Book review: The Moon Dwellers

The Moon DwellersI am not a huge fan of Young Adult fiction as I have professed multiple times on this blog (You can read them HERE and HERE) because the plots can get rather cheesy, run-of-the-mill and at times repetitive. But alas, I have a weak spot for most stories set in dystopian worlds even if it is a YA literature, something I personally blame George Orwell for creating this perfect story (read: Nineteen Eighty-Four) set in a totalitarian state.

There is admittedly no shortage of YA dystopian novels in the market but “The Moon Dwellers,” first book from The Dwellers Saga, is a hidden gem in this vast market self-published by author David Estes. Before you write it off, I am willing to testify that the storyline is as good as those released by publishing houses, sporting polished writing and an original plot that will suck you into the novel’s chilling fictional world.

Think the Hunger Games but grimmer, packed with more action, and a much faster pace. This has also been featured by Buzzfeed as one of the novels to read if you have enjoyed The Hunger Games.

Set in a dystopian world where humans are forced to move underground, citizens are now ruled by a dictator who divided the country into three realms, the sun, moon and star. The most privileged class lived in the sun realm, which is nearest to ground level and receives most artificial light. The least privileged class in contrast is forced downward to reside in constant darkness in the star realm.

Author David Estes

The story begins with the main female character Adele who was thrown into the Pen, a prison for juveniles, after the government tore her poor but happy family apart when they accused her parents of treason. In there, she met two new friends, Cole and Tawni, who not only help her escape but also assist her in finding back her family members.

On the other hand is the eldest son of the dictator-president Tristan. Outwardly, he leads a princely, enviable life, yet deep inside, he bears a deep hatred for his father’s stiff-handed ruling and sympathizes with the suffering of the oppressed citizens.

As the story oscillates between the two characters, there is also an inexplicable tie between them that was first felt when Tristan visited the moon realm and saw Adele from afar. His body experienced an inexplicable and intense pain that he was unable to comprehend with. That instantly drew his attention to Adele and made him want to find out more about.

The main selling point of The Moon Dwellers for me is there is much more action rather than romance bubbling away in the story. As much as I acknowledge that romance can be a major selling point in YA novels, I am still not a fan of the boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love clichés, which tend to be stereotypical and make the story drag its feet. So I am glad The Moon Dwellers averted this pitfall by focusing on moving the plot forward.

By the end of the book, I was tempted to purchase the next installment, which is something I do not do very often. This book is definitely going into my best reads of 2013.

Have you read a great self-published book? Recommend to me in the comments box below!

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review. This post though reflects my true and honest opinions.


7 thoughts on “Book review: The Moon Dwellers

  1. I haven’t read a self-published dystopian, but as for a published one, have you read The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness? It’s really action-packed and moving, with some romance, but it’s not as focused on as the story.

    1. I haven’t got round to reading any Patrick Ness’ books before. Would perhaps keep him on my to-read authors’ list 😀

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