Verdict: MOONSTROKE is a smart, enjoyable read for anyone looking for their next space adventure.
It’s been twelve years since a massive solar flare erupted, severing the communications link between the Daedalus Moon base and Earth, and killing the entire crew of platinum miners who were outside during the blast. Marooned and losing hope of rescue with each passing year, the three surviving scientists and the miners’ children are forced to adapt and rebuild in order to survive the harsh realities of an isolated life on the far side of the Moon.
The orphaned children, called nexgens, are stripped of their childhood and trained to take over their parents’ mining operation. Their lives are disciplined and strictly regulated, while their education is limited to the extraction and processing of the platinum ore that is in abundance in the moon’s bedrock. With the exception of a small collection of movies, the nexgens are kept in the dark about Earth’s history and culture, which many come to disregard as irrelevant “Earth drivel.” The oldest of the nexgens, Van Wilkens, is their headstrong leader. He teams up with Kaitlin, the base leader’s daughter who has enjoyed a full education from the base’s database, and together, they begin to challenge the life they have always known.
The castaway has a well-established place in literary tradition, and it’s clear that Readler has taken notes from the best of the best. MOONSTROKE has strong parallels to William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, which the base leader, Zeedo, references as a cautionary tale against idleness and the ultimate reason behind the continued mining operation. Like Ralph in Lord of the Flies, Zeedo maintains a laser-sharp focus on rescue, while his militant counterpart, Meyer, represents the hedonistic and paranoid Jack. Their struggle for power illustrates the challenges of governance and cooperation in isolation.
An electronics engineer and award-winning author, Readler peppers his tale with sharp technical detail that makes his story informed and educational. Furthermore, he introduces a host of amazing technologies—a human memory archiver, a med-genie, and nutrient recycler—that has our minds swirling and craving for more. Readler maps out a beautiful, character-driven narrative, and his words flow effortlessly. MOONSTROKE is a smart, enjoyable read for anyone looking for their next space adventure.
~Heather McAdams for IndieReader