Black Moon by F. M. Sherrill & Becca C. Smith

Black Moon by Smith and Sherrill(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

Shea Harper is forced to stay in boring, hot and dry Phoenix, Arizona for college. But once she meets the enigmatic yet positively egocentric Lucian, Shea’s life changes forever.

She finds out that she comes from a long line of descendants called Vessels. In her soul is the key to destroying an ancient prison protecting the world from darkness itself: Lucian’s father.

Up until now, Lucian has captured every descendant except Shea. With her powers awakening, all vampires want to drag her down to the pit. But Lucian is territorial. She’s the first female Vessel… and he’s convinced she belongs to him.

Saucy and tauntingly surprising, Black Moon captures the struggle between burning desire or denying the heart. This is a love story that will drain you dry.

[Full disclosure: I received a free print copy in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]

I really do love the characters in this novel.  Both Smith and Sherrill did excellent jobs with their respective characters, Shea and Lucian.  I felt like I really was in Shea’s and Lucian’s shoes during their chapters and I understood their motivations for their actions.  I’ll admit it: sometimes I’m a sucker for tales of forbidden love.  And boy, does Lucian ever fit the bill here.  Our dark vampire here used to be a slave in Egypt who loved the beautiful Nefertiti but was killed for it.  After all these centuries, he still loves her despite the tragedy that befell her because of him.  His guilt and his love are clear in many aspects of his life…until he meets Shea.

As an Egypt buff, I loved the infusion of some history into Black Moon, but it was rather disappointing that Smith and Sherrill played fast and loose with the facts.  No, Nefertiti was hardly captured in battle along with her father.  No, her father’s name was not Ur-Nammu.  And no, she was certainly not a slave at court with the name of ‘wife’; by all accounts she was greatly beloved of Akhenaten.  Now, I can definitely forgive some historical inaccuracies in the name of a good story.  But when Lucian passively mentions that Queen Hatshepsut constantly reeked of myrrh, I had to laugh.  Hatshepsut was far before Nefertiti’s time and therefore Lucian’s time (since he was human then).  There were three kings with extremely long reigns between the two women, so there’s no way Lucian actually would have met her.

My griping about historical accuracy aside, I really enjoyed Black Moon.  It has quite a fast plot and so many twists and turns that my head was spinning by the end.  Yes, in the beginning it seems to be mostly character-driven but by the end it seemed to be more plot-driven.  In reality, it’s actually the best of both worlds: it’s a fast-paced novel with extremely well developed and believable characters.  I thought it got a little melodramatic toward the end, but that’s a personal thing rather than an actual flaw with the novel.  The cliffhanger at the end was excruciating; I would have read the next book without it anyway, but with a cliffhanger like that I know I definitely have to read the next book now.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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