Friday, November 02, 2012

Review: Katya's World by Jonathan L. Howard

Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 339 pages
November 6, 2012, Strange Chemistry

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.

Source: Strange Chemistry (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

Oh, wow. I didn’t expect THIS when I picked up Katya’s World. I sat at the edge of my seat ad tore through the pages, absorbing every little detail of this novel into my head. I was engrossed and amazed at the superb world-building that Howard did.

Russalka was 100% aquatic. Above the water, violent storms thrived but underneath the surface lay the home of the Russalkin. After many generations of living in their distant planet, the Russalkin coped and embraced Russalka. They engaged in a war to defend their planet against the Earth army. The first few pages were dedicated to Russalka’s history. It captured my attention and helped me understand the entire story. Howard’s world-building was one of the best I’ve ever encountered. It was well-done, detailed and colorful. During the hours when I read Katya’s World, I forgot about Earth entirely. I grew accustomed to the raging sea.

Katya was an outstanding character. Intelligent, determined and tough, nothing gets past her as she ran alongside pirates and FMA – the military unit of Russalka. But at the same time she was kind and followed her heart. Through her heroic deeds and initiative, I could see that she was heroine-material.
My only complaint was that I didn’t get close to Katya that much. Obviously, I was worried about her throughout the entire book but I didn’t get attached to her. Maybe it was the 3rd POV or maybe it was the lack of musings in Katya’s voice.

It was shocking how much her life changed so much in a span of a few days. The story started out with Katya as a new navigator who dreams nothing but to sail, to being a survivor of an underwater attack and running with FMA, and finally, to plotting and fighting against the Leviathan, a deadly machine. For the sake of maintaining a non-spoilery review, I will not divulge any more details about this.

Packed with intense action and suspense, Katya’s world delivered entertainment. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, reading, holding my breath some more before finally exhaling and tuning to the next page. There were twists and turns, scheming and battles that will delight readers of not only science fiction but also military fiction. It was like watching a movie. Although there was no romance, I had no problem with it. Romance doesn’t happen all the time.

Katya’s World stands out with its superb world-building, sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense and intense action. I recommend this to readers of science fiction, military fiction, suspense and even, to Adult readers. This might be YA but I think Katya’s World is capable of impressing not only teens but Adults as well.


4 Cupids = Strong book love. 
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!


  1. I read the first few chapters of this book online and was gripped from the beginning so might treat myself to a copy of it soon :)

  2. Oh wow never heard of this book but I ammmm dying to get my hands on this one. thanks for sharing and im soooo glad you enjoyed this one... Great review Precious. x

  3. Hi Precious,
    This is my first time to see this book. Love the summary.I love superb world-building. Thanks for the review :D


  4. Gaah! I LOVE the sound of this and your review makes me want to read it now :D Awesome review (as always) Precious :)