5 fantastic stars!
The Dark of the Moon is fantasy at its best. Full of excitement, magic, mystery, and suspense, it’s an addictive read that draws you in and won’t let you go. It’s a fight between good and evil, light and dark, and one that I can’t get enough of!
Selena Koren is an Aluren warrior with the ability to heal and has the power to Summon the water around her. She is able to Hear and be Heard by the god she follows and is known for being one of the strongest of her kind. After a Summoning goes terribly wrong, she is cursed with the mark of the Two-Faced god in the form of a blistering cold crescent-shaped wound over her heart. Now, though she can still heal and use her abilities, she is unable to heal herself from the wound that keeps her perpetually cold. For ten years she has worn the mark and it slowly weakens her. Wanting nothing more than to become whole once again and finally feel warmth after so long, she sets off on a quest she is assured will end the curse.
“Your destination is dark and thick with danger. You are like a light in that darkness, driving it back as the Shining face of your god does when the moon is full. But beware for the dark will try to swallow you, consume you, to make you something like itself.”
Sebastian Vaas is an assassin, the most lethal in the world. He’s ruthless and brutal, feared by all, but he wants out of his gruesome lifestyle. When he finds himself facing one last job, whether or not he goes through with the hit once his mark is revealed will change the course of his life and those around him.
The Dark of the Moon, the first book in the Chronicles of Lunos saga, takes you on an exciting adventure where nothing is as it seems. Full of gods, pirates, monsters and other mystical beings, it’s a difficult journey with many dangers – both expected and hidden – lurking on land and in the sea. There are lies, secrets, and betrayals that make the voyage even more challenging and twists that take everyone one by surprise, even the reader.
The writing is brilliant, keeping you fully engaged and invested in the well-developed story. The vivid imagery transports you to the magical world seen through the character’s eyes. You live it and breath it. The multi-layered plot and the wonderfully complex characters are so incredible that it is impossible not to love this book.
Selena is remarkable. The strength of her beliefs and her unwavering determination to succeed is astounding. Her heart is huge and her unselfish actions prove her inner beauty matches her outer beauty. She is a fierce, kickass heroine with incredible bravery and I want nothing but for her to triumph.
Though Sebastian is rough around the edges and his brutality is tough to swallow, I couldn’t help but root for him. I loved watching him wrestle with what to do as he gets to know Selena and realizes that they have more in common than he thought. He is haunted by a tragic past and has trouble finding the good in the world after all that he suffered, yet he sees it in Selena which only makes him more conflicted and vulnerable. Despite that, he remains a fighter and when he makes up his mind, he goes all in which I loved.
Even though it is not considered a romance novel, there is a delicious taste of a love story that is slow burning and progresses realistically. While I was hoping for a romantic element, this one does not over shadow the true adventure and mystery, only adding to the complexity of the story, and I loved it.
For one moment, time stood still…and Sebastian wasn’t Bloody Bastian on a mission to end a life, but a man sitting with a beautiful woman and making her feel good and safe.
However, just as any love can bloom, it can also quickly wilt, especially when faced with secrets and lies, and we learn that a romance between Sebastian and Selena may be doomed from the start.
Selena’s friends are loyal as are Sebastian’s crew, yet some harbor huge secrets and not all will make it out alive. All of the side characters have an important part in the story and I am looking forward to seeing some of them take on bigger roles as the series continues. Much is revealed in this book but even more is left unanswered, and I cant wait to dive back into the mystical world E.S. Bell has created as the next books in the series are published.
*ARC generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Chronicles of Lunos
Shadow Moon Rising (#2)
Expected publication – 2018
Last Light (#3)
Expected publication – 2019
Dragon Moon (#4)
Expected publication – 2020