Saturday, March 31, 2012

ARC Review: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten - Kevin McGill

A copy was provided by the author
in exchange for
an honest review
The Merman and the Moon Forgotten by Kevin McGill
Series: Nikolas & Company #1
Genre: Middle Grade, steampunk, science fiction
Published on March 31, 2012
Published by Aero Studios
Pages: 203














SYNOPSIS
Life on Earth has advanced quite far; now people can live forever, drive hover-cars, and have robots to take care of them. But for Nick, life on Earth is anything but relaxing and convenient. Just when he thinks he can't take it anymore, he starts to hear a mysterious female voice: The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all. 

Nick starts to wonder if he's going bonkers, until his grandfather shows up and tells Nick the most incredible story he's ever heard: the Moon isn't want he thought it was. It was once Earth's twin, and it was once home to every mythical creature you can possibly imagine. And now it needs Nick's help. 
Young coachman Yeri Willrow is having adventures of his own on the Moon, when a midnight transportation of some passengers turns into a fight for his life. Suddenly, Yeri finds himself in the position of being the only salvation of the mysterious merfolk people, and he must embark on a dangerous mission for them that could seal the end of the merfolk if he fails. 
Nick and Yeri are racing against the clock, but neither of them know what they're getting themselves into.

Review

From the very beginning, the Reader is presented with a world that promises a great amount of beauty, excitement, and mystery. Classic stagecoaches, Neo-Victorian machinery and decor, and a city of mer-people that manage to feel quite new and different from all other mer-people Authors have populated their stories with. While the writing style itself is not necessarily the world's greatest, I admit that I am captivated by the world of Mon in a way I wasn't quite expecting.

Meanwhile, the chapters that take place on a futuristic Earth are less enchanting. There were elements to this Earth that felt a little bit like The Giver, which I liked, but certainly compared to Mon, I found Earth to be kind of boring and events a little hard to follow. But I recognize the importance of these parts to the overall story, and maybe in making these chapters less alluring than Mon, the Author has managed to make the Reader understand and sympathize with Nikolas's desire to leave Earth. I certainly would not have wanted to stay.

The characters present a wide variety to choose from in terms of who to like and dislike. I automatically loved Yeri - he has a sense of humor that felt natural and was genuinely funny. It didn't feel like the Author was trying to make him funny, but just wrote what was appropriate for his character, and thus Yeri felt one hundred percent real. Not that the other characters seem fake. The dialogue reads exactly the way people talk, and every character has their own separate personality. And since the characters are so realistic, not all of them are likable. Tim is the most annoying - always the reluctant partner when it comes to adventure, calculating chances of survival, freaking out, whining - and Brandy is quite a bit on the prissy side. Ironically enough, I would not ask the Author to change any of that. While Tim grates on my nerves and I want to tell Brandy to just forget about her shoes, they add variety to the troupe of friends. They play their roles well; not every single character should be wonderful and perfect, after all.

The Merman and the Moon Forgotten is at first a little slow feeling, but by Chapter Seven things start to pick up and events that were initially confusing are explained in a coherent fashion. There is no denying that the story is strange, but it is a strange that I find oddly appealing. At first, I wasn't certain that I really would like it, but after a very short while, it started to grow on me. This first installment of a series ends on one killer of a cliffhanger, naturally, and now that everyone is awy from futuristic Earth and on Mon, I'm really looking forward to reading its sequel.

Others in the Nikolas & Company Series:
1)The Merman and the Moon Forgotten
2)When Boats Breathe and Cities Speak
3)The Foul and the Fallen

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