A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Moon Chosen is the first installment planned in a far-future fantasy series by prolific fantasy author P.C. Cast. Its 600-page length makes it best suited to strongly independent readers. There's a lot of fantasy violence, with blood frequently mentioned but very rarely described as spewing or spraying. Characters, including beloved companion dogs, are frequently in peril from scary fantasy creatures, mostly larger and more violent roaches and spiders, but also sometimes from rival societies wielding arrows and knives. Rape is mentioned a few times, and the victim's trauma is shown. There are a few kisses and some romance-novel-type hints at sex, such as slaking bodies' needs. Bare breasts are mentioned but not described, but with one or two mentions of attraction or arousal by a couple of men who've seen them. Strong language isn't frequent but adds up over 600 pages, including "f--k," "s--t," "tits," and "d--k." Ale at celebrations mentioned a few times, one man behaves drunkenly, and medicinal and other properties of poppy- and cannabis-based medicines and remedies are mentioned.
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What's the story?
MOON CHOSEN tells of three societies in the distant future, as the Earth recovers from mysterious apocalyptic events in the past. Mari, 18, is an Earth Walker whose people live in burrows just outside the forest. Nik, 23, is a member of the tree-dwelling Sun Tribe, who form strong, lifelong bonds with dogs. And in the crumbling ruins of an ancient city live the Skin Stealers, who suffer from a skin disease and who heal themselves by capturing Mari and Nik's people. Mari's always known she was different from the other Earth Walkers and has had to hide her differences or risk being ousted by her Clan. But when she discovers that she's actually only half Earth Walker, the uneasy balance among the three groups begins to shift. But whether it's toward one group over another, or toward something totally new and unknown, is something no one can predict.
Is it any good?
Fantasy fans, especially dog lovers, will enjoy chewing on this meaty series debut from veteran author P.C. Cast. Teens who can handle the fantasy violence and strong language will get immersed in Moon Chosen's vast, unique, vivid, and richly imagined world populated with fascinating characters and societies. Mari and Nik are easy to root for as they face the challenges of emerging into adulthood at a time of great upheaval.
The first 100 pages or so are a bit overwrought, as though author Cast is trying too hard to manufacture emotional connections quickly and to establish an admittedly immense fantasy world. But hang in there, because as soon as Rigel makes his appearance, action, heartbreak, tragedy, and adventure keep the pages turning right up to the cliffhanger ending.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Moon Chosen. Does the fantasy setting make it more or less scary? Why?
What about the strong language? Does it add to the story or characters, especially in a fantasy setting? If so, what does it add, and why?
Are you hoping the series will continue? What do you think will happen in the next book?
- Author: P.C. Cast
- Illustrator: Dr. Hilary Costello
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
- Publication date: October 18, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 608
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: November 27, 2017
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