Friday, October 28, 2016

Katya's World by Jonathan Howard

"It is a hard life... But it's theirs."

Katya's World. Russalka. A planet with no dry land, turbulent skies, and vast lonely oceans. It is harsh and inhospitable, but to the inhabitants, it is home.

In this environment, young Katya Kuriakova sets off on her first mission as a newly certified submarine navigator. She’s prepared years for this moment, knows everything about her vessel, her crew, her route and mission. But she hasn’t prepared for her sub being commandeered by a young officer with a legendary pirate prisoner in tow; and she certainly never imagined that this mission would uncover a buried secret that threatens not just the life she knows, but all life on her world. Katya now has to learn to survive on her own against monsters, pirates, and the mysterious depths of her watery home.

‘Katya’s World’ pulls the reader into its unique universe that is a combination of traditional space-faring sci-fi, war history, and steam punk. Jonathan Howard does a fantastic job introducing and building up the setting, and each page is like you’re exploring the planet and the culture yourself. Katya is a wonderful protagonist that you find yourself rooting for as she faces off with each new challenge, and the supporting cast is full of characters with their own fascinating personalities, agendas, and secrets.

I gave this book to my brother (A rather reluctant reader) and told him, “Just try it!” And he tells me the next day that he couldn’t put it down! So this is a great book for a teen that likes sci-fi but hems and haws over actually reading it.

For more wonderful reads about teenagers surviving in rich, dark settings, try Plain Kate and Fullmetal Alchemist!

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