A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Some Korean mythological creatures and deities pop up, and some folklore and mythologies appear in various forms. A few Korean words and terms are used and described.
Strong positive messages of hope, teamwork, and doing the right thing. Family and friendship are important. Accepting help from others is an aspect of strength, not weakness.
Positive Role Models
Riley and her sister are both strong and capable heroes. They smartly work through complicated problems, openly talk through complex emotions, and help one another get through low times. Their friends and companions are also helpful, supportive, and kind.
The main characters are Korean American, and other characters are people of color. Same-sex relationships are represented, as are alternative formations of family.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Some moments of violence, a cut from a poisonous tail bleeds, hellbeasts get kicked in the face, and unconscious humans start to get "erased" with a magical eraser. There are some references to murder, death, and killing, but none happen in the present. Younger readers may be scared by some creepy images and ideas, like finding a dungeon's walls painted in blood or turning a corner to see weird shadows or creatures. Also, most of the book is set in hell and the afterlife, which is both Eastern and Western inspired. Many references to the "7 layers of hell," each of which involve some form of horrendous torture ("falling from great heights, being crushed by boulders, cooked in boiling oil, devoured by hellbeasts, cut by jagged knives, frozen in ice until your body shatters, and drowning in sand").
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
One character is known to "have a crush" on a friend. Students at school try to make a "love potion" that would make someone fall in love with someone. A person in the afterlife misses their partner, the love of their life.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Mild language includes: "ass," "hell," "sucks," "amazeballs," and "butt."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Brands and IPs mentioned include: H Mart grocery stores, Starbucks, Disneyland, Disney, Mickey Mouse, King Kong, Robin Hood, the Hulk (Marvel Comics), Frozen, Grease, Master Chef, The Great British Bake Off, BTS, Blackpink, Coachella music festival, Forever 21, Ray-Bans, Pepero sticks, Snickers candy bars, Hershey's chocolate, Nutella.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some students try to make a "love potion," but it doesn't work.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Fallen Moon: Gifted Clans, Book 2 is the sequel to The Last Fallen Star, Graci Kim's first middle grade novel. In this series, non-magical Riley Oh and her magical sister Hattie face mythological creatures, goddesses, and dangers, including rulers of each of the seven layers of hell, hellbeasts, dokkaebi (goblins), gwisin (hungry ghosts), and a salmosa (tiger serpent). The magical world is based in Korean mythology and folklore, and many words, creatures, entities, goddesses, and divine items come from these tales. Most of the story takes place in the afterlife, and Riley early on takes a potion to stop her heart (briefly killing herself) so she can enter the afterlife. Each layer of hell is described in violent detail ("falling from great heights, being crushed by boulders, cooked in boiling oil, devoured by hellbeasts, cut by jagged knives, frozen in ice until your body shatters, and drowning in sand"). But when Riley gets there, she finds hell is no longer structured around punishment and torture and instead around rest, relaxation, and fun. There's some light violent action (Riley gets cut on her arm), some scary scenes (dungeon walls painted with blood, friends start getting "erased"), and some moments of peril. Some friends try to make a love potion but it doesn't work. Mild language includes: "ass," "butt," "sucks," "hell," and "amazeballs."
Is It Any Good?
This second installment of the Gifted Clan series doesn't quite match the magic of its predecessor. It begins right after the first, but The Last Fallen Moon: Gifted Clans, Book 2 doesn't have as strong a place to go. It doesn't have as much emotional weight and the stakes aren't as high, and while dangerous problems to solve abound, the lack of a real threat dampens the proceedings. Unlike the first book, there isn't that much actual magic that happens, either. With little bursts of action, lots of time is spent world-building and establishing characters. New character Dahl is a welcome addition, but he didn't end up having as much to do as his introduction seemed to indicate.
Some of the first half meanders a bit before discovering an intriguing mystery, but the second half doesn't quite stick the landing. The villain behind everything is vague, it feels like Riley and friends are simply going around picking up the pieces of the aftermath of the first book, and Riley's friends making a "love potion" (to make someone fall in love with someone else) is treated lightly and comically but may feel cringe to some. There's a sense that whatever happens in this second book is only preamble to the real threat that will appear in the third. But it does set up an exciting next installment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Fantasy Books for Kids
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate