Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten

Title: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten
Author: Kevin McGill
Published: 2012 by Aero Studios
Version: Paperback
Obtained: Received from Author*

A long time ago in a world not so far away... Senior stagecoach driver Yeri Willrow thought he was performing a simple drive and drop for his mysterious passengers, until foul-breath red-eyed creatures attack the stagecoach. He soon learns that his passengers are a family of automaton-legged merfolk, and he is their only hope. Yeri suddenly finds himself tasked with saving the merfolk or they will fall to the peril of the creature most foul. Sometime in the near future... Nick lives in a time when one can zip from country to country in mach-speed hovercars, extend their life indefinitely through cerebral downloads, and have every whim taken care of by their ever faithful nannydrone. Nick hates it. Aside from the refugee camps, overpopulation, and unchecked consumerism filling every city across the globe, Nick just doesnt belong. That is when he hears the voice of a woman: The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all. Shortly after, his slightly crazed grandfather reveals to him: "All you've ever heard about Moon is a lie, my dear Nikolas. He was not always a mere satellite, a ghost wandering the stars. In an age before our own, Moon was our twin, and in him bore the whole of magical life. The cradle of this magical civilization was a fantastic metropolis filled with fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you could smell it. We called this city Huron, and you, Nikolas, are her steward."

First Sentence:
'Sweet Huron!' Yeri swore . . . well, judging by his mother’s standards.

This start to a new series by Kevin McGill is a sci-fi adventure. The story takes place in two settings, Earth and Moon. On Moon you see the merpeople (known as merrows) discussing vague problems and monsters and explaining their grave danger to this one guy Yeri. On Earth, you have this boy inventor Nikolas who is desperate to get off Earth. These two little plotlines then mash together as Nick learns about Moon and other secrets.

Honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure how much to expect from it because it’s short (180-ish pages) and it’s kind of geared towards middle grade, but I found it to be highly captivating and exciting. The story moved along quickly so I was never bored or wanted to stop reading.

The writing was wonderful as well. I admired the word choice, the way characters were presented, and the flow of the whole book. Kevin McGill is obviously a fan of using sounds in his writing (whimpers, screams, yells, etc.) and he doesn’t just say, “Bill screamed.” He writes, “AAAUUUHHH!!!!” There were a multitude of screams, yells, and other exclamations used. I feel like that fits really well into the aspect of Kevin’s writing I liked the most. All the dialogue was very real. Everything was phrased to sound like something a kid would actually say. Many books put words into characters mouths that don’t match the character, and that’s not what Kevin did at all. He knows how fourteen-year-old boys talk and he writes that way.

My biggest problem with the book was the MASSIVE amount of facts thrown at me with little to no explanation. Obviously this fictional world is complex and detailed, and the author has everything figured out somewhere else. But I could only glimpse a sliver of this complex world through the book, and I just wish that the world-building could have been less about telling me a little of everything and more about really explaining a lot about a few things. I realize this is the first short book in a quick-release book series, but the details could have been dispensed in a more understandable way that didn’t overwhelm the reader. Add to this the sci-fi elements of strange names, creatures, and settings, and it’s just too much new information. But if you don’t skim, and you don’t expect all the answers in the first book, you can easily have an enjoyable reading experience.

There are a lot of little things I loved about this book: the way he found to introduce most of the Earthen characters, the hilarious personalities of Nick’s parents, Grand’s character, the autodrones, Yeri’s cluelessness, etc.

I highly enjoyed this book, and will definitely get the sequel, as this one ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger (great twist at the end!).

Content Warnings: Nothing

4 Pigs

Blog Sig.

*Although I received this book for free from the publishers/author, I didn’t give anything but my completely honest review of the title, as expected.

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