Thank you to Blackstone Publishing/Kaye Publicity for a copy of Dark Moon, Shallow Sea in exchange for an honest review

Summary

When Phoebe, goddess of the moon, is killed by the knights of the sun god, Hyperion, all who follow her are branded heretics. With Phoebe gone, the souls of the dead are no longer ferried to the underworld and instead linger on as shades who feast on the blood of the living.

Raef is a child of the night. He lives in the shadows, on scraps, eking out a meager existence as a thief. But when an ornate box is sequestered in the Temple of Hyperion, the chance of a big score proves too great to resist. What he finds within propels him on an odyssey across the sea and back again, altering the course of his life forever.

Seth is a knight of the sun. But unlike the others of his order, the fire of Hyperion only brings him pain. He believes he deserves this penance, exacted for his unknown origins. Tasked with recovering the contents of the box, Seth must also venture beyond the horizon if he’s to learn the truth about himself.

In a dying world divided by the greed of those in power, Raef and Seth find their destinies intertwined — and learn they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

 

The Mythology of It All 

After reading the first book of his Adam Binder series, David R. Slayton quickly became one of my must-read authors. And with Dark Moon, Shallow Sea, Slayton has only become a stronger author. World-building is one of Slayton’s greatest strengths. In his first series, he also played with existing mythologies, but here, he leans more heavily into it, to great success.  
 
Dark Moon, Shallow Sea is based on Greek mythology, specifically the worship of the Titans. These gods were the parents of Zeus, Hades and the like. They are not, however, the OG gods. Those would be the Primordial Deities. As Dark Moon, Shallow Sea is the first of a series, I’d guess the Titans’ parents’ and kids’ roles will expand 
within this world’s larger mythology.
 
 
Using the mythology of a mostly dead religion allows Slayton to explore (religious) fanaticism more generally than in his previous series, where he dealt with a specific brand of Christianity. That perspective shift is fresh and highly successful. 

The Romance of It All

David R. Slayton’s way of handling romance is immensely practical. That may seem like a weird compliment, but it’s the best one I can think of. The older I get, the more I understand that choosing the person(s) you want to spend your life with — romantic or otherwise — is at least as much about deciding to work as it is about organic compatibility. Seeing that on the page is refreshing. Not that swoony romance isn’t fun. But trust is built and requires effort to maintain. And it can easily be broken. Which Dark Moon, Shallow Sea addresses. Big time. 

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Should You Read It?

This book would please many people. If you’re a fan of David R. Slayton, you’ll love Dark Moon, Shallow Sea. But even if you’ve never heard of the Adam Binder series, pick this novel up if you like Greek mythology or epic fantasy. This is a must-read. 
 
Dark Moon, Shallow Sea is out on October 31, 2023. Preorder a copy at your local indie bookstore or put one on hold at your local library. 📚🌚🌞
 

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