Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard

Katya's WorldKatya's World by Jonathan L. Howard
Series: Katya Kuriakova #1
Published by: Strange Chemistry on November 6, 2012
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Pirates, Science Fiction
Pages: 339
Source: NetGalley
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★

The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised 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. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.

Katya Kuriakova doesn't care much about ancient history like that, though. She 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 at first hand, and realise 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.

Katya’s World is like no other book I’ve read! Maybe it’s because I don’t read a lot of hardcore science fiction, or maybe it is because this book is just so unique, but either way, this story and world was completely new to me. This book is heavily rooted in submarines, crafts, technology, and navigation. But don’t freak out! It’s not so heavy that it’s difficult to follow. It was definitely piled on more than other books I’ve read, but I wasn’t overly intimidated or confused by all the technology and submarine lingo! In fact, it was really interesting to read about, and I’m a pretty big noob when it comes to that stuff.

Katya was an absolutely brilliant character! She’s exactly the kind of main character I like to read about. She’s quite young (15), but she doesn’t act it at all. Since life is so hard on Russalka, most childhoods are quite short. But even so, Katya is referred to as being really intelligent—even by Russalka standards. I just love it when there’s a smart, young main character who waltzes in and kicks ass. Katya doesn’t kick much ass physically but her intelligence certainly does the job for her! I loved watching her outsmart older industry officials, but still not have an annoying arrogant overtone.

This book is filled with many other awesome characters. They’re all so different and well developed, that it’s hard to even list them all! After Katya, Tasya is my favourite character. She’s a fierce, deadly pirate whose reputation is enough to scare away any fed. She’s in charge and she’ll kick your ass.. physically. ‘Nuff said.

Katya’s World has so many different sides to it. On the one hand, we get the history of Russalka, its colonization, and its war with Earth. It’s a really engaging and intriguing back story. On the other hand, we get Katya’s coming of age story. At the beginning of the book, she has just earned the card that declares her an adult. But by the end of the book, she has gained the real life experience and knowledge to really prove that she’s worthy of the card. And on the other hand, we get an absolutely insane adventure/war story. Katya’s World has so many different twists and turns. We get new information at a steady pace that has us totally hooked in and begging for more. There’s plenty of loyalty, betrayal, friendship, and even vengeance.

I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy adventure stories and/or futuristic books about other ‘habitable’ planets. Katya’s World is an interesting story that I greatly enjoyed reading! I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens in the rest of the series. The book gets wrapped up really well, but there are still plenty of openings for development in future books!

The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. Just stopping by to say thank you for signing up for the 2013 Standalone Reading Challenge – best of luck to you!

    I have this book on my shelf and can’t wait to get to it.


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