The Stolen Moon: Review

The Stolen Moon: ReviewThe Stolen Moon by Rachel Searles
Series: Chase Garrety #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27, 2015
Genres: science fiction
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon • Indiebound • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads

four-stars

This is what the boy is told:

  • His younger sister has an otherworldly (and sometimes annoying) ability.
  • The starship he now lives on has been infiltrated.
  • His friend Parker is working on the network hack of a lifetime.

This is what Chase and Parker fear:

  • They won’t be able to save the world in time.

I’m so glad I started the new year off right by reading The Stolen Moon. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this sequel ever since I devoured its predecessor, The Lost Planet, in one sitting last January. Well, I loved this installment even more. There are scenes of breathtaking action, as well as heart aching tenderness, against the backdrop of an ever expanding and politically complex universe. More please and thank you!

We pick up not long after where we left Chase safely onboard the starship Kuyddestor and reunited with his sister Lilli. With still no memory of his old life, his parents, or how he got into this predicament, there are still plenty of answers to pursue. And as it turns out new danger is lurking just out of sight.

As a reader who is largely driven by characters and how much I do or don’t connect with them this book was an absolute treat. There is an immediacy of connection with the characters that Searles really excels at. From the very first pages of Book 1 she had gripped my heart in sympathy with and connection to Chase and that tie stayed strong throughout this volume as well. He’s so earnest, so well meaning and just plain nice that even when he messes up it’s so easy to forgive. Parker can be so snappy and borders on jerk behavior but is still so endearing. Lilli is difficult and hard to reach but there’s a such a tender vulnerability to her character. I would pause every so often while reading to wonder at how real these characters felt to me and at the skill with which they are drawn.

Don’t get me wrong, though. There is a complex and absorbing plot with plenty of action scenes that had my heart racing. There were moments where I waited with bated breath on the fates of some characters. And I was so impressed to see that the story wasn’t afraid to make a hard sacrifice that I never saw coming.

The world building is expansive, detailed, and grounded in meticulous scientific research. The world of the first book is elaborated upon as we see more of its societies, government, and politics. Chase and the gang find themselves caught up in an inter-solar system dispute between two alien species. At its best science fiction can reflect the ethical dilemmas of our own very real world and expose hypocrisies in mainstream thought and cultural mores. It can show us new ways to think about our own conflicts and I’m happy to say that this is very much the case with The Stolen Moon. It’s a great book to put in the hands of younger readers to help stir the critical thinking process.

I am so, so eager for more books in this series. I even wish I could continue on with the characters into the YA realm. Oh, the potential and the possibilities. There were answers enough to satisfy for this volume but the hints at the increasingly intricate and interesting politics going on this universe are so tantalizing. I really can’t wait to see what adventures are in store. (Oh, and P.S., Rachel, if you just wanted to write a spin off series about Maurus I would be TOTALLY on board. Preferably with Vidal because boy do I ship it! 😀 )

Perfect for adults who are skeptical of MG, this is smart, high adrenaline science fiction that never talks down to its audience. And with enough heart to power a sun this is easily an early favorite for 2015.

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