Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and are still enjoying your time off. I guess I have one more book review before the end of the year. I was really not expecting to finish this one but I had pretty good momentum. I do plan on posting my annual favorites list before the end of this week, though. For this upcoming year, my goal is to re-read more of my past favorites books so I might not be posting that frequently as I would like a more manageable TBR pile. Now, let’s talk about Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel, Daughter of the Moon Goddess.
Xingyin has lived a peaceful, idyllic life with her mother on the moon. As she grows older, Xingyin begins to question why she must live in such solitude and finds out that her mother was exiled by the Celestial Emperor, who does not know of Xingyin’s existence. When Xingyin’s magic grows too powerful, she is forced to flee the only life she has ever known. Alone, scared and desperate, she hides her identity and does her best to survive. When the opportunity to become the attendant of the emperor’s son come up, Xingyin seizes the chance. She trains alongside him, learning and growing her powers. She also finds herself falling in love with the prince. In order to free her mother, Xingyin must embark on a dangerous journey full of monsters and forbidden magic. As the threat of war looms over the Celestial Kingdom, Xingyin must complete an impossible task for the Celestial Emperor or lose everything she has fought for.
Since this is a debut novel, I am going to begin out with a few compliments. First of all, I did genuinely enjoy the writing itself. The descriptions were gorgeous and it read like a fairy tale or myth at times. Secondly, the world building was well thought out and the magic elements were really interesting. Lastly, I thought the action sequences were actually quite exciting. Now, let’s get to what I didn’t like. I did see this book pop up on a lot of people’s most disappointing books of this year and, I hate to admit it, but I understand. I normally try to not let other reviews cloud my opinion too much. In this case, it was hard to avoid. I have to begin by saying that I don’t understand why the novel was classified as “adult fiction.” This is very much a YA novel and not just because the main protagonist is a teenager. There is some violence but the novel doesn’t address any heavy or mature topics, if you will. Many people who gave this a low rating also mentioned the pacing and I would have to agree. This book is somehow too fast and too slow at the same time. You aren’t given an opportunity to sit with any of these important events or enjoy any character development. Xingyin is a perfectly fine protagonist and I certainly didn’t mind following her journey. She doesn’t get the necessary character development, in my opinion. I do have a few more opinions on this book but that would involve having to divulge the plot and I don’t want to spoil it too much. I really didn’t dislike this novel as it had a lot of potential, but it simply didn’t reach it for me. I will try to deter you from reading Daughter of the Moon Goddess as I still found enjoyment in it, but I feel as though there might be a better alternative if you want a mythology- inspired fantasy novel.