After The Last Fallen Star, I knew I had to read the sequel. And Graci Kim did not disappoint! Riley is still reeling from the events of The Last Fallen Star. Struggling with the guilt, Riley is trying to fix the consequences, but must learn it’s not only up to her. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
For Riley Oh, life as the Godrealm’s last fallen star is not all it’s cracked up to be. Her new divine heritage doesn’t even come with cool magical powers; half of her friends and family (including her parents) can’t remember her; and to top it all off, the entire Gom clan is mad at her for killing the Cave Bear Goddess and stripping away their healing abilities.
But when their anger boils over and a group of witches curse Riley’s home, she knows it’s up to her to restore magic back to her clan – even if it means sneaking into the Spiritrealm.
Luckily, Riley has some backup. Along with her sister, Hattie, Riley meets Dahl, a heaven-born boy with shockingly white hair and a fondness for toilets who might not be telling the whole truth about who he is. Together they’ll fight vicious monsters, discover dark underwater worlds, and race to save the land of the dead from a fate that no one could have foreseen.
And this time, Riley won’t let anything get in her way. Because she can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is coming their way – and the gifted community is going to need all the powers they can get.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Last Fallen Moon balances emotional exploration – as Riley struggles with her own guilt – and almost non-stop action. Let me begin by chatting about the action. The world building explodes in color and detail in this sequel. Kim delivers a Spiritrealm that felt atmospheric and multi-dimensional. I can see middle grade readers absolutely falling in love with it! Not only that, but Kim’s sense of humor and little clever touches is another added bonus!
The Last Fallen Moon is a book that I ended up finishing much sooner than I thought. I had to find out what happened. If Riley was going to be able to patch the holes she made. And that leads me to what may have stolen my hear the most – Riley’s exploration of responsibility. She feels so strongly that everything is her fault. That her loved ones hate her and feel like she’s at fault. But I loved how in The Last Fallen Moon Kim introduces the idea that Riley isn’t alone.
That she has friends, allies, and doesn’t have to carry the weight of this alone. It feels terrifying to feel the pressure on our shoulders, but in a way it’s even more scary to admit help. To allow someone to see our vulnerability and our emotions. When we’re under that pressure, we can try to stuff our anxiety and fears down. But that just allows them to thrive under the pressure and to explode.
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In many ways, The Last Fallen Moon is a fabulous sequel that directly addresses The Last Fallen Star – with the themes of duty – while also advancing the overreaching story line. The solution is never to go back to the way things were. It’s impossible. But we can try to find a new future, a new way to move forward that is better. Find The Last Fallen Moon on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.