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:
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?
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