Like one of his acknowledged influences, Robert A. Heinlein, Howard does a wonderful job of enmeshing this teen-on-a-distant-planet into decidedly grown-up situations without patronizing her or simplifying the genre-related complexities. That’s achieved partly because Katya Kuriakova, a fledgling sub navigator on a water world, shares the stage with an ensemble cast of utterly believable and compelling characters. Most notable among these is Havilland Kayne, the mysterious pirate leader who is alternately Katya’s prisoner, savior, enemy, and friend. The other key ingredients are the intriguing plot—a vast, mysterious, and apparently self-aware weapon threatens to destroy friend and foe alike—and Howard’s deft storytelling. To access that storytelling one must first endure the prologue’s exposition dump, but that’s a structural strategy that pays off since the subsequent action doesn’t let up. Overall, this is a thrilling start to a series that hopefully won’t end anytime soon. Grades 9-12. --Peter Gutierrez
“It’s a highly effective, thought-provoking novel, and it left me looking forward to the next volume.” – Philip Reeve
, author of the Predator Cities
“A really well imagined world, detailed and utterly believable, great mix of technical detail and breathless action.”- Charlie Higson
, author of the Young Bond
series and the Enemy
"So for the alien location the setting seems comfortingly familiar and if you’ve ever enjoyed a submarine based film, give Katya’s World
a go. With the scene quickly set, it’s really about the story. There’s feds and pirates and crew just trying to do their job; a world getting by after a war with Earth which may not be as over as everyone thinks. Plus there’s plenty of secrets and double-crossing like any good adventure."
, Curiosity Killed The Bookworm
"...for me this is what superior YA fiction is all about."