Angela's Reviews > Dark of the Moon

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
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Sep 16, 2011

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bookshelves: arc, retelling, historical, young-adult, vine, mythology, read-in-2011
Read from September 16 to 18, 2011

Creative re-telling lures readers back to ancient Greece

Tracy Barrett's Dark of the Moon lures readers back to the time of ancient Greece. On Krete, Ariadne has spent her whole life being trained to be she who will be Goddess. Her only true companions are her mother, the current Goddess, and her malformed brother, Asterion, who is imprisoned beneath the palace due to his unintentionally violent ways. When a tribute ship of slaves arrives from Athens and delivers Theseus, the son of a king, Ariadne's life becomes even more complicated as death, family, and duty intertwine.

DARK OF THE MOON delivered on its promise of providing a creative re-telling of the Theseus myth involving Ariadne and the Minotaur. Myth or not, the way in which the story was written made everything believable as having happened in history at some point. Barrett was able to place the tale within the historical context of the time by bringing in fascinating information about politics, religion, and culture, and she did so in a way that kept me intrigued. The author also used a very sympathetic and human approach that I appreciated to explain the characters, their actions, and how they developed into the people described in the original myths. The book's consistent pacing also kept me turning pages, especially as the plot picked up in the second half.

However, as with any re-telling, parts of the story were very predictable, even if the paths to certain outcomes were changed. Because of this, it was sometimes difficult to feel excited about reading forward because I felt like I knew what would happen next. The writing also came off as burdensome sometimes, especially the switch from Ariadne's chapters being told in past tense to Theseus's being told in the present tense. The related jumps in time throughout the story were off-putting as well. With much less romance than the original tale and some heavy violence and implied sexuality, this book will likely appeal to a smaller niche market of older teens who like mythology and who can handle the gory descriptions of violence.

Overall, Barrett provides a creative and very human twist on the tale of Theseus and the Minotaur, but it's likely not enough to appeal to a large audience. I'll be interested to see what Barrett writes next, though I won't necessarily be rushing out to pick it up.

Note: This review refers to an advance review copy.
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Reading Progress

09/17/2011 page 138
43.0% "Not really feeling this. I think a lot of it is based on how I know what's going to happen b/c it's the retelling of a myth. It loses all the mystery for me that way. :("

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Tabitha Olson I can totally sympathize with the lack of suspense due to the retelling. I wasn't as familiar with this myth, so it was far more interesting for me toward the end. I looked up the myth afterward, and was glad I hadn't done it beforehand because she sticks very close to it. :)

Great review, as always. :)

message 2: by Angela (last edited Dec 13, 2011 07:05PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angela Thanks again for the compliment on the review and for the "like" on this one and on my The Space Between review. I'm trying to catch up on reviews now that I'm on break, but I'm already tired of doing them. :( I'm going to try to push through two more in the next two days so I can be able to request more Vine products this month. (This review was a Vine product that I got loooonggg ago.)

I did the foolish thing and busted out my Edith Hamilton Mythology before reading the book to brush up on the myth. I wanted to know how closely it mirrored it, but it would have been much smarter to do it *afterwards* like you did!

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