Book: Hurricane Moon

Title: Hurricane Moon
Author: Alexis Glynn Latner
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 397 pgs

Summary: It is the late 21st Century. Catharin, an idealistic astronaut-physician, is part of the crew of Aeon, a starship sent out to find a new Earth. She wants to help society start anew, now that medicine has solved all major problems; molecular biologist Joe Devreze, however, just wants to run away from Earth, for reasons Catharin can’t figure out. Everything goes awry when Aeon reaches a double-planet system: one dubbed Planet Green is covered with vegetation, the other, Planet Blue, is consistently covered with hurricanes. As Catharin and Joe start to settle into Planet Green, Catharin discovers problems with their DNA… to the point where they might be the last humans in the universe. Can she trust Joe, and his shady motives, to save humanity? And just how much attention should Catharin pay to her subconscious warnings that Planet Blue is more than just a watery moon?

Excerpts:
pg 118 – To Catharin’s consternation, Miguel laughed like a carefree man. “Oh, but we need [Joe]. Most certainly, we need him. You see, the gods who are creator and creatrix, especially of small worlds, always take themselves too seriously, and they want their work to be perfect. But evil spirits appear and they start spoiling things, and the gods would give up and throw the world away and start over, if they could. Fortunately, in almost every creation myth, soon there also comes the trickster god. His name is Coyote, or Pan, or Raven. He does absurd and mischievous things that annoy the creator gods. He saves the world, too.”

pg 198 – Maya had glittering green eyes and long dark hair with auburn highlights, and a willful attractiveness that Joe sensed as tangibly as feeling wind or heat.

pg 234 – What the hell had he been doing those years? Working. Walking. Inventing. Suddenly Joe thought about fairy tales, the ones about changelings who grow up to find out that they have no soul. It was an uncomfortable thought.

pg 256 – “Catharin is a cool customer,” Joe said to Wing.

“She’s like a violin. Quiet and tightly strung.”

“D’you suppose she ever lets her hair down?”

Wing answered with a promptness suggesting he’d reflected on this topic before. “I think her nickname, Cat, is apt, Joe. I think she has the soul of a tiger.”

pg 329 – “Luna is hundreds of light-years away, but her influence is woven throughout our evolution, our bodies,” said Sam. “We women are joined to the powers of life and change and birth. Birth scares the men. That’s why WE scare them. But change doesn’t have to scare US.”

Why should you read this book?
This may not be the most unique ideas, that in the future Earth falls to ruin and we send our best out in the universe to find a new Earth, but this is definitely the best-executed idea that I’ve read in a while. Much of the story rotates around the biology and evolution of people and their environment; much speculation is made about why there is a Planet Blue and a Planet Green, and we never really know if it’s the truth, only that this is what the characters have decided must have happened. I loved the science behind it all, mainly because I used to be obsessed with the moon (I kind of still am) and how it affects us daily. The characters react as you expect people to react to something so foreign as two Earth-sized planets on spin-lock around each other.

Latner does a wonderful job of making you feel scientific by the end of the book. She explains without making you feel stupid, and so you know what these highly-scientific characters are doing without getting into unnecessary details. Her use of tension is subtle, but effective: I jumped twice and even yelped once when I was reading and a friend called out to me as he walked past. That hardly ever happens to me (I read so much that I’m almost jaded sometimes). A unique book with a good execution, and even with some romance, this book was entertaining and even informative.

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