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The Moons of Barsk

(Barsk #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Years after the events of Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard, the lonely young outcast and physically-challenged Fant, Pizlo, is now a teenager. He still believes he hears voices from the planet’s moons, imparting secret knowledge to him alone. And so embarks on a dangerous voyage to learn the truth behind the messages. His quest will catapult him offworld for second time is ...more
Hardcover, 431 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely excellent sequel to Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard.

Several years have passed since the first book and Pizlo, the Abomination of Keslo, is no longer a child but a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. He has grown substantially into his many gifts, and wrestles with the moral and philosophical questions raised by his precognitive ability. To what extent is the future fixed and is it possible to make oneself an agent of change in the face of apparent destiny?

In trademark fashio
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
Thanks to Netgalley for getting this early.

I remember having a few issues with the first novel because of the feeling of aimlessness during the large opening. A hero's journey? Sure, but it wasn't until much later that the "abomination" started getting proactive and interesting in his own right. The end was particularly great. I love all the things that Speakers do: quantum stuff and memory stuff and speaking to the dead stuff all mixed into a heavy SF foam.

My other concern was about the REASON
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
A return to the universe of Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard, where humanity is long extinct and the galaxy is populated by various races of uplifted animal species with only two, based on two different species of elephant, kept separate by treaty and prejudice.

It's nine years after the events of the first book, Pizlo is a teenager now and Jorl ben Tral is well established as an Alliance Senator and a bearer of an aleph on Barsk. Jorl also now has a wife and a young daughter and firmly has the at
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
My reaction to the narrator on the audio version probably influenced my feelings about this book. I got used to his voice but his pacing felt odd, with out of place pauses throughout sentences like he needed to take a breathe.

Anyway I was happy to follow Pizlo as he enters puberty and questions EVERYTHING. I like that the elephants investigate memory manipulation- kind of an in joke about long memories. The overall plot was perhaps a bit more complex then necessary and some points were repeated
Hélène Louise
(I thank Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)

I read, two years ago, "Barsk, the elephant graveyard" and it was an incredible read. The kind of read I, even after having read thousands of books as I've had, will never forget. I'm getting more and more touchy and demanding with my readings, not by vice, but because having read so many books, and review some hundreds, and wrote some more, have made me very critical: I now know what I like, what
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
4+ stars. Disappointed that turns out not to be a duology - there's more to come (in that I thought #2 was going to conclude matters, and was looking forward to that denouement). On the other hand - now I get to look forward to more (including, hopefully, some explanation as to why the Fant were forced into isolation ... and maybe whether it was pure (incredibly unlikely) happenstance that the drug that enables Speakers etc. was only available on Barsk, or not ... as that seems execessively deux ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Disclaimers first: I know Lawrence M. Schoen slightly on social media (we have never met IRL), and he has hosted me on his Eating Authors blog series. I received an unedited copy via Netgalley for purposes of review; I won't comment specifically on the copy editing, on the assumption that it will get some more attention before publication.

I enjoyed the first of this series - despite what seemed to me considerable stretches, even holes, in the worldbuilding - because it had a lot of heart and I
Oct 14, 2021 rated it did not like it
A most disappointing an ceaselessly dull return to the land of Barsk. It is hard to believe how tedious and mind-numbingly empty this book feels when compared with 'Barsk: The Elephant's Graveyard'. Knowing there is to be a third book - at least, as this is being labelled a series now - makes me sad but also hopeful Schoen can regain the magic and beauty of Barsk. We start off quite promising, with Pizlo, Jorl and the dying island and my excitement was palpable. And short-lived. Soon we are left ...more
Jason Snell
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe better than the first book? Great characters in an incredibly inventive setting. I mean, if telepathic elephant people who can speak with the dead in a universe populated with uplifted animals, hidden cities, space racism, elephant bigotry, and secret moonbases can be called inventive... This whole series is great.
Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Coming soon...
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some pacing issues but I really enjoyed how different it is from .... almost every?
Haven’t seen uplift done in a way that interests me since Brin.

I’d call it science fantasy though maybe...
Chris Bauer
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed the first "Barsk" novel by Schoen last year. Filled with wonder, top-notch world building and not just interesting, but downright fascinating characters, "Barsk: The Elephant Graveyard" was an incredible read. Utterly unique and engrossing. Loved it.

The second book of the series, "The Moons of Barsk" was somehow able to take the amazing elements of the first novel and make them even better. Much of the first novel dealt with the big "ideas" of the speculative world the autho
Dakota Morgan
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Cutting to the chase: I found The Moons of Barsk to be somewhat of a disappointment compared to its predecessor, Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard. It's still a strongly weird story that features more metaphysical contortions than you could shake an imaginary stick at, but it's less focused, less exciting, and less powerful.

Maybe that's because this is Pizlo's book more than Jorl's, and I could never quite grasp what Pizlo was up to. He ruminates incessantly, discussing the nature of stories with
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is crossposted from https://openbuddha.com/2018/09/11/moo...

I finished reading "The Moons of Barsk" a few weeks ago and wanted to put a review of it up for folks. This is the new book by the linguist, Lawrence M. Schoen and a sequel to his "Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard" from a few years ago.

In complete transparency, I was given a review copy of Moons but I was such a huge fan of his first book that I had been actively waiting for more from him. Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard was an amaz
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I really enjoyed this book.

I saw this on the new shelf at my library, and I had met the author at the annual Klingon Language Institute conference (my first time going), so I picked it up and read the plot synopsis on the inside flap. I was intrigued. I knew that I hadn't read the first book in the series, but wasn't sure how direct a sequel it was, so decided to give it a shot anyway. It turns out it's a fairly direct sequel that expands on earlier events and threads, so I now want to go see th
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who Knew? This was sent to me as gift in a Sci-fi book club. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. Pizlo, a 14 year old Abomination from the Fant species is one of the protagonists in this coming of age story. an Abomination is a baby Fant usually left out to die in this society since the coupling of a Lox and Eleph have come about out of season. These descriptions left me in tears in a few places. Pizlo is an exception in that he lived and has Jorl, a Lox historian accept him. People i ...more
Stephanie Ward
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
'The Moons of Barsk' is a thrilling science fiction adventure that fans of the genre are sure to love. Since this is the second book in the series, I highly recommend reading the first one beforehand. Otherwise you'll be incredibly confused right from the start and it'll only become worse as you read on and you'll miss out on all the beauty that this story holds.

I thought every aspect of this novel to be done incredibly well - from the world building to the characters to the actual writing itsel
Pat MacEwen
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like its predecessor, Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard, this book is intelligent and gifted with a special charm. Or maybe it's my own deep affection for elephants at work here. The author has created something new and highly intriguing, in building a galactic society peopled by uplifted Terran species but notably lacking the humans who did that. The scholar Jorl was the subject of prophecy long before he became a Speaker for the Dead and then the only Fant in the Alliance's Senate. But now he ha ...more
Ken Richards
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The sequel to Barsk-The Elephant's Graveyard build effectively on the foundations of the original novel, without adding anything to the mysteries of the twin unexplained prejudices held by other Alliance races to Fant collectively, and by all Fant to 'abominations' such as our hero Pizlo.

The story commences seven years after the events of the first novel. Pizlo is a teenager, and is seeking his reason to be, his purpose, and has acquired an impressive set of skills on the way. Jorl ben Tral has
Michele(mluker) Luker
A very unique world with amazing depth, The Moons of Barsk is a Sci-Fi adventure that stretches your imagination with creative species and an original world.

Pizlo, the abomination that the Fant species refuse to acknowledge, realizes he has a quest to fulfill. And this quest will lead to discoveries he never dreamed.

This story is the second installment to the series. It has several different stories going on at the same time, that will intertwine as the story progresses. It is full of artistic i
John Rennie
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Schoen's depiction of Barsk. I loved it when I read the first book and I loved it all over again reading The Moons of Barsk.

Elephants¹ are widely depicted as gentle and gracious creatures in folklore, and Schoen takes this idea and with it creates the race of Fants. And he does a fantastic job. He manages to be totally convincing in his depiction of a race who can be just as fallible as us humans but nevertheless have a nobility and grace that is very attractive.

If I can be the tiniest bi
David H.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A great followup to Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard, this starts a new story about 8 years after the first novel. Unlike the wider implication of that book, this one has a much closer focus on the planet Barsk and explores further mysteries--and gives us even further surprises! As opposed to another book I read recently, I think Schoen balanced the "everyone is good-ish and is trying to do their best" aspect of the plot quite well.

The main flaw of this book is that that it does have a bit of a c
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Moons of Barsk was an excellent sequel to Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard. The second book had a very unique story, but didn’t take away or forget the events from the first. The character development was very satisfying as this story takes place a few years after the first book, and I appreciated the new characters that were introduced along the way (although I would have loved to see more Arlo!)

Aside from the story itself, I really enjoy the Author’s writing style - it was very easy to get
Jan 14, 2022 rated it really liked it
I was honestly a little hesitant about this one, but I really enjoyed it! It was slightly confusing at times because it includes other worldly descriptions and language and I didnt realize it was the second book of a series so it probably would have helped to read the first one first. but I still got through it and the glossary and descriptions in the back did help with creating the world in my mind and understanding it better. The fantasy and adventure kept me wanting to read to see what would ...more
Jamie Rich
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Moons of Barsk (Kindle Edition) by Lawrence M. Schoen

The continuing saga of our favorite elephant persons. This time it's personal, and oh yeah Jorl is in up to his trunk! Pizlo also has to go thru some rather agonizing times as well. Of the two, it's Pizlo's journey that sees the most maturation, growth and pain. he *finally* gets his Heroe's Quest, but it is not at all what he wanted, nor imagined it to become. Jorl does also have some dip trials and tribulations, and he really, really, d
Karen A. Wyle
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
First, before I forget: there will clearly be a #3 in this series. The ending of this book is as much of a cliffhanger as the endings of some books in Corey's Expanse series.

It's been some months since I read the first book, but Schoen deftly seeds this sequel with sufficient reminders.

For me, the series so far, and especially this book, teeters on the edge of overly metaphysical. But I still enjoyed it and found it compelling. (I'm a suspense wimp, so I peeked ahead a few pages toward the end a
Adam Brickley
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely a worthy successor to "Barsk" - which be is one of my all time favorites. Expands the Barsk-verse in some really cool ways that totally recontextualize how you'll see the first book. And to say more than that would be a massive spoiler. "Moons" a bit more ponderous and philosophical than the first book, but it does use that to explore some really fun ideas about determinism vs. free will and how that works with precognition in play. Also, if the beginning throws the entire first book ...more
Timothy Pitkin
Jul 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Some really cool ideas that does build off from the first book like why the Fants have this instinct to leave when they reach a certain age. It is nice that it does stay focused on the isolationism theme of the Fant race. And Jorl the main character from the last book does try to find some way of ending the Isolation of his race but still trying keep true to there culture. I did pause when they began to talk about the idea of stories and it does come from nowhere even if they did bring back the ...more
Jason Vanhee
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A decent follow up to a strange first book (this one is also strange) that does a good job of expanding the setting without actively contradicting itself. I have some issues with how static elements of the universe would have to have been for centuries now but that's personal choice; it *could* happen, I just don't feel it *would*. The fact that it ends in the midst of things bugged me but I can live with it.

I guess this sounds unenthusiastic and it is. there's clearly another book meant to come
Jason Henry
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book is a delightful conclusion to the story that began in The Elephants' Graveyard. It both expands and focuses the scope of the first novel, adding stakes personal and galactic. Pizlo and Jorl (I listened to the audiobook, so not sure about spelling... 😂) are wonderful heroes, and Pizlo's quest is uplifting and thought-provoking.

Also, I would like a short story about Ko'cob please. (Sp? 😬)

(Also, also, J. G. Hertzler is a wonderful narrator and the first Barsk book is the one that got me i
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Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, is a past Astounding, Hugo, and Nebula, nominee, twice won the Cóyotl award for best novel, founded the Klingon Language Institute, and occasionally does work as a hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues. He is a cancer survivor.

His science fiction includes many light and humorous adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist and his

Other books in the series

Barsk (2 books)
  • Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard (Barsk, #1)

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