Verdict: Futuristic world-building is the greatest strength in THE GIRL FROM THE MOON, a sci-fi space opera that emphasizes similarities beneath the physical differences of its characters.
Set in a frightening future where the Earth’s ozone is gone and earthquakes have ravaged the planet, Cate Weelah and her older sister, Victoria, try to untangle the web of lies surrounding their origin from Jupiter’s moon. Earth’s near destruction necessitated a new government be formed, so the United States, Canada and northern Mexico joined to become the North American Alliance (NAA). Divided into 12 federations, the NAA and two other formations now comprise the Earth’s powers, and have expanded into space as well.
The Weelah family (consisting of Cate, Victoria, their step-father, and step-mother) returned to Earth when Cate was eight years old and the planet was safe for inhabitation again. The family knew that both girls had unique abilities, but secrets surrounding their birth parents were kept hidden from the sisters. When Cate and Victoria are involved in a serious car accident, video cameras reveal that Cate turned into metal just before the event. She and Victoria learn they are “Alliafieds,” beings that can generate metal shields to surround their bodies and then transform back into flesh again. When their powers become international news, the women are shunned by most of society (including Victoria’s former fiance) and feared by government agencies.
During a frightening alien invasion by a race called the Phelaries, Cate and Victoria find themselves in the middle of the action. As Alliafieds, they are different from Earthlings and Phelarians, but have overlapping characteristics of both. In fact, the sisters even differ from each other – as Cate is silver and Victoria is gold. As they look for their place in the world, they must decide which faction they can trust.
THE GIRL FROM THE MOON contains strong world-building with detailed and interesting characteristics of alien races. While an intriguing storyline, the characters lack the depth and development to evoke an emotional response from most readers. The title implies the book will focus on one girl, but both sisters are at the center of the story. New chapters sometimes change to different times and places, which can be disorienting. Introductory notes indicating locations and dates (such as “Earth, One Week Later”) would alleviate this problem. Overall, the writing is clear and clean, but the book could be improved with more showing and less telling to fully engage readers and make then care about the characters. For example, “Cate was furious” and “He must have also been very annoyed” would be more effective through demonstration. Dialogue is often limited to one brief sentence, which also limits a reader’s ability to fully connect with a character. A story this thought-provoking deserves intriguing well-developed characters to go with it.
Futuristic world-building is the greatest strength in THE GIRL FROM THE MOON, a sci-fi space opera that emphasizes similarities beneath the physical differences of its characters.
~Carol Michaels for IndieReader.