The Secret of the Moon Conch – Book Review

secret of the moon conch book cover

Rating: 4/5

What It’s About:

In modern-day Mexico, Sitlali has no family left and has caught the attention of a dangerous gang leader. She has no choice but to make the perilous trip to the US border and track down her long-absent father. The night before her journey, she finds a beautiful conch shell detailed with ancient markings.

In 1521, Calizto is an Aztec young warrior in Tenochtitlan, fighting desperately to save his city from Spanish imperialists. With his family dead and the horrors of war surrounding him, Calizto asks a sacred moon conch for guidance.

Connected by the magical conch, Sitlali and Calizto can communicate across centuries, finding comfort in each other as they fight to survive. With each conversation, they fall deeper in love, but will they be able to find a way to each other?


The Review

Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for giving me an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

Secret of the Moon Conch is such a unique book and I was instantly drawn to it when I saw the cover. It’s a book that teenage me would have LOVED. A fantasy/romance that has characters who look and speak like me. Representation MATTERS! I think about all of the young patrons that use my library and I know that they would be able to see something of themselves reflected in this book.

I felt a wide range of emotions while reading this book. It is filled with love, loss, danger, and human connection. The book alternates between the two main characters. And while they were living in their own times, I also enjoyed the parts where the conch allowed their experiences to intertwine. I was emotionally invested in both Sitali and Calitzo’s stories.

The historical aspect of the fall of Tenochtitlan was incredibly interesting and it allowed me to experience this part of history in a new way. We learned about the conquistadors in history class but so much of it was a Eurocentric viewpoint. I loved seeing it from the viewpoint of the Aztecs and learning more about their civilization.

The only reason I gave Secret of the Moon Conch 4 stars instead of 5 is that it felt just a bit longer than it needed to be and the ending left more to be desired. I wonder if there is going to be a sequel…

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