Book Review – Broken Moon by Sarah Beth Moore

Synopsis

“What if you discovered human souls are real, but about to become extinct … and you were the only one who could stop it?

Living a thousand feet above the ground in metal slums piled upon the detritus of decades, Naiya Barrigan makes a decent living culling through the wreckage of 21st century humanity and selling what she finds to the highest bidder.

But that doesn’t mean life is perfect: demonic guards stalk the streets, mothers owe their firstborn children to the authoritarian Party, and Naiya’s pregnant sister has just turned up bone-thin, childless and dead.

This disturbing incident kicks off other revelations, such as Naiya’s membership in the ancient family line that oversees the link between the mortal world and Terminus, where souls await rebirth between lives. Unfortunately, the Party has discovered this too, and soon Naiya is on the run.

For help she has only a numbers-obsessed, slightly autistic brainiac, a hulking spy from the outside and an adopted brother toward whom she feels anything but sisterly. In a city fast becoming a death trap, she must figure out how to use the newfound magic she doesn’t even want and escape the place she’s always called home.

Elements of horror, urban fantasy and theology intertwine in this fast-paced adventure, culminating in a revelation that will haunt Naiya for the rest of her life … though her journey is far from over”

Book Review

Disclaimer: I was sent an eARC by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I went into reading this book without having an idea what to expect having not read the synopsis or any other reviews before I started reading. I think this was a good thing as when you start reading it becomes clear the author has no intention of explaining anything immediately. The resulting effect for me was feeling like I was thrown into a world that the character was at home in but that I didn’t understand that well. However I do think this approach works well for a dystopian fantasy like Broken Moon. There was a lot Naiya doesn’t understand or know and so the reader has to learn with her. 

I think Naiya is a strong female lead but I think the other characters are less developed. Enoch is only mainly interesting because of how Naiya feels about him, he doesn’t really do much else. Her younger brother Pip was developed a bit more and I thought his interesting background would be included in the story, but it seems to have been just left for the time being. While I appreciate not being spoon-fed all the information I did find at time this book to be annoyingly vague. There was a lot of times when I felt information could have easily been given by characters, particularly Naiya’s adoptive father, that just wasn’t. The reasoning to me was flimsy and I don’t think it helped the plot to know so little.

As the story progressed I felt the book was dealing with a lot of different themes and I think at times this book felt disjointed. It was jarring for me to be reading about a post apocalyptic city with such a strong theological/metaphysical underpinning. There was also fantasy/magical elements with Naiya and her powers, the young adult/romance stuff between Naiya and Enoch. I would say this book was definitely unique, there was a little bit of everything, but it felt at times erratic. 

The ending for me made me was very abrupt. I thought I was going to get my questions answered but I felt like this book was building towards something and then stopped short. It was clear to me at this point the book was setting up for a sequel so leaves a lot of things unanswered. This book feels like a beginning, the author does a substantial amount of world building, but I have a feeling Broken Moon has only just scratched the surface of the story she intends to tell.