Reviewed by David T. Valentin
Dark Moon, Shallow Sea
The Gods of Night and Day series, Book 1
By David R. Slayton
Narrated by Michael David Axtell
If you’re looking for a new LGBTQ+ Roman inspired fantasy ripe with mystery, magic and deities, then Dark Moon, Shallow Sea is the book for you.
Dark Moon, Shallow Sea is a dual POV following Raef, a former scholar of the now dead Moon Goddess Phoebe. With her death, the world was plunged into darkness and wandering shades out of the dark stalk the living. Seth, an out casted knight of the Sun god Hyperion , is commanded by the Hierarch, a greedy religious leader known to be the voice of Hyperion, to guard a mysterious box with its contents a mystery. When Raef stumbles across a box that contains a man about the same age as he is, he’s forced to set out on a journey to return this man to his home, Eastlight. As Raef sets out to return the stranger to his home, and Seth sets out to retrieve the man, their destinies intertwine and they are forced to reckon with the mysteries of the past.
What I love about David R. Slayton is that he always takes what you expect, twists it, and then leads you down another path entirely while leaving just a bit of mystery to make you curious for more. Slayton does plenty of this in Dark Moon, Shallow Sea, subverting practically everything you expect to happen to slowly unpeel the mystery, intrigue and magic of this world he’s crafted.