Julia Graf's Reviews > The Moon Dwellers

The Moon Dwellers by David Estes
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's review
Jul 13, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: dystopia, young-adult
Read from July 16 to 19, 2012

I had such high hopes for this book - I really did - but this book was ultimately a let-down. It started off with a great plot and I loved the premise: An entire city built underground housing a dystopian and corrupt society, where several characters must find their way and fight for justice for their families' betrayal. But then it all went wrong.

First of all, the "love story" was the biggest piece of crock I've read about in a while. Astonishing that a love story can even continue for more than half the book when the two lovebirds have never even met, or talked to each other. Adele spots Tristan from afar, cruising by in a car in some parade and after a split second where their eyes meet, she feels something for him. Be warned: you will read that exact sentence about 20 times in this book. Fortunately for her, Tristan also feels something for her. Enough to throw away his life of luxury and safety and privilege, instead to risk his life for a complete stranger, chasing her around the underground world and nearly getting himself and his friend killed numerous times. Just kill me now.

Next, I've come to the conclusion that David Estes is just not a good writer. This book is filled with some of the corniest dialogue, awkward jokes, and unbelievable vocabulary coming from a little girl (Adele's sister), mixed with highly unbelievable ninja-like fight scenes where 16 year old kids beat up grown-up men of Hulk-sized proportions. Unless you suspend your brain for those, the scenes just come off as totally unbelievable and ridiculous. The dialogues really grated on my nerves. Not only is the book filled with many spelling and grammatical errors (inexcusable), but the author switches from using slang such as "I dunno" to convey characters' thoughts, to having the same character then spout near Shakespearean sounding dialogue. There was no consistency in writing style whatsoever.

Another thing Estes does is try to explain why these underground cities are built in the first place, and why the natural world was destroyed. Now, I'm of the opinion if you're going to do such a courageous task in a dystopian post-apocalyptic novel (where mostly concrete explanations are left to the reader's imagination like in "The Road"), then you'd better have a pretty DAMN good, scientifically believable explanation. This, however is Estes' take: The world was hit by an asteroid the size of Texas. This caused huge tsunamis around the entire world and Earth was completely destroyed (drowned I guess?) Scientists had predicted this asteroid in advance so the USA had built an underground city as a place of refuge. However, they must have forgot how many people lived in the USA as only a tiny fraction of the population could live there, so they held a lottery to determine which families could move in. The rest of the USA - and likely the rest of the world too - drowned. Whoopsie daisy!


Are you kidding me? Does David Estes think we don't have brains? This explanation might work on a 10 year old, but I'd say anyone above that age would probably think, WTF, as I did.

Lastly, the ending. Without giving anything away, it was extremely abrupt, rather predictable, and had one of the most awkward "goodbye" moments between the two protagonists. I was cringing. It just wasn't how I imagined the end - to be at least somewhat satisfying.

I'm sad. I really think this story had potential and the plot had all the elements of being an exciting read. It was action-packed and never dull, but the terrible writing coupled with an unbelievable love story and incredibly corny dialogue just turned me off.

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Reading Progress

27.0% "I like the story, if only the writing wasn't so juvenile..."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Somniorum (new)

Somniorum I am not sure you will be able to find Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky in English, but if you do - I guess you might like it much better (as also much more realistic)

Julia Graf I've been meaning to read that since ages but I've read over and over that the English translation is terrible!

message 3: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat Mellon I have to agree with many of her points. Although I have not read The Moon Dwellers, nearly everything stated here is applicable to Angel Evolution, which I did read.

Dvora, I am also an author, and part of being an author is accepting that not everyone is going to appreciate what you do. I certainly have had some negative reviews, but it's just part of the game called publishing. (If I or any other author wasn't willing to deal with negative reviews, we wouldn't have published our novels for the world to see!)

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