Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Moon Dwellers by David Estes

Publication date: 30th June 2012
Publisher: Self-published 
Genre: YA, Dystopia
Attention! Well written indie fiction.

The Moon Dwellers is the first of a three part series about a post-apocalyptic society where civilisation exists underground - after destruction of the surface of the earth renders it uninhabitable. The society has a caste-type system called the Tri-Realms, with each realm existing deeper underground.  The Sun Realm being the closest to the earth’s surface with ‘upper class’ inhabitants known as Sun Dwellers, the Moon Realm located beneath it where the middle class Moon Dwellers live, and the Star Realm at the lowest where the underclass reside; the Star Dwellers.

This is a well thought out dystopian story that centres around two main characters: Adele Rose and Tristan Nailin.  They have lived very different lives.  Adele is from the Moon Realm where life has become increasingly hard as a result of the brutal dictatorship of both the Moon and Star dwellers led by President Nailin of the Sun Realm.  The President rules with an iron fist and any signs of rebellion are dealt with swiftly and severely. When Adele’s parents are arrested for being suspected rebels she is charged with being guilty by association and is locked up in a juvenile detention centre (the Pen) while her sister is left in an orphanage.  Like the name suggests, Tristan is related to the President – he is the older of two sons.  He has been brought up in a hedonistic environment and has lived a life of luxury.

While on an official visit to the Moon Realm for his father, Tristan is paraded in the streets crowded with adoring fans.  His entourage passes the Pen and he comes into contact with Adele who is able to see the procession from the Pen’s yard. Although some distance away they both become aware of each other and are drawn to one another - not in the conventional boy-meets-girl love-at-first-sight kind of way, but definitely in a way that is intense and cannot be ignored.
Adele is determined to break out of the Pen and rescue her family. Tristan is confused, intrigued and determined to find out why Adele has had this effect on him.  Both characters find themselves on an amazing journey which is action packed.

Intriguing, at times humorous and at other times quite sad, The Moon Dwellers is a page-turner of a novel that I am glad I had the opportunity to read.  The back story for each character is well presented as is the history of how the Tri-Realms came about.  I would not say it is without flaws (few novels are).  For me there was a little too much stating of the obvious (e.g. often a character would make a joke and one of the protagonists would then clarify that it was a joke - which gave the joke less impact).  Also, I found both Adele and Tristan to be so similar in personality (same sense of humour and same way to expressing themselves) that to some extent they lacked individuality.

 My appeal to readers

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