Tuesday, February 3, 2015

REVIEW: Dove Arising by Karen Bao

Dove Arising (Dove Chronicles, #1)
Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.
Then her mother is arrested.
The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.
Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom:  that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I guess I have an odd soft spot for dystopian books. I think I read only the first sentence of the synopsis and immediately added it to my TBR list! A dystopian society on the moon? Yes please! And this was a good book.

Phaet lives in a Moon colony with her sister, brother, and mom. When her mom is taken into quarantine for having a fever, Phaet and her siblings are sent to live in Shelter. To avoid having her siblings live in that horrible environment, Phaet enlists in the Militia, despite her young ago of 15. Phaet has to undergo brutal training in order to get to the top rankings, where she will make enough money to help her mother, who is now in jail.

I think my main problem in this book is just that it didn't catch my attention enough. I don't know. I felt like this book wasn't anything new in the dystopian genre. I've seen many books with plots similar to this, especially the Militia training scenes which reminded me of Tris training to be Dauntless in Divergent. I'm not accusing the author of copying or anything like that, Divergent wasn't the first book with this. And I still enjoyed the plot because I am a sucker for these dystopians. As far as world-building, it was nicely done. I did get a pretty good grab about what it was like in the Moon colony. I did have issues with how little I seemed to know about the war between Earth and the Moon. I felt like I was told about it, but I never saw anything that hinted about it. <highlight to view spoiler>Which makes sense because there was no war.<end of spoiler>

Characterization wise, the main character is a great one. Phaet is very loyal to her family and it's obvious that she loves them. I also applaud her dedication to helping her family. It's not easy to give up your future and them go through training that can potentially damage you. Then she has to compete against a bunch of 18 year olds. I really gave to give this girl props. I would also like to mention that her family and friends see her as changed because of the training. She disagrees with them, but I do think she changed just not in a bad way as her friends and family say. She became stronger.

This book also has no romance by the way. That may change in future books, but there was no annoying romance to distract the plot. If you are one who avoids books with romance, this is a book you can pick up!

This book is a bit slow-paced for the most part though. A majority of the book is the training, but near the end of the book there is a huge climax. A heaping load of events happen near the end and we find out about many important things. It takes a bit to get there, but it does get to be a very exciting book.

Overall, this isn't a new story. It's similar to other dystopians and it is a bit slow-paced, but the book really picks up near the end. I know I sound really nit-picky about this book, but I did like this book. It was very interesting with great characters and no romance! After the way this book ended, I am looking forward to the next book!

I hereby give this book
3 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it.

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