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Katya's World (Russalka Chronicles #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  486 ratings  ·  135 reviews
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, ...more
ebook, 1st Edition
Published November 6th 2012 by Strange Chemistry (first published November 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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I had a difficult time rating this book. It's good. I like it.

...BUT it's lacking.

What is it lacking? More. It's lacking more. This story could be the beginning of an epic sci-fi series--for all I know it actually is--but from what I can gather it is a standalone. A frakking standalone! I find this frustrating because there is so much here, so much meaty goodness. There's enough here for a series and a couple different spinoff series, at least.

I want to know more! I want more!

One thing. I'm
I'm not quite sure what to think of Katya's World to be honest, and looking at the user generated genres a lot of people don't seem to have a clue either. It's certainly not dystopian or post-apocalyptic, more like hard science fiction with a young adult spin to it. Definitely light and fun, I liked this one and would wholeheartedly recommend it to readers who maybe don't have a lot of experience with serious sci-fi and want to dip their toes in the water, so to speak, but there are a couple of ...more
3.5 stars - I'm not sure whether this book didn't do a very good job of describing everything or whether I'm just too dumb or unimaginative, but I had a VERY HARD time picturing the ships, submarines and aircrafts and a lot of the action when everything was SO CRUCIAL to this novel. I couldn't tell if they were steampunkish or futuristic or just your normal machines we have today. And the Leviathan? I know part of it was the mystery of not knowing what it is, but I was maybe picturing the alien ...more
Experiment BL626
CAUTION: Long Review

Katya’s World is a candy of hard science-fiction. It has themes, ironies, and allegories. I could easily imagine reading this in high school and discussing the book’s literary value in English class. I would have definitely preferred reading this over Ender's Game, which I liked but not as much as KW. Yes, KW was better than Ender's Game. That’s my opinion so believe it.

Now, I love romance, but I was delighted by its absolute absence in KW. Very atypical for a YA, KW had no d
Katya’s World is a novel unlike most I’ve read recently. I’ve been agonising over this review for a while in how to phrase the experience of reading. This novel isn’t perfect, but I don’t think anything truly can be; it’s an ideal that doesn’t exist, but it’s a brilliant concept! It blends the young-adult genre and the technicality of science-fiction into something that’s enjoyable, understanding and engaging.

Russalka. A world inhabited by descendants from Earth who are Russian. Sounds simple e
Man, when I was growing up, I would have KILLED for a book like Jonathan L. Howard's Katya's World. I read a lot of adult sf because the stuff that was out there for younger readers was mostly just crap (or non-existent). There were a few exceptions, yes, but I found most of them either a. boring or b. condescending.

Katya's World is neither of those things. I was hooked from the prologue on. In a nutshell, Earth set up numerous colonies on various worlds, populating them with people of the same
I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read an advance copy of Jonathan L. Howard's Katya's World from new publishing imprint Strange Chemistry from Angry Robot Books.

Like their elder brother, Strange Chemistry titles will principally be SF and Fantasy works, with plenty of cross-over and genre-bending novels too from the looks of their forthcoming publications. However SC will be focusing on young adult works.

Katya's World is a really great book. I know we should never judge a
For this review and more, come over to The Book Lantern.

Sci-fi isn’t my favourite genre, for no other reason than perhaps the fact that I haven’t read much of it. Oh, I tried some Hamilton once, and I have some vague recollections of picking up Dune, but in terms of hard-core science fiction I have read very little.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who thought the name similarities were awesome, and now that I’ve read it… yeah, I think that this is the closest of a Philip Reeve subst
Hallelujah. A heroine without a romance! It was so refreshing to have a strong female lead, without some side romance or instalove to deal with. I absolutely love that part about this book and it may have skewed my overall opinion of it a tad. Hopefully, other authors take note and we can stop with romance stories being shoehorned into everything.

I really liked this book, even with it's flaws, and think it should have a higher average rating. There were some choppy and cumbersome moments in the
Sam Cooper
As you may have seen from my very first Letterbox Love, this book was my very first printed advance review book. It was sent to me by Strange Chemistry who have made a trailer for Katya's World HERE

I loved this book. I even loved the book cover. I even loved the paper it was printed on. The main character is Katya, a 15 year old girl who has just started working as a co-pilot on her Uncles mini-submarine. She is a great character, super intelligent, resilient, resourceful and she has heart. You
This book is mixed bag.

I was intrigued by the concept of this story: an entire culture living underwater on a harsh alien planet. It seemed reminiscent of the original Red Faction video game as well as David Drake's Seas of Venus(which I loved). But that concept never really gets explored.

Don't get me wrong, once the action starts you do get sucked in, but the author missed a real opportunity of worldbuilding here. You take a group of people of exclusively Russian extraction, put them on a hars
Kate Sherrod
I had to keep reminding myself, as I read Katya's World, that without Wesley Crusher, who annoyed millions with his over-the-top precocity and tendency to save the occasionally weirdly bumbling asses of the crew of the Enterprise-D, we would not have the 24k slab of awesome that is Wil Wheaton today. Which is to say that sometimes, it's worth putting up with an improbably gifted young protagonist being the one to think of all the solutions to all the problems in order to enjoy the rest of a show ...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
This is between 4.5-5 stars, so I'm rounding up.

Right now this is one of my favorite YA books read this year, as well as my favorite YA Sci Fi book read in recent memory.

I fully do realize that a part of my excitement for this book is that it is a YA book with NO ROMANCE. I can't remember the last time I read a YA book that didn't have romance. Middle School books, yes, but not YA.

It's not that I hate romance, but it was sooooo refreshing to read a book that in the middle of a battle with a semi
Katya's World by Jonathan L. Howard ticked of several boxes on my to-do-list book-wise. First of all, it is a YA science fiction novel, thereby not only expanding my YA reading, but my SF reading as well – which were two of the reading goals I'd set myself this year – but it also allowed me to acquaint myself with a writer I'd heard a lot of good things about. Several of the bloggers whose opinion I respect a lot love Howard's Johannes Cabal series. So I was excited to start reading it. Barring ...more
Katya’s World is a thrilling, action filled read that I enjoyed, but ultimately found lacking in character development and world building. Aside from the prologue that sets up the history and culture of Earthen expansion onto the watery planet of Russalka, the book is like a roller coaster ride that just doesn’t stop.

The action in this book is its strongest point. It’s exciting and full of twists and turns that kept me guessing. Every time I thought I had a character or plot element figured out,
Ranting Dragon

Jonathan L. Howard, author of the humorous Faustian series Johannes Cabal, ventures into new waters with Katya’s World, the opening to a new science fiction series aimed at young adults. As the title implies, this book follows fifteen-year-old Katya of the planet Russalka, a world with no landmasses aside from its polar ice caps. Ever since the original Terran settlers arrived from Earth, humans have lived underwater in pressurized environments and travele
Katya's World is Russalka, a Russian-settled colony still reeling from a pyrrhic conflict with Mother Earth. Russalka has no land masses, and part of the novel's fun derives from the relative novelty of incorporating the claustrophobia and blindfoldedness of Das Boot or The Hunt for Red October-style submarine hide-and-seek games into a far-future/alien planet setting.

Precocious Katya, not quite old enough to drive a car in much of 21st century Earth, is on her first voyage as a full-fledged nav
Ben Babcock
When I was a child, I remember tuning into re-runs of seaQuest DSV on the Space channel in Canada. (I was alive when it first broadcast, but it was in re-runs by the time I started paying attention.) I never watched the series regularly, but I’d happily sit in front of an episode if it happened to be on. I was captivated by the idea of a tricked-out submarine exploring the deeps of the ocean on our own planet Earth. I seem to remember the first season, especially, focused on the scientific parts ...more
Katya's World is the first novel in Jonathan L. Howard's new science-fiction series Russalka Chronicles, featuring heroine and protagonist Katya Kuriakova. Howard has also written the Johannes Cabal series, which begins with The Necromancer.

Before I go too far into writing the review for this book, I would like to mention that I did NOT finish this book. Not because it was bad, or terrible! But because as hard as I try, it's almost impossible for me to get into and enjoy science-fiction novels.
I wasn’t quite sure how to do this review, so I’ll start at the beginning, and try to explain exactly what Katya’s world is. It’s actually explained best in the prologue of the book – in just a few pages, you feel very familiar with the history of Russalka, and the people living there. To summarise though, Russalka is a colony on a distant planet, set many years into the future.

The planet is completely waterlogged, and the surface of the sea is almost inhospitable due to violent storms. On the s
Russalka is a Terran colony. It's a world of all water, except for the poles, and if not for its extensive mineral deposits it would not have been colonized. Russalka's colonists come from what was Russia, but as the centuries pass they've become far more Russalkin than Terran.

Katya Kuriakova is fifteen and about to take her first voyage as navigator of her Uncle's mini-submarine. It should be routine. Though it's her first time in the navigator's seat it's nowhere near her first time on this su
I really liked the characters here and the unique situation they found themselves in.

I loved that there was no relationship angst or beauty/body angst in this YA. The fifteen nearly sixteen year old main had much more important things on her mind than whether she was fat or beautiful or whether that guy over there was hot. It was refreshing.

There were a couple of 'gosh that was easy' bits that would normally have me storming the plot castle but the story and characters were entertaining enough t
This story is a thrill ride, filled with very well fleshed-out characters -- there isn't really a through-and-through villain, though of course the Chertovka comes close. The world-building is excellent (of course I was drawn to a book about an ocean planet named after a mermaid XD ).

There were a few moments when I had to really suspend my disbelief re: how easily some characters escaped certain situations (or, conversely, how unrealistically difficult it seemed for the antagonists to do their
I don't usually read Young Adult fiction, but Jonathon L Howard's work is always entertaining and so I had to give this series a try. It's very different from his other work (which I should have expected, since Howard himself said it would be), both in genre and in style. This is less sarcasm and cynicism, and more youthful adventure, the sort of thing that would have been targeted for adolescent boys when I was a kid.

Except the protagonist in this series is Katya, a young, tough-but-plucky girl
Vickie Ramage
Katya's World is a true sci-fi, with futuristic worlds at war, undersea battles, lot of technology and even a Leviathan. I really enjoyed this action packed read but at times it fell a bit flat for me, I grew bored even in the midst of battle and I had trouble connecting with the main character.

I loved the story as a whole - girl starts her new job with her uncle, expecting her first day to be a simple one. But in the first of many twists, the vehicle is selected by a new officer looking to prov
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Collister
Great YA science fiction book! Enjoyed the setting -- a colonized planet where the citizens live in underwater caves and travel by submarine -- and the aspects of Russian culture woven into the story. The main character, Katya, seemed a little bit flat and always ingenuous, but this made her a not-annoying viewpoint to follow around. The other characters really shine, although there are a LOT of characters to wrap your head around in such a short book.

Overall this was an enjoyable, easy read, g
Aleksander Cristea
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Katya’s World by Jonathan Howarda little while ago. I read the synopsis when looking into the Strange Chemistry releases and I was very much so looking forward to its release. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait that long!

Katya’s World is a YA science-fiction that takes place on a planet called Russalka, far from Earth and cut off from the other nearby colonies since the war with Earth saw all their satellites destroyed. Russalka is a world like no other: th
In a story reminiscent of 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jonathan L. Howard has written a YA book that is very different from the rest. From the setting to the character dynamics, Katya's World is an entertaining read.

Reasons to Read:

1. An uncommon setting:

Katya lives in Russalka, which is an entire community under the water. Russalka is actually a colony from Earth which has settled on this planet covered in water. Katya has trained as a navigator for submarines (which is how most travel takes p
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Jonathan L Howard is a game designer, scriptwriter, and a veteran of the computer games industry since the early 1990s, with titles such as the 'Broken Sword' series to his credit.

After publishing two short stories featuring Johannes Cabal (Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day and Exeunt Demon King) in H. P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer was published in 2009 as his
More about Jonathan L. Howard...
The Necromancer (Johannes Cabal, #1) The Detective (Johannes Cabal, #2) The Fear Institute (Johannes Cabal, #3) Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day The Brothers Cabal (Johannes Cabal, #4)

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“Lesson one: expect to get screwed over for the convenience of others on a regular basis.” 10 likes
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