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Katya's World (Strange Chemistry) Paperback – November 13, 2012
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“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 series.
"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."
- Ellie, Curiosity Killed The Bookworm
"...for me this is what superior YA fiction is all about."
Top Customer Reviews
Not since Frank Herbert created the desert planet of Dune has there been a planet of such stark singularity as Russalka. Russalka is the polar opposite of Dune in that this land is all stormy sea and electrical storms, with the only dry land not land at all but the polar ice caps that are necessary for any planet to maintain life. Russalka was discovered on survey missions to find livable planets for colonization and was almost passed over because of the lack of land and harsh conditions, but the sea, the sea is full of numerous, rare and precious minerals. And thus it came to be colonized by people whose economy would be based on mining those minerals and selling them not only to distant Earth but to other nearby colonies. Earth disappeared from the scene for a while and reappeared a hundred years later after civil strife expecting to take over the riches and government of Russalka. As might be imagined, this resulted in a bloody war of independence against a colonial power.
Now meet, Katya, a fifteen year old girl who has just been granted her navigation certificate and is about to embark on her first submarine voyage as a navigator. People grow up quickly on Russalka, not only does the environment require it, but the fact that almost two generations of adults were effectively lost in the war of independence and the need to rebuild has made workers of all kinds more vital than ever.Read more ›
There is a tragic lack of space opera in the genre of Young Adult Fiction, a genre seemingly dominated by vampires or post-apocalyptia and sometimes those are not seperate. Not that some of those books are bad. It is simply a good old fashioned space adventure would be greatly appreciated.
Katya’s World is not a good old fashioned space adventure, but it is of a sub-genre that is greatly needed: pure science fiction.
The book takes place on the distant world of Russalka, an ocean world settled by Earth after an over population crisis. In order to avoid conflict among ethnic lines, all of the people settled there were originally Russian in descent. This already sets it apart from other books which usually feature American casts or fictional nationalities. The planet has no landmasses save the ice caps, so the settlers built there settlements either within the ocean floor or on floating platforms. Russalkins as they called themselves, using the worlds mineral wealth, built a society together, connected by submarines. The Russalkins became a tough, hardy people, stubborn and proud. They fought hard for their lives and fought even harder for it in a bloody war against Earth. The war is over but the oceans of Russalka have long memories and for some the war has not ended...
The setting is where the book really shines. Ocean planets have been done before in books and films but the planet of Russalka feels very real. The author does a good job of portraying submarine technology in realistic ways and integrating futuristic technology into them in ways that feel plausible. It also portrays the dangers of traveling beneath the ocean in ways that are genuinely threatening.Read more ›
The book featured quite a bit of great action, danger, mystery, and suspense. Katya is inventive and a take charge kind of girl. What I found particularly appealing is its complete lack of misogyny - something too rampant in teen action/adventure books. All of the women hold their own with the guys and we really get a feel for gritty miners, their subs and trading, and the politics of the oceanic planet.
Katy's World is the first book in a series and introduces us (and Katya) to the first of two major groups on Russalka: the surface platform dwelling Yagizban. The seconds explore's Katya's subsurface dwelling politicals: the FMA Peacekeepers. The third book will likely be about the Terrans.
In all, I enjoyed this book and looked forward to continuing the story in Katya's War.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good! Didn't think it would be for me when I started it, but it turned out to not be a submarine, military drama. It is a very well thought out science fiction book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rob Dietz III
Katya's World is populated by great characters, authentic detail, and an original story. I love how, in a Young Adult series starring a young lady, there's no tacked on romantic... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
Howard delivers in this series. You'll have a hard time walking away from Katya.Published on July 7, 2014 by Amazon Customer
The story is like classic SciFi and the protagonist engaging. Works for adults as well as teens! Hope this turns into a lengthy series.Published on June 21, 2014 by Carny Asada
“Katya’s World” takes place a few centuries in the future on the oceanic colony world of Russalka where Katya Kuriakova was born and raised against a background of hardship and... Read morePublished on May 7, 2014 by Sue Heraper
In a story reminiscent of 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jonathan L. Howard has written a YA book that is very different from the rest. Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by Brenna
There are several things that I liked about this novel and several things that I didn't like. First of all, I loved the story. It was non-stop action and adventure. Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Sharing Inspired Kreations
Strange Chemistry is the new YA imprint of Angry Robot, and once the announcement of it's creation was made I kept my eye on their releases, hoping to see a sci-fi YA novel that I... Read morePublished on June 10, 2013 by MarkC
One of my favorite Young Adult books read last year, as well as my favorite YA Sci Fi book read in recent memory. Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by Kindle-aholic