Series: Dove Chronicles #1
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated on February 24th 2015
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Penguin First to Read
Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.
Then her mother is arrested.
The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.
Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom: that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...
Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.
First, can we please take a moment to mourn the beautiful cover that is no longer attached to this book? Great, thanks.
I do like the new cover, but I loved this one.
Moving on. I am kind of having a hard time figuring out my thoughts about this book. On one hand, it was enjoyable and I liked the characters. On the other hand, there were some flaws and some parts that seemed like they were straight out of Divergent, among other books.
First of all, this book is set on the moon. The moon. That is pretty fantastic in itself. Of course, things on the moon are not all happy and wonderful, because that would be a boring book. But when it starts, Phaet (pronounced like Fate) is fifteen and really into plants and hanging out with her friend Umbriel. (If she’d shot at some turkeys, we’d just call her Katniss.) Phaet is a quiet character, not particularly outgoing or emotive. Things are copacetic until her mom is taken away to quarantine for having some kind of space-pox. (No, it isn’t called that, I don’t remember what it is called.) Suddenly, Phaet and her siblings are pretty much broke and aren’t going to be able to pay the bills, since Mom won’t be working. They turn to Umbriel’s family for help, but the most help Umbriel’s mom can muster is a quick point in the direction of the public shelter.
So what is the most obvious choice for a girl who likes to sit in a greenhouse? Of course, it’s joining the military!! The military pays the recruits who score the highest in their recruit testing (read: Dauntless initiation), and offers them elite (and higher paying) jobs. Obviously, no one in Phaet’s family thinks this is a good plan, probably because she is fifteen and has zero experience and it is kind of an awful plan. But alas, on the moon I guess it’s fine to be fifteen and in the military, so off she goes.
Things get a bit more exciting during the testing/training when Phaet meets Wes, who is a few years older and has quite a bit of experience. He helps her to train after hours so that she stands a chance with the recruits who are all a few years older than her. Phaet even makes some female friends, which does help to show her personality a bit more. Things get insanely Dauntless-y when some jerks who think they are “owed” good positions start attacking people who are ranking higher, there are some fighting tests, and of course, space capture the flag.
Nope, no old amusement parks. It’s the moon after all!
Despite her rather ornery temperament, I liked Phaet. She was in a particularly tough situation, and I admired her for wanting to protect her family. Plus, as she came out of her shell, she became far more likable. I also enjoyed her interactions with Wes far more than her interactions with Umbriel. In fact, I didn’t particularly like Umbriel as a character. At first he seemed protective of Phaet and her family, but there were times he almost seemed controlling, which was a turn off. I also rather enjoyed Phaet’s interactions with her siblings, especially because they seemed pretty honest. Sometimes they loved each other fiercely, and other times they fought as siblings do, which was refreshing since it was neither all of one or the other.
The world building of the colony that Phaet lived in was pretty good, especially in the military training situations. I didn’t have a great feel for the moon/Earth as a whole, but I would assume there will be more of that in the next books. Also, there was very little romance in this book, if any. More like hints at romance. And if there will be romance, I kind of assume the hints were of a bit of a love triangle.
There’s also a huge other part of the story that comes into play later, but I don’t want to spoil anything. So just be aware that the whole book isn’t just Phaet training for the military, there are other plot points that will be revealed. Some of the plot points were a bit too convenient, but some worked well. My main problem with the convenience of the plot points was that they kind of made parts of the story seem really farfetched (which it already did since we’re talking a fifteen year old training to become military elite).
Bottom Line: Despite my complaints, the book is quite entertaining, and I liked the growth that Phaet underwent. She had to grow up quite quickly, which was sad in a sense, but also inspiring. There was enough going on that I found it enjoyable, and there were definitely plenty of questions for a sequel. I will most likely read the next book, because I do want to know what happens to Phaet, her family, Wes, (and fine, I guess Umbriel too). I couldn’t just base my rating on “hey, this moon fighting is cool” though, because there were points where I was literally cringing because of the problems I’ve mentioned. So the verdict? Enjoyable, yet flawed.