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Hollow Moon Paperback – June 28, 2014
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About the Author
Steph Bennion was born and bred in the Black Country, spent too many years in the big bad city that is London and now lives in Hastings, a very nice town by the seaside. Her science-fiction stories are written as a reaction to the dearth of alternative heroes amidst bookshelves swamped by tales of the supernatural. For every aspiring vampire or wizard, the world needs an astrophysicist, an engineer, or at the very least someone who can make the trains run on time.
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Top customer reviews
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She's a resourceful, but otherwise ordinary girl who studies engineering, sometimes helps her father pilot his independently-owned spaceship, and has a free-thinking electronic cat named 'Jones' who gets into mischief, and gets her into mischief along with it.
Then Ravena witnesses one of the residents of the hollow moon get kidnapped, the young heir to one of the corporatized planets whose mother fled with him to the hollow moon to evade those who would use the young Raj. Ravena and her father go in search of the missing Raj, and in the process meet some new friends, fellow 15-year-olds on their way to a music competition, some bad guys, and some unlikely allies, along with ... aliens?
This is a nice space-hopping adventure which blends a love of science fiction with a good old-fashioned coming of age adventure story. Ravena is naturally resourceful and uses her head, but it's not overly-done or unrealistic (for the most part ... we ARE talking science fiction here!). The science seemed, to me, to be relatively sound, with occasional hints of real-life scientific principals, just enough to pepper the story, not so much as to make the pacing slow down.
One nice detail is Ravena's mother was of India descent, while some of the colonized worlds carry either a heavy Chinese or Indian colonization influence, so this wasn't your usual 'white girl in space' story, but neither was the influence overdone (think Firefly and Serenity ... it's a nice, subtle addition to the worldbuilding).
I read this, and now it's off to my 13-year-old to read as well. A fun, planet-hopping read to whet a Young Adult's appetite for something besides sparkly vampires!
It's always great to find YA books that don't focus on the end of the world and everyone/everything is doomed. Plus I've always had a soft spot for animal companions that get people into all sorts of trouble. Solid character development with a dash of humor is always welcome.
I know I'm not one for super analytical reviews so the best thing I can say: If you want to get younger readers into sci fi then this book just might fit the bill.
Star Rating: 4 stars
Number of Readers: 17
‘Not too keen on the cover. The woman on the front looks silly.’ Girl, aged 13
‘This was super fun to read. I liked the comedy in it and I liked the characters and the adventure they went on. I’m not big into scifi, but this was better then most. It was funny and the plot was interesting.’ Girl, aged 14
‘There is lots of astronomy in this book which is interesting. In fact, I thought this was much more interesting than the story. The plot was ok. Lots happened.’ Boy, aged 14
‘I liked the opening chapter. It was exciting. Then the book slowed a lot and I got bored and put it down. I went back to it a few days later and got back into it. The school kids in the band was annoying. I wanted the story to stay with Ravana. There were other interesting characters too. I liked the invetigator a lot. I probably would not read another of this author’s books but it was still pretty good.’ Girl, aged 15
‘The children in my class enjoyed this story very much. Three of them read it and they thought the mix of humour and hi-tech sci-fi was interesting and made for an excellent read. There are so many wizard/werewolf books out thee right now, it’s nice to see a sci-fi space story.’ Teacher
Of the 17 readers:
13 would read another book by this author.
3 did not like the cover.
15 thought the best part was the humour.
2 thought the best part was the plot.
‘An exciting sci-fi adventure with a strong element of humour.’ The Wishing Shelf Awards