Dove Arising – Karen Bao

Dove Arising is a YA science fiction by Karen Bao. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. I give it 8 stars, and recommend it to fans of The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Summary (Goodreads): Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom:  that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble…

Non spoiler review:

Things I liked about it: The premise of living on the moon was very cool. The plot as it developed. The ideals of society presented.

Things I didn’t like: I thought it moved a little too quickly. Phaet was a little too quiet, and sometimes very likable characters turned out to be very unlikable in seconds, which was also good in some ways.

Was it very well done? Not really, it could have been better. But still a great story recommended to fans of science fiction.

Spoiler review:

I didn’t like the mother.

That may be my biggest issue with the charecter, the mother and her family and her best friend. I didn’t see enough of a change in Phaet to justify the hatred towards her; they simply resented her for getting such a high rank in the militia, which she dead for them. None of them had any right to complain, certainly not her mother.

I loved the subtle world building on the moon; between the names, the jobs, and how the things we consider normal are outlawed like freedom of speech and even music does a great job in showing was what life there is like. I especially liked the racism aspect, and the superiority of the ones who didn’t show their earthly origins. I thought she did a great job portraying it.

I loved her relationship with Wes, and the competition yet constant friendliness between the two. At first I was rooting for Umbriel, but I didn’t he gave her enough of a chance to prove her goodness when she became captain. He just hates the moon, and he can’t look at her objectively anymore. However, Wes was always there for her even when they were competing. So I liked that they went together. The ending was a good setup for a sequel.


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