Review: The Killing Moon

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Killing MoonThe Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin
Series: Dreamblood #1
Published by Orbit on May 1, 2012
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 440
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh's great temple, Ehiru - the most famous of the city's Gatherers - must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess' name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh's alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill - or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

First Sentence: “In the dark of waking, a soul has died.”

Review:
The Killing Moon did not grab me right out of the gate. This wasn’t a huge concern, though. I haven’t read a ton of epic fantasy yet, but I’ve read enough to know that you have to give it time. Creating a new world, one so intricate and different from the one we live in takes time. You have to give the author a chance to set up the world and the characters.

A lot of readers have zero interest in epic fantasy. The books are long, and, as already mentioned, there is generally quite a bit of set up before you can really get to the good parts. This scares readers away, I think. Why is epic fantasy like The Killing Moon worth it? The world-building. The best world-building I have ever read has been in epic fantasy. The worlds are so completely different, and yet I will have this perfect mental image of the place. Jemisin did an amazing job with this for sure.

Epic fantasy also tends to have really fascinating, mind-blowing, unique concepts. In The Killing Moon, this is the idea of Dreamblood, and Gatherers/Reapers. I loved every bit of that. It’s just so cool, and creepy. To try to explain why it was awesome would take many words and probably fail epically, so I’m going to spare you that. I just want to say how much I adored the idea of the power that can come from dreams.

Book two is definitely going to be in my future. I have no freaking clue what’s going to happen next, but I must know! I especially want to know what will become of Sunandi. She is so fantastic, and I hope there’s even more focus on her in The Shadowed Sun. You know how I like my powerful heroines.

The Killing Moon is a bit slow-moving and contemplative, but never did it drag for me. Jemisin will leave you thinking and perhaps inspire your dreams. I have the feeling this series is going to get better and better.

Note: You should also check out this review, because it’s awesome: http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com/2012/04/killing-moon-nk-jemisin.html.

Favorite Quote:

” ‘Suffering is part of life,’ she said. ‘All the parts of life are jumbled up together; you can’t separate out just the one thing.’ She parred his hand again, kindly. ‘I could let you kill me now, lovely man, and have peace and good dreams forever. But who knows what I get instead, if I stay? Maybe time to see a new grandchild. Maybe a good joke that sets me laughing for days. Maybe another handsome young fellow flirting with me.’ She grinned toothlessly, then let loose another horrible, racking cough. Ehiru steadies her with shaking hands. ‘I want every moment of my life, pretty man, the painful and the sweet alike. Until the very end. If these are all the memories I get for eternity, I want to take as many of them with me as I can.’ “

2 responses to “Review: The Killing Moon”

  1. I LOVE epic fantasy despite the doorstopper length and I think a HUGE part of that is because of the world building. And I am willing to spend a long time reading an epic fantasy if the world is something I can believe as real. Does that make sense?

    Anyways, NK Jemisin is the bomb, I can’t wait to check out The Killing Moon.

    • Christina says:

      That does make perfect sense, no worries. I just feel like you see so much more innovative stuff here than other places, but you have to work for it (hello doorstopper).

      I’ve only read this one Jemisin book, but I added the sequel and her first book to my Goodreads after finishing. I would have liked more character bonding, but the world-building was out of control. Book two should be OFF THE HOOK, since the world-building can share more with the characters and drama. WIN.

      Also, HOLLA for a lady writing epic fantasy.

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