The Moon Dwellers by David Estes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
Some may say that you should never read a book because of the author. But looking at numerous cases of authors throwing temper tantrum throughout this year especially, I'd say, I am one of those people who would read a book because of the author. Call me judgmental, but I think the readers deserve to be appreciated and treated with respect especially when they spent their hard-earned money for your book.
David Estes is one of my GR friends, he was the one who added me. We don't interact very often because usually he read books which I haven't read or have no interest to read. I am not very comfortable with the idea that he has more than 1200++ friends, he rated his own books five stars, he voted for his books on listopia and he likes the positive reviews (I'm not sure what he does to the negative reviews, probably just not responding to them). But I guess as an indie author, you have to be out there, promoting your books, or else who going to do that.
As his updates keep popping on my newsfeed, my initial skepticism slowly diffuses away. He's on GR mostly TO READ, he responds nicely to comments on his updates, he is active in group discussion, and I thought 'Wow! This guy is really nice. I must read his books no matter what'.
I got Angel Evolution sitting on my tablet but as soon as I found out The Moon Dwellers was almost out, I was more drawn to this book as it's the latest and should be the best book yet by David Estes.
So, there you have it, my story of how I decided to pick this up. :)
First, I have to take my words back. This book is nothing like Legend. What made me feel like that at the start was because we got these two main characters coming from two ends of spectrum in a dystopian society, Tristan and Adele. And oh, how sweet the author is to name Adele after his wife's name ^_^
What I liked:
1. I wasn't impressed with the cover at first. But it sort of grows on me. The colour scheme is really nice and IT ACTUALLY FITS WITH THE STORY. Oh well,I guess I'm just tired with girl-in-a-pretty-dress-cover that makes no sense whatsoever with the story itself.
2. The characters. I think this is a first book I've ever read where the male lead actually has a male best friend. And it's so appealing because the bromance is portrayed with such loyalty and purity. My favourite character is Roc, hands down. He's cocky and funny, I think the story would lose its luster without him.
3. The writing was very neat and precise. I read this in the plane, during a transit, in the next plane, and at the airport. I usually have trouble reading in public because for start, I do show my emotions while reading (which is quite embarrassing), second; well, for obvious reason, I need total silence to concentrate on the story. But reading The Moon Dwellers was effortless, you can easily get back to the story if you got distracted. Haha!
4. Some of the scenes were very moving. **Spoilers ahead.** Cole's background, Elsey and Adele reunion, Cole's death, Roc's loyalty. **Spoilers finished**[Coles' background, Elsey and Adele reunion, Coles' death, Roc's loyalty. (hide spoiler)]
5. The romance is very sweet and innocent. Damn it! Tristan is such a sweetheart. To counter the insta love, (see things I didn't like below), the author was very clever to shape Adele and Tristan relationship slowly and steadily after they finally met. They were just holding hands for God sake, and I was already squealing in my seat. It is just so nice to find a book with this kind of clean romance. I'll gladly recommend this book for my 16 years old niece.
6. The fight scenes were told in specific details and well, made sense. Not just, he punches me, I block the blow yada yada.
7. The right emotions were shown by the characters at the right time. For example, **Spoilers ahead.** Adele still remembered the lost of her friend, Cole when she finally be with Tristan. **Spoilers finished**[Adele still remembered the lost of her friend, Cole when she finally be with Tristan. (hide spoiler)]
What I didn't like:
1. Guess it.
It'as if there's an invisible tether between our eyes linking us together."
"There is no doubt I felt something for him. I feel something for him.
"Although from a distance her eyes look dark. I know they are a deep, enchanting green, almost feline. I half expect them to glow in the dark. Nonsense! All nonsense! I can't possibly know what color her eyes are as if I know her. I've never met her."
Oh Lord, the insta love. No, wait. The ala Disney insta love (which is worse). Honestly, I don't know how to keep the story going if the author lets the attraction between Tristan and Adele grows slowly because the story dictates that they hardly had a chance to see each other.
2. This book lacks that special something. While the premise is refreshing, at the end of the book, it reached a point where almost all dystopian books have been there (The Hunger Games, Divergent, Shatter Me). A chance for a revolution. Again, if we minus that, it would still come short from earning five stars from me because it is not one of those books where I found it impossible to put down and I got a book hungover long after I finished it. It's good, no question about that, but it doesn't stay in my heart.
3. The awkward analogies and similes.
"Have human lives become like a tube of toothpaste? Something to be used up and thrown away?"
"Her beauty resonates from her like radiation from uranium."
4. Sort of. This phase appears 17 times. That's A LOT.
5. Sometimes, the plot just got too convenient. The explosions detonated at the right time, Tristan saw Rivet chasing Adele at the perfect moment and so on. The story seems to be planned, too well planned. I wished for more spontaneity.
So, the verdict: 7 pros versus 5 cons. Congratulations to David Estes for earning more plus points from me; a reviewer who is very hard to be pleased. Hehe.
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