Katya's World

Katya's World

Book - 2012
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The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea and endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurized environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. Katya Kuriakova is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career. There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however. Soon, she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy first hand, and realize that her world's future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.
Publisher: Nottingham, UK ; Long Island City, NY : Strange Chemistry, 2012.
ISBN: 9781908844132
1908844132
Branch Call Number: TEEN HOWARD
Characteristics: 332 p. ; 20 cm.

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DBRL_KrisA Jan 10, 2017

A decent book, but not a great one.
During a great period of space colonization, the planet Earth sent residents of a region of Russia to populate a planet entirely covered by water. They would have given the planet a miss, but it's rich in minerals they need back on good old mother-Earth.
The aquatic geography of the planet is a key element in the story. The people live in big underwater cities, and they travel everywhere by submarine. But the maritime setting of the book actually leads to one of my complaints: there is so much navy-speak and so many technical terms and equipment related to water travel that I wasn't familiar with. As another reviewer pointed out, some of these terms and ideas (including the technology aboard the Leviathan) are so crucial to the action in the book that the reader needs to understand them well. I didn't understand them, so I found myself confused at points where the action was at its busiest.
I also was disappointed in some of the character development (or lack thereof). The author vaguely mentions that Katya's father died in the Terran-Russalkan War, and that her mother died as a result of an accident, and that's why she lives with her Uncle Lukyakin, but he doesn't give us much detail. Lukyakin himself fought in the War, and that's apparent when his battle skills resurface later in the book, but we don't know much more about his past. Kane has all kinds of issues and secrets, and some of those secrets are revealed, but things brought up early on are just left to fade away.
Because the characterization is so simplistic, but the technical aspects are so advanced, there seem to be two books - one is a basic young adult dystopian novel, while the other is a more advanced science fiction novel. Neither of them is particularly well-written. And ultimately, that may be why - though I like the book - I don't *love* the book.

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