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Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Cleopatra's Moon

Cleopatra's Moon
Author: Vicky Alvear Shecter
Genre:  Historical Fiction, YA Romance
Publisher:   Oasis Audio 
Release Date:  August 1, 2011
Audiobook: 12 hours and 29 minutes
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Grade Level: 8 and up

Source: Free from
Buy the Book: Amazon
Book Description
The only daughter of the last queen of Egypt watches her beloved father--Mark Antony--fall on his sword in front of her. Then she hears the haunting wails of the priestesses of Isis on the island of Pharos and knows her mother died. It is the end of Cleopatra's rule and the start of Selene's nightmare. Her parent's vicious enemy, the snake-like Octavianus, forces Cleopatra Selene to march through the streets of Rome in golden chains and then sentences her, along with her brothers, to live as political prisoners in his own home.
There she fights desperately to keep her brothers safe from poisonings and secret assassination attempts. Selene plots furiously to do what she knows her mother Cleopatra would want her to do--reclaim her destiny as the queen of Egypt. While plotting with her mother's agents in Rome, Selene knows her best shot at retaking Egypt's throne is to beguile her despised captor's nephew, Marcellus, the beautiful, golden-haired heir to Octavanius. But Selene unexpectedly falls in love with a fellow political prisoner setting off a deeply personal crisis: Does Selene choose the man she loves over the man who could help her rule Egypt?
Selene is determined to live up to her mother's last whispered words to her--"You have the heart of a great and powerful queen," but at what price? Is she doomed to live and die like her mother, trying to use sex and seduction to make strategic alliances to gain power? Or can she take destiny into her own hands and create a future her mother never imagined?
Life in Rome has its own surprises and Selene discovers that trying to follow in her mother's footsteps unleashes dangerous and unexpected consequences. Will Selene make the same decisions--and mistakes--as her brilliant but doomed mother? Or will she find a way to forge an identity and future all her own? 

Take a trip to mysterious ancient Egypt--where a young Selene learns to follow Isis and curse her enemies with Anubis, the god of death and embalming--and prickly Rome where political intrigues and secret alliances are the currency of survival. LA Times called this young adult historical fiction novel "impressive in that it feels so real." Lose yourself in the exotic world of this critically acclaimed young adult romance novel.

I had no idea what I was expecting from this audiobook.  All I knew about it was, one, it was Free!  Two, it was about Cleopatra's daughter.  I never really studied that much about Egyptian history and I didn't really know about the linage of Cleopatra.  That being said this audiobook has now brought out my curiosity and interest in finding out more.  Much more.  
This story is told by the only daughter of Cleopatra, Cleopatra Selene mostly at the end of her mother's rein.  When Cleopatra Selene and her brothers are taken to Rome as captives the story delves into and touches on so many topics.  Religion.  Free Will.  Love.  Trust.  Suicide.  Honor. 
The author does a wonderful job of writing the story of a time so long ago.  Vicky Alvear Shecter includes so many details and engages all the readers senses that you really feel like you are experiencing a first hand account of Rome.  There are details of clothing, food, the smell and the actions of every day people that give the book a great layer that is educational and entertaining.   
The one thing that I found slightly annoying is the YA book formula was here too!  You know the YA Book Formula.  
One young female - Parents = Two Male love interest.  
Really!  Are you trying to sell me on that in a historical novel based on fact too!  ARGH!!  Is it me are are all the young females going this way.  I understand the history aspect and why her parents are not around.  But trying to figure out one man over another.  I get it but why do we have to do it yet again.  Sorry I'm whining about it but I just needed to do it one more time.  
The narrator did a wonderful job on this one.  Kirsten Potter voice gave the perfect powerful female for Cleopatra and I didn't mind her voice for all the male characters.  There were a few parts at the end, when she read Isis that were a little off putting.  (Over the top for a ghost like voice.)  But otherwise it was a great performance and I would love to check out some more of her work.

Reviews by Other Bloggers

I recommend this book to older teens and adults due to the violence.

This book is number 22 in my Audiobook Reading Challenge
This book is number 23 in my Women Reading Challenge
This book is number 9 in my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
This book is number 33 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge 

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