The Stolen Moon: Review

January 8, 2015 2015, 4 star books, Kim, middle grade, sci fi or futuristic 15 ★★★★

The Stolen Moon: ReviewThe Stolen Moon by Rachel Searles
Series: Chase Garrety #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27, 2015
Genres: science fiction
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars
This is what the boy is told:

  • His younger sister has an otherworldly (and sometimes annoying) ability.
  • The starship he now lives on has been infiltrated.
  • His friend Parker is working on the network hack of a lifetime.
This is what Chase and Parker fear:

  • They won't be able to save the world in time.
 

I’m so glad I started the new year off right by reading The Stolen Moon. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this sequel ever since I devoured its predecessor, The Lost Planet, in one sitting last January. Well, I loved this installment even more. There are scenes of breathtaking action, as well as heart aching tenderness, against the backdrop of an ever expanding and politically complex universe. More please and thank you!

We pick up not long after where we left Chase safely onboard the starship Kuyddestor and reunited with his sister Lilli. With still no memory of his old life, his parents, or how he got into this predicament, there are still plenty of answers to pursue. And as it turns out new danger is lurking just out of sight.

As a reader who is largely driven by characters and how much I do or don’t connect with them this book was an absolute treat. There is an immediacy of connection with the characters that Searles really excels at. From the very first pages of Book 1 she had gripped my heart in sympathy with and connection to Chase and that tie stayed strong throughout this volume as well. He’s so earnest, so well meaning and just plain nice that even when he messes up it’s so easy to forgive. Parker can be so snappy and borders on jerk behavior but is still so endearing. Lilli is difficult and hard to reach but there’s a such a tender vulnerability to her character. I would pause every so often while reading to wonder at how real these characters felt to me and at the skill with which they are drawn.

Don’t get me wrong, though. There is a complex and absorbing plot with plenty of action scenes that had my heart racing. There were moments where I waited with bated breath on the fates of some characters. And I was so impressed to see that the story wasn’t afraid to make a hard sacrifice that I never saw coming.

The world building is expansive, detailed, and grounded in meticulous scientific research. The world of the first book is elaborated upon as we see more of its societies, government, and politics. Chase and the gang find themselves caught up in an inter-solar system dispute between two alien species. At its best science fiction can reflect the ethical dilemmas of our own very real world and expose hypocrisies in mainstream thought and cultural mores. It can show us new ways to think about our own conflicts and I’m happy to say that this is very much the case with The Stolen Moon. It’s a great book to put in the hands of younger readers to help stir the critical thinking process.

I am so, so eager for more books in this series. I even wish I could continue on with the characters into the YA realm. Oh, the potential and the possibilities. There were answers enough to satisfy for this volume but the hints at the increasingly intricate and interesting politics going on this universe are so tantalizing. I really can’t wait to see what adventures are in store. (Oh, and P.S., Rachel, if you just wanted to write a spin off series about Maurus I would be TOTALLY on board. Preferably with Vidal because boy do I ship it! :D )

Perfect for adults who are skeptical of MG, this is smart, high adrenaline science fiction that never talks down to its audience. And with enough heart to power a sun this is easily an early favorite for 2015.

 

 

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.

 

kim teal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Responses to “The Stolen Moon: Review”

  1. Kim @ YA Asylum

    This sounds like a book that my cousins would adore. Fun, action, and and absorbing plot :)
    It’s great that you could connect with characters right away. That’s so important into all books. Great review!
    Kim @ YA Asylum recently posted…Bookish Woes: Moving

  2. Carina Olsen

    Yay :D Great review Kim. <3 I adored this book too. Wasn't it just awesome? Sigh. I also want more of Maurus and Vidal :D I just adore Chase. <3 And Parker. <3 And I might be shipping them a little bit. Eeek! Mostly I just loved this book :) Really hoping there will be a third one. <3 thank you for sharing sweetie :)
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

    • Kim

      Carinaaaaaaaaaa. *high fives* Yes! Someone else who is a fan! And yaaaaaasss. I would read the shit out of a series about Maurus and especially if Vidal was there! I loved them both and especially together for I am nothing but a shameless shipper. That’s all there is for me. Anyway, I’m so glad you love this series too!
      Kim recently posted…The Stolen Moon: Review

  3. Brenda

    I wasn’t aware that this was coming out, I know my MG’er enjoyed the first, so will have to add this to the list. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  4. Pili

    Well, this is very timely because I’ve decided that I need to read more MG (outside the Classics challenge) and book 1 and 2 from this series seem like the kinda books that I really need to add to my wish list!

    Fantastic review, Kim! You keep on making me want to read books!!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #76!!

    • Kim

      MISSION ACCOMPLISHED *high fives myself* I will happily keep on making you want to read books if I can! Serendipitous that my book pushing so happily lines up with your personal MG challenge. Verrrry convenient :D
      Kim recently posted…The Stolen Moon: Review

  5. Jenn

    Argh – I just added so many books to my reading list based on the 2014 Best Reads post, and then you have to review this one which means I have to read the first one! Ah well. #YAreaderproblems

    I’ve got to get a handle on this reading list before grad school classes start again and my reading time disappears.

    • Kim

      *evil smile* My dear sweet child, it’s what I do; it’s what I live for!

      Just had to go and gush about another book, I guess. Just *had* to add another to your pile. :D Well, two, cause yeah. You need to read the first one. But, honestly, they’re such delights you will fly right through them!
      Kim recently posted…The Stolen Moon: Review

  6. Layla

    At its best science fiction can reflect the ethical dilemmas of our own very real world and expose hypocrisies in mainstream thought and cultural mores. It can show us new ways to think about our own conflicts and I’m happy to say that this is very much the case with The Stolen Moon.

    I AM INTERESTED IN THIS BOOK NOW. :-D Debates between alien species! and also if this is all grounded in meticulous scientific research? I am totally interested. Tell me more! If it’s not too spoilery.

    I even wish I could continue on with the characters into the YA realm.

    You can … through fanfiction.

    Also, I love that you found something to ship. Yay, ships!
    Layla recently posted…The Stolen Moon: Review

    • Kim

      YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Music to my ears! *music notes emoji* Don’t forget to read Book 1 first! Honestly, they’re just such fun science fiction adventures. I breeze right through them. I think I’m too much of a dummy to really *know* when things are scientifically accurate in a book (whoops!) but read the author’s guest post that she did here last year on her research process:

      http://www.themidnightgarden.net/2014/01/lostplanet.html

      So you know you’re in good hands.

      Ha, first I will work on creating a fandom for these books. EVERYONE READ THESE BOOKS! Then write fanfiction for me! Chop chop!

      And, of course, Layla. Of course I found a ship. I could probably ship a rock and a cactus in the desert. Please make my epitaph: “She always found a ship.”

      • Layla

        Kim, but what. is. fanfiction? Tick-tock, tick-tock.

        Anyway, thanks for posting a link to that guest post: totally fascinating and so great to know about. Loved reading about her research process and all the things she came across in her research (I hope the one about regrowing your pinky tip with pig powder/power informs a real story at some point in the future. I would read!)

        I love the bit about “basic knowledge won’t actually help you build a good science fiction story” – that’s the truth.
        Layla recently posted…The Stolen Moon: Review