Daisy’s starting a new job and stylish city life, but mage-hunters out for her dark magic threaten to destroy her vogue image.
In the flourishing metropolis of Soot City (a warped version of 1920s Chicago), progressive ideals reign and the old ways of magic and liquid mana are forbidden. Daisy Dell is a Modern Girl – stylish, educated and independent – keen to establish herself in the city but reluctant to give up the taboo magic inherited from her grandmother.
Her new job takes her to unexpected places, and she gets more attention than she had hoped for. When bounty hunters start combing the city for magicians, Daisy must decide whether to stay with her new employer – even if it means revealing the grim source of her occult powers.
I received an ARC of Moonshine from Netgalley. Some people had been mentioning that it was an #ownvoices book for aromantic representation, and I’m always looking for more of that.
It’s ownvoices for aromantic, asexual, genderfluid, and disabled rep (major characters).
The part that struck me most was the fantastic worldbuilding. Damn! It was so elaborate and within the first pages, I could already picture what Soot City looked like and what people in the city wore.
There are different types of magic, and it was intriguing to read how they interacted with each other. I would have liked a bit more insight into the origin of magic, and whether the different types are can be learned or if certain people have the talent innately.
I seem to be reading so many books at the moment, that mention characters that wear glasses and how the set-up of the world affects glasses wearers. Loved that!
I also loved how the story casually mentions menstruation. Please, let’s have more books that actually mention that menstruation is something that happens to a lot of people!
The dynamic between the different characters was wonderful. It felt very realistic, especially the fluctuations between uncertainty about a new person and the progression to trusting the newcomer and including them in the inner circle.
Two of the characters are given names by Daisy, and these were based on their skin colour. Spoiler for the character names (highlight to see): Cyan and Lavender. I’d have liked to know how she decided to use those names, and whether her grandmother called one of them by a different name. It did bother me that the names were chosen just based on the colour of their skin and feathers.
The story mentions that “ogre” is a slur, however it never mentions what the politically correct term is. I would have liked to know, and I think that this could have flowed into the story easily.
Moonshine was a beautiful read. My favourite aspect of it is without a doubt the worldbuilding. It’s got so many queer characters in it, which was just awesome!
Trigger warning: murder.
Do you want to read Moonshine?