Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez - Book Review

Feb 4, 2020

Woven in Moonlight

by Isabel Ibañez

Release Date: January 7th, 2020

Publisher: Page Street Books

Links: Goodreads

SUMMARY: 

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

MY REVIEW: 


This review comes with a heavy disclaimer; please don't let me influence you into not supporting this author or not reading this book if you were really excited about it. Opinions are not facts. Give it a try and agree with me or fight me. (but don't really fight me I WILL CRY)

It's a sad day when one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 doesn't deliver. Let me paint you a picture of how sure that I was going to enjoy this book not only did I preorder it on Amazon, but I also selected it as my BoTM and when I saw that a book box had an exclusive cover I also brought that copy. Now, I have 3 copies of a book I didn't enjoy.

Let's start with the review.

Things I liked:

-The magic system was interesting and original. The main characters' magic is tied to the moon and other characters can read the stars making the magic aspect very beautiful and delicate.

-The inclusion of Bolivian culture and food descriptions.

-Girl unlearning prejudices and that history has two sides.

Things I didn't like:

Worldbuilding: The world was one of the things I was most excited about reading, nevertheless it was underdeveloped, I didn't feel like it was grounded enough.

Plot: Very predictable and it didn't feel like high stakes enough, this may be because of the lack of emotional connection with the characters.

Characters: All characters were very one dimensional for me.

I mainly want to talk about Ximena who suffers from the cliche and typical YA girl affliction “she is so strong and stubborn” - but it's more like rude, selfish, and unwilling to listen. I also didn't appreciate her description of Llacsans who are supposed to be inspired by indigenous people, she describes them as smelly, and mocks their traditions. I know some of the story arc was to unlearn prejudices but I just didn't feel like it was given enough attention and depth.

Also, I have no idea why the other characters find Ximena amusing when she is not doing or saying anything witty or funny but many times someone is trying suppressing a smile when there is no reason for it.

The characters are not consistent at all, they just react to the plot making it hard for the reader to care for them.

The relationship between the characters was almost nonexistent. The author just tells us that these two characters are supposed to care for each other but what about the most basic writing rule “show, don't tell”.

My main example is the relation between La Condesa and Ximena, they are supposed to be like sisters but we really don't have any bonding scenes or anything that made me feel the deep sisterhood they are supposed to have other than when it's told to us and this directly impacts the plot since it's crucial to feel the “high stakes crossroad” Ximena is in.

Writing Style:

This is not something exclusive to Woven in the Moonlight, it's just a matter of personal taste but I don't like when in dialogue or descriptions just go randomly to Spanish without any reason and this is coming from someone who speaks Spanish fluently;

I really enjoy it when you have Spanish names like Ximena, Juan Carlos, Atoc. There is some Spanish that is beautifully used like in names for names of people, cities, magic items “La Estrella” or in full slang sayings but in others is just forced and overused.

Also, I have to mention that there is a city called La Ciudad which means The City so yes there is a city called the city and the bad guy is called “evil” in Quechua.

I see the intention of this book, I appreciate the look into Bolivian culture, the effort of trying to make a commentary about colonization, and harmful prejudices. But at the end of the day for me Woven in the Moonlight falls short.

BOOK STATS

Plot: ✰✰
Characters: ✰
Writing Style ✰✰✰
Personal Experience ✰
Overall: ✰✰✰✰✰ (1.75Stars)







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