Walk the Plank – red moon rising (K.A. Holt)

howard-pyle-walking-the-plank-1887

Ahoy me mateys.  It is time for this book to walk the plank . . .

red moon rising (K.A. Holt)

This is a young adult sci-fi novel.  It takes place on a nameless moon.  There are two cultures on this moon – humans and the non-humans they call the Cheese (of all things).  The book has a cool cover with a girl on a horse and a flying creature:

moon cover

The cover made me interested in the novel because it has been a while since I read any space-related sci-fi, and I wanted to remedy that.  If only this book was as fun as its cover.  Overall, the humans’ community felt like a western town.  Horses in space?  Usually I will read anything that has horses in it.  But the horses in the book could not help me suspend my disbelief.  The Cheese lizard culture was even weirder.

I only finished this book because it was short (322 pages with large-ish font).  The main character, Rae, had some good qualities, and I was entertained by the sister Temple.  However, the plot was just too simple and unexciting.  The history of the human colony and the other native communities was never really explained to my satisfaction.  The tech of the planet seemed arbitrary.  And the humans had an annoying version of a seemingly simple Christian-based religion.  This book also seems to set itself up for a possible sequel.  I will not partake.

The author’s website has this to say about the book:

Space-farmer Rae Darling is kidnapped and trained to become a warrior against her own people in this adventurous middle grade space western.

Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication—being girls is a serious liability in their strict society. Even worse, the Cheese—the colonists’ name for the native people on the moon—sometimes kidnap girls from the human colony. And when Rae’s impetuous actions disrupt the fragile peace, the Cheese come for her and Temple.

Though Rae and Temple are captives in the Cheese society, they are shocked to discover a community full of kindness and acceptance. Where the human colonists subjugated women, the Cheese train the girls to become fierce warriors. Over time, Temple forgets her past and becomes one of the Cheese, but Rae continues to wonder where her loyalties truly lie. When her training is up, will she really be able to raid her former colony? Can she kidnap other girls, even if she might be recruiting them to a better life?

When a Cheese raid goes wrong and the humans retaliate, Rae’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test. Can Rae find a way to restore peace—and preserve both sides of herself?

To visit the author’s website go to:

K.A. Holt – Author

To buy this book visit;

red moon rising – Book

Walk the Plank – above (Leah Bobet)

howard-pyle-walking-the-plank-1887

Ahoy there mateys.  It’s time to walk the plank . . .

above (Leah Bobet)

This was the author’s debut novel and has a wonderful cover. I wanted to like it. I tried to like it, but this novel took forever . . . okay about 3 days to get through. Trudged through. The story was interesting enough that I did not abandon it for something new. However, I kept wanting to give up and then would convince myself to keep going. I enjoyed the main character, Teller and his world of Safe. But the story focused too much on the hows and whys of the story of Safe’s founding. I would have preferred more insight into the individuals themselves. There were glimpses into the characters’ pasts but a glimpse is all it was. A tantalizing tidbit of information here and there but not enough payout for me. Don’t think I would recommend this book to anyone but I would be curious as to how the writer’s second novel could be.

This is what the author’s had to say about the novel:

Matthew’s father had lion’s feet and his mother had gills, and both fled the modern-day city to live in underground Safe, a secret community of freaks, ghost-whisperers, and disabled outcasts hidden beyond the subways and sewers. Raised underground, Matthew is responsible for the keeping of both Safe’s histories and the traumatized shapeshifter Ariel, the girl he took in, fell in love with – and can’t stop from constantly running away.

But Safe is no longer safe: the night after a frightening encounter in the sewers, Safe’s founder Atticus is murdered by the one person Safe ever exiled: mad Corner, whose coup is backed by an army of mindless, whispering shadows.

Only Matthew, Ariel, and a handful of unstable, crippled compatriots escape to the city that cast them out; the dangerous place he knows only as Above. Despite Ariel’s increasingly erratic behaviour and with the odds against them, Matthew must find a way to rescue Safe from Corner’s occupying army. But as his quest leads him through abandoned asylums and the dregs of urban poverty, Matthew discovers that the histories he’s devoted his life to aren’t true: Corner’s invasion — and Ariel’s terrors – are rooted in a history of Safe much darker and bloodier than Matthew ever imagined.

And even if he manages to save both home and Ariel, he may well lose himself.

To see the author’s own site visit:

Leah Bobet – Author

To buy this book visit:

above – Book

Walk the Plank – railsea (China Miéville)

howard-pyle-walking-the-plank-1887

Ahoy there me mateys.

railsea (China Miéville)

So this book and I did not get along. I have always heard good things about the author and so I thought I would give one of his books a shot. No idea where I heard about this specific title but the local library had a copy so I picked it up. Ugh. A big problem (and I realize this is silly) is that everywhere in the book the word “and” is used, it is written using an ampersand. Even at the beginning of sentences. & in the middle of sentences. Basically & is used all over the place. It just seemed to make the book disjointed. And I tried to keep reading. I thought if I could just get used to the style of writing and ignore the ampersands, perhaps I would fall in love with the characters or world or something. Nope. I could not get into it at all. Later in the day, I learned that the book is supposed to be a retelling of Moby Dick. I will stick to the classic.  This book betrayed my enjoyment so it must walk the plank . . . Arrrrgh!

If you want to check out the author and see if perhaps you have a different conclusion visit his publisher’s website at:

China Mieville – Author’s Publisher’s Site

I could not find a personal website for the author. If anyone knows of one and could send me a link I would appreciate it.