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Two Dark Moons

(Sãoni Cycle #1)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Sohmeng Par is sick of being treated like a child. Ever since a tragic accident brought her mountain community’s coming-of-age ritual to a halt, she’s caused nothing but trouble in her impatience to become an adult. But when she finally has the chance to prove herself, she’s thrown from her life in the mountains and into the terror of the jungle below.

Cornered by a colony
Paperback, 250 pages
Published July 12th 2019 by Molewhale Press
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  143 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, fantasy, ya
I generally read everything. And that means I sometimes read genres that are out of my comfort zone. What's uncomfortable, tho? Fantasy YA romance-ish stuff. :) I don't mind gender fluidity, and for some readers, this is a very big bonus.

So good news! If you like mysterious cataclysms, a return to a pre-technological cave-dwelling existence, and you want sleestacks... oh, wait, these aren't sleestacks, but they are definitely an interesting reptilian race, then you'll find a lot of interesting t
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, 2019
Two Dark Moons is made up of my favourite things, lizards, queerness and a new take on fantasy worlds.

Sohmeng Par is ready to prove to everyone she's ready to grow up if only she would be given a chance. Luckily or unluckily for her, she literally falls out of the world she's grown up in and down into another: one that brings many questions, predators and a possible new family.

The first thing that stood out in this novel was the world-building, Silver has created a world in which gender and so
Claudie Arseneault
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aromantic, indie, fantasy, lgbt
I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Then I did the thing where I don't write the review immediately, and forgot a lot of what I wanted to say. Let's roll with what I remember.

1) This book was AWESOME. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and it left me very pleased with every minute spent with it.

2) TWO DARK MOONS was an incredibly immersive experience. The worldbuilding is deep and unique and sweeping, it impacts on the entire story, and it expands as the story go
Carisa Catherine
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Please note: I have received a free advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I feel like a science teacher who is about to draw something on the board. I feel the need to preface this with "I am not an artist!".
I am not a writer, the goal of my review is just to be as honest as possible.

I loved this book so much, and I wish I had owned this book earlier in my life.\
Silver set out to write a book about all of the things they adore (queerness, self-love and giant lizards
Para (wanderer)
Really enjoyed this. The worldbuilding is extremely creative, with communities living on pillars, gender based on the phase of the moons someone was born in, and giant sentient lizards, among other things. The story is fairly standard YA coming of age, outcast finds themself kinda deal, and it’s well done, well paced, and fun to read. Oh, it’s also extremely queer.

Looking forward to reading the sequel!

Enjoyment: 4/5
Execution: 4/5

More reviews on my blog, To Other Worlds.
Sophie A. Katz
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Usually I feel a bit awkward about coming-of-age adventures. I gobbled them up when I was a kid, sure, back when thirteen, sixteen, and eighteen were faraway years and apparently a reasonable time to consider oneself an adult. Now that I’m twenty-five years old, when I look back at the stories of teen heroes claiming themselves as adults, it just doesn’t feel right to me anymore. As much as I love The Little Mermaid, when Ariel says, “I’m sixteen years old; I’m not a child anymore!” I have to wi ...more
Anthony Geremia
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win an advance copy of this book in a contest at a local convention. If I was going to explain this book, I’d say that Act 1 is The Millennial Experience filtered through the lens of a group of cave-dwellers living on a mountain in a forest, while Act 2 and onward has serious Princess Mononoke vibes, only the Princess is genderfluid and it’s about reptiles instead of wolves. It’s technically a fantasy book, but the setting is unusual for the genre, a sort of spin on ancient ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked the bit with the lizards. Chomp chomp.
Reader Views
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Amy (age 15) for Reader Views Kids (1/2020)

“Two Dark Moons” is an exciting fantasy for the teen and YA crowd by Avi Silver. I was happy to learn it’s the first in a series because once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down.

Imagine being stuck in a world rigid in rituals – a place where being different means you’re an outcast and individuality is discouraged. That’s what life is like for Sohmeng Par. A trouble-maker since birth, Sohmeng Par is outspoken and wild. She’s also trap
Guenevere Lee
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
In the community Sohmeng Par lives in, nestled high in the mountains, the young come of age by crossing the sky bridge and performing a ritual. But when the bridge collapses, the youth are trapped on the other side, and future coming of age ceremonies are postponed. Sohmeng Par finds herself in a situation where despite continuing to age, she's not allowed to become an adult and be fully accepted into the community. She rages against this decision until she's finally given a job to forage for fo ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
First off, I should say that I received an ARC in return for an honest review of this book.

My favourite thing about this book was probably the world-building; I thought that the way the main character's society is structured around the moons was really interesting, and I would honestly love to learn a lot more about that. I found myself wishing that the glossary at the back of the book had a breakdown of what each surname/moon phase meant (though I realize this would be unnecessary, I just love
Grace Doble
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
Avi Silver's Two Dark Moons was a riveting read. I devoured it in just two sittings; the world they have created is so interesting and absorbing that you can't easily put the book down.
All of the characters are so complex and even when there's conflict, it's easy to see where everyone is coming from. The world is fascinating and I can't wait to read more of it! I would, and will, recommend this to any of my friends who haven't read it yet.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Low fantasy coming of age story with great gender representation and ecological/environmental aspects. Kind of reminded me of the original Tarzan adventure books in places (but without the racist/sexist garbage they have). Very well written, interesting ideas, very strong first book in a series, and I'll definitely pick up the second one. ...more
Jun 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2021, kobo-ebook
3 ⭐, Good.

A slower paced story with an interesting gender system and world building, and a cute ace? relationship.
A.A. Jankiewicz
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the most original works of speculative fiction I've had a chance to read up to date and one of my top books for the year. ...more
Parker (Paperback Parker)
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
this was really great, although it did confirm that SF/F is not my comfort genre. i had some trouble with the new language in the book, and i was almost always confused at least a lil 😂 but i loved the characters and relationships a lot and i really appreciated the themes! i am v excited for the sequel, as the stakes feel super high, and i want to learn more about the world. my only gripe w this book is that i felt it needed more transitions between scenes and/or locations. besides being confuse ...more
Billy Buttons
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: Two Dark Moons (Sãoni Cycle Book 1)
Author: Avi Silver

Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 16
Editing: 9/10
Writing Style: 9/10
Content: 10/10
Cover: 9/10
Of the 16 readers:
16 would read another book by this author.
14 thought the cover was good or excellent.
16 felt it was easy to follow.
16 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 11 felt the author’s strongest skill was
This is certainly the most unique fantasy book I've read in a long time. A race of nomadic lizard creatures? Societal roles and gender based on what phase of the moon you're born under? Cave-dwelling people? Yes please. The anthropology nerd in me is screaming.

And kudos to Avi Silver for writing a believable teenager (to me anyway). Dare I say Silver did too good of a job at first because Sohmeng really irritated me in the beginning, though it's probably because it reminded me of how petulant a
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series-to-follow
First of all, I should point out that I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

That said:

My first impression of this book was definitely the worldbuilding. Right from the start, it throws a whole new world at you, and it doesn't use a lot of the cultural touchstones of stock fantasy. We don't have castles and farmers, we have semi-nomadic cave dwellers-- but not "caveman" cave dwellers, but ones with what I would vaguely equate to a medieval-ish technology level. Gender and social rol
Maddie Keithan
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an advance reader copy of Two Dark Moons in exchange for a review of my honest opinion. I am certainly no critic or anything of the sort, (in fact, I’m only teenager myself,) but I can say with certainty that this book is definitely one the best I’ve read in a while.

From the beginning, the plot pulls in the reader and makes them want to follow Sohmeng on her journey in Ateng and Eiji. However, the most impressive part of the novel in my opinion is the world buildin
Newt Noble
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Smash together How To Train Your Dragon with fantastical societal astrologies and sprinkle in a headstrong, fat, femme protagonist, an equally headstrong goofball protagonist, and strong LGBTQ and found family themes, and you have a recipe for Two Dark Moons, a book that I (understandably) I finished in one day.

I’ll preface this by saying I have met the author and received an advanced readers copy of the book. Though they are a lovely human being, this is a review of their book alone.

The last Sh
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW!! This must be one of the best books (if not THE best book) I read this year. I usually don’t write long reviews but this warrants one.

Two Dark Moons is gripping from the very first page. The premise is intriguing, and the world building is fantastic. I loved how the lunar cycles were incorporated into names and identities, and how it was later challenged. I think the characters were multi-dimensional, real, raw, strong and vulnerable all at once. I don’t even have a favourite, because I lo
A Shively
Sep 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
While this novel ended at a good point in the overall narrative, I'm desperate for more. Fresh, inventive, enthralling. I haven't torn through a book this quickly in ages.

What if not just your personality traits, but also your gender, were determined by your zodiac sign? Silver creates a world where one's place in society is locked in place upon birth. I found the system and the background lore explained sufficiently, and appreciated the inclusion of nonbinary people as standard procedure. Surna
Jan 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love the worldbuilding in this book. Not only is it unapologetically queer and engaging, but it also unfolds in a way that interrogates real-world societal assumptions. (view spoiler) ...more
This is a FASCINATING world. In the first chapter, I thought the presentation of the relationship between Sohmeng and her brother, Viunwei, was absolutely amazing.

But, I had two real issues with the book:
1) I really struggled to get a handle on the timeline in this story -- how old characters were, when major events happened in their lives, how much time passed -- and, I found that really pulled me out of the action. Things only really started to line up for me around the 75% mark and that's t
Aug 08, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I actually went straight to Amazon after finishing it and purchased paperback versions of it and the next book in the series.
Can I just say how awesome it is to have an aromantic protagonist? Especially, an allo-aro one? 💚🤍💛

I loved so much about this story but the world building was especially brilliant. I love the depth and complexity of the hmun society that Silver has created. The lunar phasal method for determining gender was particularly fascinating to me.

I prett
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a subtly delicious read, slow for me to acclimate to a world based on an imagined astrology where the planet has two moons. Sohmeng is restricted an frustrated by extended adolescence because their method of initiation into adulthood rites was ended by the falling of the skybridge. So when she falls to the earth below her mountain cave life she has an opportunity to redefine adulthood and family outside her astrology-driven community.

I read it the same time as Braiding Sweetgrass, and
B. Kilday
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but the book will be released to the public on July 12. On to the review. I really enjoyed this book. The lunar phases were confusing at first, but I got it after a few chapters. The relationships are such a big focus, and I loved getting to know the characters and the family dynamics. However, the book also had an amazing balance between the mental character development and awesome battles. Truly, all aspects ...more
Urs Shea
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book was such a fulfilling read to me, from a queer and an emotional perspective. I don't often get to read books with themes about Gender and your place in society in such a beautiful, fantastical way. Usually when I read Books about Trans or Nonbinary characters, I get dysphoric because it reminds me too much of my real life situation. Two Dark Moons has those themes but wrapped in such a beautiful story and setting that I
Cameron Currie
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A remarkable coming-of-age story… always charming, often clever and humorous, and even chilling at times. Despite being full of arcane, otherworldly astrology and flesh-eating giant lizards, this book centers around those universal truths we all can identify with, and we all need to survive.
Full of interesting and likable characters that pulled me in right from the first page, it’s surprising how quickly I felt a part of the story. I occasionally lost track of time reading it.
If you are a huma
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