- Paperback: 326 pages
- Publisher: Zharmae; First edition (October 27, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1937365751
- ISBN-13: 978-1937365752
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,514,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chameleon Moon Paperback – October 27, 2014
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About the Author
RoAnna has worked as a contributing fiction writer, concept artist and voice actor for videogame company Phoenix Online Studios, been a background actor on several episodes of NBC's Portland-based TV series Grimm and The Librarians, and now writes for entertainment news website Moviepilot.com.
For never-before-read Chameleon Moon content and more exclusive rewards, support RoAnna Sylver on Patreon! - patreon.com/RoAnnaSylver
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And yet there is not a single character in the diverse cast that can truly be said to be a bad person. They are many things: queer, disabled, characters of color trying to figure out how to relate to one another in the messed up world they live in. But there are no villains in Parole; just people trying to be good, to do the right thing. And they keep trying, even when it’s hard, even when they’re scared; even when they’ve made a mistake. To paraphrase a character, the narrative gives them reasons but not excuses. And in a rare move, it never condemns them for it.
And that is what makes Chameleon Moon such a powerful, important book, because they are people who society has shunned (in both their world and ours), given up on, left for dead, and (And, not Despite, or But) they are good. Whatever people think of you, whatever society thinks of you, whatever you think of yourself: you can be good. You do not have to apologize for what you are, and you can do the right thing, and you can find redemption. In a genre populated by tragic doomed romances, RoAnna Sylver does not skimp on the tragedy, romance, or humor but adamantly refuses to accept the doom. We can do better than that. Everything’s going to be okay.
The action begins in Parole, a city sinking into fire. Though many of its citizens are gifted with superpower like abilities, government officials guard the borders and keep all contained in the falling metropolis where every day is a struggle to survive. The novel focuses on Regan, a lizard man whose memories disappear under strange circumstances, and Evelyn, a stunning singer whose voice can bring down the house - literally. Along with a cast of other diverse characters, the two must navigate the dangerous landscape while maintaining camaraderie and a strong sense of self.
Parole is a striking setting which pulls the readers into its crumbling arms as the novel progresses, and slowly reveals its burning heart. Though it is strange and at time terrifying, the world the author created feels grounded, very real, and full of hope. It is clear that a lot of thought and detail was put into worldbuilding.
The story itself was wonderful. It maintained a good, fast pace, while giving readers enough time to catch their breath and not get confused. It had a nice mixture of drama, action, and magic, with a strong focus on character. There were many little twists and turns, many small secrets that were slowly unravelled. It was like a puzzle coming together into a beautiful, complicated picture. Every individual had their own arc which tied in perfectly to the whole, and it was wonderful to experience all the woven tales.
My favourite part of Chameleon Moon has to be the characters. To start with, the cast is incredibly inclusive in terms of gender, race, sexuality, and neurodivergence, which is so rare to see in novels - particularly fantasy/sci-f ones. It's wonderful to be able to recognise parts of yourself in characters you admire, especially ones so rounded and fleshed out as Chameleon Moon's. It's easy to tell that the writer put in a lot of love and work into every single one of them. They read more like people than words. Each character can stand strongly on their own and as part of the group, since friendship, romance, and family bonds all play an important part. As the novel moves forward, all of them change and grow, gaining new facets to their already fascinating personalities.
Chameleon Moon was a wonderful read which truly inspired me. It sends a strong message of hope.
The prose is pretty good overall, and the author did a great job of painting the city and its inhabitants, but there were a lot of times early on where I just didn't have strong feelings about any of the characters. Their voices were very similar, and sometimes it was difficult to really distinguish them from each other. It wasn't until (again) about half-way through when I finally started feeling like the characters were real people rather than props for the plot to move around.
Overall, I'm certainly glad I read the book, but it's definitely not going to grab everyone. I definitely want to read the sequel, when it happens, though.