Review: Dove Arising

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I received a free e-ARC of Dove Rising from Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Dove Arising
Author: Karen Bao
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: February 24, 2015

Summary (via 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...

Dove Arising follows Phaet, a fifteen-year-old girl living in a lunar society. She is quiet and knows how her life is going to be: work to be a Bioengineer in the Agricultural Department, be with her family and best friend Umbriel. Her world is shaken when her mother is arrested, and Phaet has to put her life aside to join the Militia earn enough money to keep her family out of Shelter. But things aren’t as they seem in the lunar society or even in Phaet’s family.

Karen Bao has created one of the most refreshing main characters that I have read in a long time. Phaet is very quiet but stands out in her own ways, using her intelligence, determination, and skills to surpass expectations. It is rare to see such a quiet character in a book, but while her mouth might not be speaking to other characters much, her mind is constantly observing and cataloging. She can be pretty dense about some things, but it makes her interactions more interesting to read because the reader can see what she cannot, particularly when it comes to her interactions with Wes, another Militia trainee.

Dove Arising is intricately developed world full of compelling plotlines and modern issues seen in the future. The lunar society is science focused. It is in their mottos, part of their education, and even used in law to swear over Darwin’s The Origin of Species. There are interesting takes on government system and social class that are more thoroughly developed that many dystopias. Phaet and others are faced with racial and gender issues. Though the lunar society looks down on their Earthbound ancestry, some of the unlikeable characters remark on Phaet’s Asian heritage as well as other characters. Karen Bao takes all these elements and touches on each to make a fully realized fictional world with all of it’s good and bad elements.

One of the book's weaknesses is the abruptness. There are some moments where I got lost because it switched from a situation such as preparing for an event to the actual event without any distinguishable transition. It was a bit like plotline whiplash: the plot is going, a scene comes out of nowhere, and you have to slam on the breaks in order to not hit it. This abruptness is also found in some of the additional world information. I love little details that make the world of books more real, but some of the information in the book is not included very smoothly. While all of them are interesting details, there are many moments where this took me out of the story.

Overall, Karen Bao’s Dove Arising is an easy to read and follow young adult book. Though there are a few construction issues, I would definitely recommend it to anyone and am excited to read the next one.

Rating: 4 out of 5. What do I have to do to get the next book right now?

Leave a Comment

Post a Comment