- Title: The Moon Dwellers
- Author: David Estes
- Series: The Dwellers Trilogy #1
- Next Book: The Star Dwellers
- Source: From the author for review
Description from Goodreads:
In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.
After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents’ crimes of treason.
Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.
At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.
When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.
In their world, someone must die.
*This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for a fair review.*
First, can I get a round of applause for David Estes? This has got to be one of the best dystopians I have read, and he’s an indie author. Honestly, I found it to be better than some of the really popular ones out there! It ranks up there with The Hunger Games and Divergent for me.
I don’t even know where to start. I guess at the beginning.
The book starts off with a prologue that is full of violence and mystery. We see Adele’s parents get beaten up and hauled off, but we have no idea why. Fast forward to chapter 1, and it’s 6 months later, and Adele is the Pen, her world’s equivalent of a juvenile detention center, watching as a parade goes by. When she locks eyes with the President’s son, Tristan, who is in the parade, she experiences a blinding headache like she’s never had before. And there starts the mysteries and action of the story.
I think what I liked most about the story was the writing style. The book is told from both Adele’s and Tristan’s perspectives, and it alternates chapter-by-chapter through most of the book. In a lot of cases, this could be annoying, but I thought it really worked. The chapters are fairly long (about 20 minutes each, according to my kindle), so the reader is able to get a pretty good picture of what is going on from that character’s perspective before it switches. Also, almost every chapter ends on some sort of a cliffhanger (as any good chapter should), but for the most part, it isn’t immediately resolved because the story switches perspective. Another thing I liked about this was that sometimes the perspective change would come with a slight rewind in time, to retell a certain scene from the other perspective, but sometimes it picked up right where the previous chapter left off.
In some ways, this book reminded me of Crossed by Ally Condie. We have two characters on a journey, and the reader gets to see how closely their paths come to crossing several times throughout the story.
I absolutely loved Adele. She gave a new meaning to kick-ass heroines in my eyes. She had all the strength and training of Tris, but not as much self-doubt or hesitance. She was really amazing. I loved seeing her fight. And Tristan was really great, too. I loved that he had his own mind, and wouldn’t let his circumstances dictate how he was supposed to act and feel. He was also another ass-kicking character.
There was one scene, specifically, towards the climax of the book, where there was a huge surprise. I suppose in the reality of a world torn apart by violence and war, it wasn’t surprising, but for a YA author to go there in the first book of the series really surprised me. And to be honest, I loved it. I love that David had the guts to throw uncomfortable things in here that a lot of authors would shy away from.
Very similar to Divergent by Veronica Roth or The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the ending wrapped up enough of the loose ends within this book to not leave me dissatisfied with the end, but also left enough strands hanging to keep me hooked. Also, I think it also provided a nice set-up for book two.
In summary, I thought that this was a great dystopian novel, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! Only because of my slow start getting into it and a couple of grammar/spelling/editing mistakes I found within the story, I’m giving it 4.5 stars!
Me, the queen of sarcastic comments – self-declared – has been outsarcastified.
My favorites were the Harry Potter books. Like me, my grandmother had grown up with the witches and wizards of Hogwarts.
There are some things more important than your own life. Like friendship, and love, and trust, and goodness.