Review: Liar’s Moon

Liar’s Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce. Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic. 2011. Review copy from publisher. Sequel to StarCrossed. Spoilers for StarCrossed.

The Plot: Lord Durrel Decath is in prison, accused of murdering his wife. Decath saved Digger’s life once. She owes him. She knows he could not have done it, and uses her skills as a thief and a spy to try to figure out what happened. Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it looks.

The Good: Digger, from StarCrossed, is back and oh, she is such fun to be around! Even better is that Liar’s Moon is a full out mystery, with Digger as the Veronica Mars. (What, you thought I’d say Nancy Drew?) How great is it that StarCrossed wasn’t a mystery, and Liar’s Moon is!

Let’s back up a little. When last we saw Digger, she was part of something, admittedly under another name, with the army of rebellion. Turns out, what Digger wanted most was to go home to Gerse. It didn’t matter that her love and partner, Tegen, was dead. She wanted home. So she’s back, but distanced from those she met in StarCrossed, even those who are also now in Gerse, because her brother is after her. Her brother, the Inquisitor, a man of great power and cruelty.

You know what’s funny? And another reason I love this book? I think any other author would have reversed these two books: introduced us to Digger first in her familiar setting so we could get to know her. Digger the Thief, inhabitant of Gerse, knowing the back alleys, seeing the town as a thief. Then, after knowing Digger, put her and the reader in the new, unfamiliar world outside of Gerse. Instead, Bunce switched it up. Not only that, but Durrel Decath only appeared in the first few chapters of StarCrossed. Yes, he matters — he helped save Digger’s life — but his was such a brief appearance that it’s a surprise not only that he shows up, but that he shows up in prison, and that he needs Digger’s help. Other authors would have played up Durrel’s role in the first book simply because he was going to show up in the second. That Bunce didn’t do that, that she used Durrel in the first book for exactly the amount of time he needed to be there — brave and genius.

Digger, Digger, Digger. I love that she is so in her element, and aware. This is who she is: tough. Smart. Loyal. Moral; because yes, despite the fact that she is a thief, a criminal, sometimes a spy, she has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. She lives in a world that is corrupt, a world where those in power abuse it; a thief with a heart of gold makes much more sense than her brother, the Inquisitor who legally tortures and kills and persecutes.

The mystery is tightly plotted. Digger tracks down clues, follows up leads, learns more than she’d care to know. Digger’s world may be one of magic, but magic only complicates things, it doesn’t solve them.

I can’t wait for the next book! Not only because of what happens in the last chapter of Liar’s Moon, but also because I’m interested in seeing how Bunce will mix it up once again. Meanwhile, also check out the Bookshelves of Doom review which has this terrific line: “this is DURREL DECATH. He doesn’t go around killing people. He just… goes around being awesome. And, you know: Dreamy.”

Some insights into the series are in this interview with Bunce and a three part interview on the writing process (Part I, Part II, Part III) at Brooklyn Arden.

7 thoughts on “Review: Liar’s Moon

  1. I hadn’t thought about the point that Bunce reversed things from the “usual” way of doing them (or that she didn’t play up Durrel in the first book), but you’re right. Which makes me love her (and these books) even more.


  2. Leila, I’m looking forward to what happens next. That ending!!!

    Melissa, being able to read them back to back was fun, and, I think, made me more aware of the structure and interaction of the two.


  3. I really liked the first book but found this one disappointing; to me the plot dragged and while I like Durrel Decath he wasn’t quite as alluring as in the first book. However, loved the ending!


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