Thursday, April 28, 2011

ARC Review: Dark of the Moon

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
Release Date:
September 19, 2011
Published By: Harcourt Children's books
Pages: 320 Pages, Hardcover
Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Overall: Fab!

Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, finding companionship only with her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.Then a ship arrives bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, and Ariadne 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.
But 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 . . .

My Thoughts:

Dark of the Moon, as written by Tracy Barrett, seems to bring forth the question what if we got the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur wrong.  Just like the Theseus in our story felt the need to inflate his adventures when setting out for his true paternal parentage, perhaps those before us shaped the myth of Theseus and Minotaur into much more of a nightmare then the true story ever was?

You don't need to know the true myth behind Theseus and the Minotaur to read and enjoy Dark of the Moon.  I am not one to follow myths or really indulge in the history of Gods and Goddesses enough to know the true myths in which some YA novels are based on but Tracy Barrett's telling of Ariadne, Theseus and Asteriorn, Ariadne's brother and the monstrous creature, in this case the Minotaur, spiked my curiosity.

I appreciated Dark of the Moon for what it was but I felt really detached from the characters.  Ariadne, our Soon-to-be-Goddess was no one I could even begin to relate to or with.  Maybe it was the fact she was soon to be a Goddess, but overall, there wasn't much to like or dislike about her.  She simply seemed like an important piece of the tale, one in which we had to meet to understand Tracy Barrett's version of this story.  There was nothing ornately interesting about her and she just sort of glided in between the scenes of the story.

While Ariadne, our Soon-to-be-Goddess, didn't pull any emotion out of me Asteriorn did.  I couldn't help but feel bad for the monstrous creature that he was painted to be.  His small smirks and relations with his sister proved that he wasn't the complete monster others painted him to be.  At times he seemed sad and misguided and other times innocent.  The thought of part of the original tale holding true where Asteriorn, the Minotaur, was concerned was slightly unsettling to me.

The person I enjoyed most in the Dark of the Moon was Theseus.  I didn't really find him to hold that swoon-worthy factor some many of us look for in YA fiction but I enjoyed his character nonetheless.  Even when he wasn't truly adventurous, he told his story like he was.  His part of the story was much more fast paced and interesting.

Overall, I enjoyed Dark of the Moon.  It forced my curiosity until I was scouring the internet for further information on this Minotaur creature.  It is a story and retelling of a great tale.


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