Monday, October 21, 2013

Mark This Book Monday: Katya's World by Jonathan L. Howard!

Welcome to the first installment of this week's Mark This Book Monday! Since I'm leaving in a pair of hours to spend time with the bf on vacation, the blog will continue with scheduled reviews, but I won't have as much online time (I'm leaving my lappy behind) to answer comments and the like.

Katya's WorldKatya's World by Jonathan L. Howard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got Katya's World quite a while back cause I was very intrigued with the premise for it, but then it got lost in my ever growing TBR pile but then I requested Katya's War in NetGalley and remembered I hadn't read this one yet! As always, I'll try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible!

Katya's World is set up in the future, in a colony world called Russalka, quite different from Earth since it's a world with barely any land mass, all oceans but rich in minerals. It was colonized by humans of Russian origin, so that's the origin of the name of the planet and many other names of cities and ships and the like.

We're given an introduction to the planet, the world and the wars with Earth in a sort of prologue, I guess some might think about it as info-dumping, but since I love to know things about the how's and why's and what happened's, it was a very welcomed way to put you in place.

Then we jump into Katya's story, we aren't given a lot of background story on her family or her past, we just meet her as a 15 year old girl, a bit of a prodigy, on her first official voyage as her uncle's submarine navigator. But it all starts going stray since the first moment when a federal official commands their ship to transport a dangerous prisoner. After that it all becomes a matter of unknown dangers, wreckages, unexpected recues, pirates, conspiracies and shock after shock.

Katya is a rather mature character for a 15 year old but in a hard enviroment and society like post-war's Russalka that's the norm, and despite some teenage angst & silliness sprouting here and there, she was extremely likeable for me. She wants to be good at her job, she wants to be part of what's going on and help if she can. She starts with a rather black or white vision of the past and prejudiced against Earth because of the war and what she's been taught, but she learns about the need to learn from history to not repeat the mistakes and to not to take the official propaganda as the truth. Even if the action takes place over not too long a period of time, she does have to learn a few tough lessons that make her grow even faster.

There's no romance in this book, I kept expecting it to pop up at some point but it didn't and I'm glad to say the book didn't suffer at all because of it. There's plenty of political maneouvers and action all over the book to compensate. I think there are some hints here and there for it to maybe be addressed in the next book, but I might be wrong, so I'll have to wait and see.

The book ends quite wrapped up, with no cliffhanger as such (thankfully) but also with enough action unresolved to await the next book and see where things are taken there!

A well deserved 4 stars for Katya's World.

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