Dark of the Moon

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Dark of the Moon
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Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 20, 2011
ISBN
978-0547581323
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Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don’t know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won’t be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she 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.

Yet 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 . . .

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(Updated: December 12, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
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Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Dark of the Moon

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett was a book based off of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.  While I have always been intrigued with Greek Mythology, I have never really read much about it except for the little I learned in school.  So I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book.

Adriane, or She-Who-Will-Be-Goddess, is a goddess in training that is destined to be a Goddess of the Moon.  She lives in Krete with her Mother, She-Who-Is-Goddess, and her brother, Asterion, whom many fear and call the Minotaur.  Her life becomes turned upside down as she begins her very structured and time-consuming training to be goddess.  Gone are the days of playing in the Minos quarters with all of the Minos children and the happier times of her youth.  Her childhood friends now fear her, her Mother keeps things from her and her brother has a child-like mind that constantly puts him in danger.  All she really wants is a normal life.  But she is destined to become the next Goddess of the Moon and her life will never be the same.

When she meets two Athenians sent to Krete, things start to look up.  Theseus, the son of Athens, arrives from Athens as a tribute to Krete.  His stories of heroism to the Athenians set him on his path to Krete with the job of slaying the awful Minotaur.  But once he meets the mighty Minotaur, things change.  He is intrigued by this beast with the child-like mind.  Not to mention his sister.  Revenge is what is on his mind and he starts planning how to take down the one who betrayed him and sent him off to die.

Prokris, a beautiful Athenian, was sent to Krete to become the next wife of the Minos.  On her first day there, her curiosity gets the best of her and she ends up in the Minotaur's chambers deep beneath the palace. When Adiadne hears this news, fear and panic grip her. If he kills the girl, surely the Kretians will find a way to finally destroy her brother.  

With no knowledge of how the spiritual realm in Crete works nor who Adriadne is, Adriadne finds two friendships she had been looking for.  And possibly more than friendship.  But is that what she really wants? What Adriadne does not know is that Theseus and Prokris have their own agenda that could put everything that she loves at risk.

At the Planting Festival, something unexpected happens leaving Adriadne questioning everything about her life and her choices.  Are the rumors true? Will she be able to keep her promise to her mother or will she follow her heart?   Will she follow the path of the Goddess or choose her own?  

Barrett did a good job of setting the scene for the storytelling of this book. While I was a little lost at times, I enjoyed the story and characters. I expected to find a more romantic twist on the story but soon found that really the book shows more of how religion and other cultures can be mis-interpreted and not understood by others.  The book flowed well and had a good ending.  I would definitely recommend the book, especially if you enjoy Greek Mythology.  

Good Points
It was well written and did a great job with the characters. While based on a myth, Barrett did a great job of making the characters relatable.
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Interesting Retelling

Greek myths ftw! I have always loved Greek mythology, so you're going to have to let me squee like a fangirl about the awesome job Tracy Barrett has done playing with an old familiar story. While she kept some of the basics about the myth, she changed other things, but she did so with flair and authenticity. She draws on the way that history alters truth and creates a really interesting variation on the original tale.

This myth was never my favorite (hello, where are the horses?), so I think I may actually like this variation better. At any rate, I love the postmodern re-evaluation of who was good and who was bad. Like Elpheba in Wicked, you get to see a different view of the Minotaur and an explanation for why he did some of the things he did. He totally reminds me of Lennie in Of Mice and Men.

Although I did not really grow close to any of the characters, the story held me fascinated, because I could not wait to find out what Barrett would do with the myth. Theseus, though I sympathized with him as a youth, lost my support when he took up with completely obnoxious Prokris. Ariadne was too far into her belief system for me to really want her to get things her way, which would involve blood sacrifice and all sorts of unpleasantness.

Anyone who finds Greek mythology should definitely try this awesome revisionist view of the story of the Minotaur! This song, which is totally not supposed to be about this but whatever, is about Ariadne's relationship with her brother, as well as the story of his origins.

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