TO THE MOON AND BACK!
Author: David Estes
Publication: Createspace Independent Publishing
Release Date: 2012
***Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy***
Moon Dwellers is the first book in the Dwellers Series by David Estes. It centres on a dystopian world, in which all of humanity has been forced to move below the Earth’s surface. Hundreds of years earlier a meteor hit Earth, killing millions of people and making its surface unliveable. The people were forced to move underground, and so the Tri-realms were created. The Tri-realms consist of three levels, the Sun Realm where the wealthiest live, the Moon Realm where the middle class live and the Star Realm where the underprivileged live. All the Realms are ruled by one President, who although is supposed to be guiding a democratic society, is instead acting more like a dictator.
Adele and Tristan are the main protagonists in the novel. The story opens with Adele fighting off Enforcers, the President’s henchmen, in her home as her family is attacked. Adele’s family are Moon Dwellers, from the Moon Realm. Her parents are hard-working middle class people. Adele and her younger sister are both still students at school. Following the Enforcers raid the family is separated. Her parents are thrown into separate prisons, her sister into an orphanage and Adele into a juvenile detention centre.
Tristan is the other main protagonist of the novel. He is the President’s son and resides in the Sun Realm. His opening chapters explore his life in the President’s home, his desire to break free from the wealth and opulence of his society and his desire to assist the other Realms in creating a more democratic society. Tristan’s official visit to the Moon Realm is the catalyst in his decision to act on his desires to assist the other Realms, and it is the first time he sees and connects with Adele.
Moon Dwellers was action packed, suspenseful and breathtaking right from the first page. It opens with a family brutally and unjustly ripped apart. It is the first time me meet our main protagonist, Adele, and learn of the inequality in this dystopian world. The storyline moves along quickly, with Estes explaining his Tri-Realm world right from the beginning so that the reader is up to speed with all the terminology.
I loved how this story was made to appeal to a wide range of readers. Moon Dwellers features the starred crossed romance between Adele and Tristan that is sure to keep the romantics sated. The romance itself was intriguing as it started with them being in pain every time they saw each other. Adele and Tristan struggle to understand the cause of this pain. As the story continues they, and the reader, begin to understand the meaning behind this pain.
The story had appeal for the action lovers with engaging fight scenes that were suspenseful and nail-biting until the last punch was thrown. The story was so intriguing that just when you thought everything and everyone was safe, there would be another plot twist to get your heart rate beating! The unpredictably of the novel was so refreshing and engaging from start to finish.
The use of switching protagonist viewpoints from Adele to Tristan helped to provide a greater understanding of the story and the political and social underpinnings of the Tri-Realms. Adele’s viewpoint allowed us to see the oppression of the Moon Dwellers and how they are unfairly treated by the Enforcers and leaders of the Sun Realm. The hard work they must do for the minimal amount of money they receive is evident in their limited food and living conditions. In contrast, Tristan’s viewpoint allows us to see the exorbitant amounts of money spent on holiday resorts, fake tans, servants and entertainment. His dislike for his father and his dictatorship, life inside his home, and his thoughts about the Sun Realm offer the reader a greater understanding of the difference between the two realms.
The ending of this book left me clawing for the next one! I cannot wait to find out what happens to Tristan and Adele, how the Tri-Realms transform and what more action packed story lines are waiting in the Dwellers series.