Mitch's Reviews > Katya's World

Katya's World by Jonathan L. Howard
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's review
Aug 14, 2012

liked it
Read from August 14 to 18, 2012

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 issues for me personally that keeps me from giving this a higher rating.

But first off, the good. Howard's pacing, excellent, once I got past the prologue, basically setting up the background and stuff, the story just got going and going and going. Whether it was the mysterious sea monster, the pirates, or the mysterious sea monster again, there's not a dull moment for first time submariner Katya Kuriakova. I know a lot of science fiction can be bogged down by technobabble (and its evil big brother, hard science), but Howard makes Katya's World fun. Yes, scientific facts do get dropped here and there, but never at the expense of the plot - this is absolutely a great submarine adventure full of guns blazing, sea monster attacking, danger around every corner action. I cracked up in a couple of places too, Howard has a way of writing that makes even the firefights and shoot-ups hilariously entertaining - everything just comes together to make this the kind of book that's a breeze to read because so much is going on with plot twist after plot twist after plot twist that I absolutely just had to finish.

It helps too that Katya's surrounded by some very awesome, very hilarious supporting characters. Tasya, fierce head lady pirate, is at the top of the pile as the villain who just refuses to die (and not just because of one crazy over the top missile launcher scene), but other characters including Suhkalev, Uncle Lukyan, Kane, kept surprising me too. Unfortunately, with so many great supporting characters, Katya herself wasn't as impressive - not only did she not strike me as a very believable fifteen year old, but she didn't stand out for me nearly as much as the main supporting characters - maybe less than even Sergei, who's only in the first chapter or two - even though she had a lot to do. I guess she was a little too uptight for me the whole time, but, after her last scene, I'm gonna urge patience with her, just enjoy the ride.

My problem though, comes when I think back to the best submarine books I've read, say Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or Hunt for Red October. I probably shouldn't, I mean, those are the classics, just being comparable to them means Katya's World’s really good in its own right, but I guess this book was just so good I expected a little more. For one, the underwater setting feels underused, yeah, there are currents and some brief mentions of sea life, but the ocean's full of mysteries, I guess I'm a little disappointed Russalka doesn't have coral reefs, kelp forests, schools of fish, or anything besides underwater mountains to add a little more spice to the scenery because, sometimes, I almost feel like the action's happening on asteroids and stations in space. And also, the suspense, while good, sort of gets dropped halfway through, as the sea monster plot segues into the bigger effect on the entire world story. Howard did a pretty good job maintaining the suspense before revealing the true nature of the Leviathan halfway through, but after that even though he tries, it just doesn't feel the same.

I guess I'm a little disappointed, but Katya's World still does a lot right. It's great, tightly plotted fun, a can't go wrong pick that gives a taste of what serious sci-fi novels or submarine adventures are about.
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Reading Progress

08/17/2012 page 95
30.0% ""Tasya, apparently a disciple of applied practical psychiatry, simple backhanded Suhkalev hard."


Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa What happened with waiting sky mister?!

Mitch I got bored?

message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Lol I kinda warned u...

Katy Still waiting on approval for this one. :( And you've been reading a lot of dystopian lately. :P Throw in pirates, and I'm in.

Katy Yay! I got it! :)

message 6: by Mitch (last edited Aug 16, 2012 09:18AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mitch Ok, I haven't started yet because of your last comment. Lemme know.

Katy Oh, I didn't know you were waiting on me. LOL, you gave me the impression you had a full plate.


Mitch Don't worry I'll still explain everything :p

message 10: by Katy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katy LOL, I ended up liking it more than you?!? Maybe reading it without you prevented your negative thoughts from creeping into my opinions. :P

Mitch Then reading other books with me allowed my positive thoughts to creep into your opinions?

message 12: by Katy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katy What other books?

message 13: by Mitch (last edited Aug 22, 2012 06:40PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mitch Katy wrote: "What other books?"

Lost Prince, honey ;)

message 14: by Katy (last edited Aug 22, 2012 07:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katy Mitch wrote: "Lost Prince, honey ;)"

I'm lost. I thought I was the one with positive thoughts on that book, while you were the one waiting for Kenzie to reveal her ulterior motive. Did I miss something?
EDIT - Or wait, were you being sarcastic?

Mitch Probably. I don’t even know my own intentions anymore :(

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