I've always been fascinated by ancient history and originally majored in it at college...until I realized I would eventually have to do my own research and write my own papers (can you believe that? shocking). I figured out I prefer to read others' books on the subject, so hear I am. It's rare to find a YA fiction book set in ancient Rome and Egypt so I was excited when a co-worker told me about Cleopatra's Moon. The best words I can give this book are "beautiful" and "epic."
To make it clear for those not familiar with the book, it follows Cleopatra's daughter Cleopatra VIII Selene, not Cleopatra VII who we're all familiar with. I think it's rather difficult to write a historical fiction novel that doesn't feel a little dry at times, but that's not the case with this book. Shecter made these famous historical characters come to life. Congratulations Vicky! You win my smiles. Even though I knew most of what was going to happen (history buff, I am), I couldn't put the book down. I really felt for Cleopatra Selene; when she cried, I cried. It's been a while since a book has made me cry and I got teary eyed twice. Another example of the realism, I've always had an intense love for Roman history and, for the first time, Shecter made me hate them. What a society of bastards. I already knew this, but it was interesting to see them from another point of view.
This book is a must read for historical fiction fans, though I would say for older teens than younger. It does contain sensuality, but there is so much substance and detail that I feel it would go over the heads of the younger audience. This is definitely a book adults will enjoy, if not more so than the the YA audience.