I went into reading Shadows on the Moon expecting that it'll be another Cinderella retelling, but this time, with a kick-butt heroine that didn't need the man for her happily ever after, but as a stepping stone to finally avenge her family, which in some way is her own happily ever after. The beginning of the book was exhilarating, you jump right into the action, the betrayals, the loss of the protagonist, Suzume's everyone and everything. The first couple of chapters set the tone that this book was going to be filled with schemes, plotting for vengeance, and action. However, I was greatly disappointed. After Suzume loses her father and cousin, her and her mother move away and live with her father's best friend, who surprisingly becomes her step-father merely a month or two after her father's death.
Suzume turns emo and starts cutting herself, hating her mother and step-father and basically feeling sorry for herself for a hundred pages or so until she had to hide and give herself another name and pose as a maid in her own step-father's household. Barely much happens, her hate for her mother grows and in the end she has to really runaway from the household and started living the life of a homeless person until she meets someone that gives her shelter and teaches her how to manifest her power. She is a shadow-weaver that can disguise herself in any shape or form. Here I thought we are finally catching on to the momentum of the first couple of chapters, the plotting to marry the prince will finally start. The problem is, the plotting was her learning how to act as a lady and attract his attention through a dance at the ball. That is it. I started reading this book in the hopes that Suzume would be a little bit like Mulan, someone who would use her beauty AND her skills, whether martial or paranormal, in order to avenge her household.
I was really anticipating the ending, hoping I won't at least be disappointed in that one, and while the ball itself lifted up my spirits and hopes, however the ending was too rushed. I was hoping that somewhere in the book she would marry the prince, use him, and get found and somehow end it with her finding a way out of that mess. However the book ends when she is in the ball, not married to the prince, but she already avenged her family, which makes me wonder, WHY did she go through all this trouble when she could have ended it all months earlier? There is also a romantic plot between Suzume and another shadow weaver, and it was given some importance when it came to her making decisions and again, I really did not understand how a person fueled with getting her revenge for years, gets easily swayed by a person she only met a handful of times, but that is just me, I do not understand how people are irrational when it comes to romance. Overall I really wanted to enjoy this book, especially with the powerful beginning, however along the way I lost interest and could not understand the protagonist at all or the situations she got into. I am just going to label this book as one that isn't for me, however I do know many people that liked it, so give it a try if you feel like it is the sort of book you would enjoy.