Monday 7 January 2013

Book Review- Katya's World by Jonathan L Howard

Title: Katya’s World
 Author: Jonathan L Howard
Series:  Russalka Chronicles #1
Published:   6 November by Strange Chemistry
Length: 339 pages
Source: Publisher
Other info: Jonathan has also written the Johannes Cabal series. I reviewed Johannes Cabal, Necromancer here!
Summary : The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.
Katya Kuriakova doesn’t care much about ancient history like that, though. She is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career.
There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however; soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realise that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.

Review: Katya Kuriakova lives on Russalka, a distant planet submerged in stormy seas. On her first submarine journey as one of the crew, her sub gets hijacked by an official wanting a war criminal transported. After this, she gets taken on an adventure, getting involved in leftovers from a war against Earth, pirates, and a living ship threatening to kill everyone on the planet.
I went into this not realising that it was by the guy who also wrote Johannes Cabal. Anyway, this book is completely different. You can’t really call it steampunk, because of the lack of steam, but it fits into the genre of old style, futuristic technology with a really cool story to go with it.
It all starts really quickly and doesn’t really slow down throughout. The first twist/big thing happens at the end of the second chapter and then they  keep coming.
Katya is clever, resourceful and brave. She also seems a bit older than 15. Kane is a really intriguing character. You start off disliking him because of the way he gets introduced, then you learn his history and he does various things and you think he’s not so bad, and then you find him doing something and you dislike him, but then he does other stuff and your liking levels fluctuate a lot.
The supporting cast are generally awesome. My favourite character is Tasya, the She-Devil. She’s a very fierce character who is actually rather nice considering her reputation. Lukyan I really liked for some reason. Petrov and Tokarov are also really interesting, and I think that they all at parts overshadow Katya in terms of coolness.
The technology in Katya’s world is generally fantastic. The submarine setting is good, but the best thing about this book hands down is the Leviathan. Summed up in one quote: “The great warship was insane”. I love the way it was used, for thrills and excitement, and a living ship is one of the best concepts I’ve seen around.
At some point, there’s a bit where Katya and Kane have “waves crashing far below them”.  I thought the planet was underwater. I thought the whole planet was underwater? Does this mean they’re in space? This bit I didn’t really get. The ending was a bit odd in places, but I really liked tjhe chapter with Pretrov-sets it up nicely for another book.
The other thing I really liked about this: NO ROMANCE WHATSOEVER. Probably because aside from our female protagonist, everyone is over thirty, or at least late twenties and so any romance would be awkward. Katya’s World is so full of action, there’s no time plotwise for a romantic subset.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea. I didn’t really like our main character, but aside from that, awesomeness all round!

1 comment:

  1. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! It sounds quite interesting and I really like the idea of a book with little or no romance! That'll make such a difference.


Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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