruel (new)

Fatesocruel I'm truly looking forward to reading it, although it may have to wait til after summer.


Kogiopsis Understandable. I hope you enjoy it when you do get around to reading it, though!


message 33: by Fatesocruel (new)

Fatesocruel I am sure I will!


Terri Petition for the third book to be released.
http://twitition.com/yvehg


Kogiopsis Terri wrote: "Petition for the third book to be released.
http://twitition.com/yvehg"


That is awesome! Unfortunately I cannot sign because I do not have a Twitter account. :(


message 36: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Coon I don't twitter, how can I get on your list?


Melodramaticfool speaking of the third book, is there any news or hints of when it might be released?


Kogiopsis Melodramaticfool wrote: "speaking of the third book, is there any news or hints of when it might be released?"

All evidence is that the series has been cancelled, unfortunately.


Melodramaticfool Anila wrote: "Melodramaticfool wrote: "speaking of the third book, is there any news or hints of when it might be released?"

All evidence is that the series has been cancelled, unfortunately."


you're sh!tting me.


Kogiopsis I am not. I've tried to get ahold of the publisher to ask them for confirmation but there's been no word, and Bunce's website doesn't have any info either, but given all that and the absence of evidence to the contrary I think that must be the case.


Melodramaticfool Nooooooooo~ (/o^o)/
Well...thanks for the update at least. Maybe the fans can get it back?


Kogiopsis Melodramaticfool wrote: "Nooooooooo~ (/o^o)/
Well...thanks for the update at least. Maybe the fans can get it back?"

there is the petition that someone linked to above! Unfortunately it requires a Twitter account to sign.
I wonder... if Bunce were to start a Kickstarter to do a limited run of the third book, it might be able to get enough funding...


Melodramaticfool yeah maybe! she could always self publish too.


Kogiopsis Self-publication is expensive but... if she were so inclined, I'd buy it!


Melodramaticfool same here.


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