Friday, February 26, 2016

Debbie--have you seen... RED MOON RISING by K. A. Holt

Woah. Some books are so.... out there, that I have a hard time wrapping my head around them. K. A. Holt's Red Moon Rising is one of those books. Here's the synopsis:

Space-farmer Rae Darling is kidnapped and trained to become a warrior against her own people in this adventurous middle grade space western.
Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication—being girls is a serious liability in their strict society. Even worse, the Cheese—the colonists’ name for the native people on the moon—sometimes kidnap girls from the human colony. And when Rae’s impetuous actions disrupt the fragile peace, the Cheese come for her and Temple.
Though Rae and Temple are captives in the Cheese society, they are shocked to discover a community full of kindness and acceptance. Where the human colonists subjugated women, the Cheese train the girls to become fierce warriors. Over time, Temple forgets her past and becomes one of the Cheese, but Rae continues to wonder where her loyalties truly lie. When her training is up, will she really be able to raid her former colony? Can she kidnap other girls, even if she might be recruiting them to a better life?
When a Cheese raid goes wrong and the humans retaliate, Rae’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test. Can Rae find a way to restore peace—and preserve both sides of herself?

Did you read the synopsis? Every word of it? Do you see what I mean?

The moon in this story has been colonized.

The native people who lived there are called "the Cheese."

They kidnap girls from "the human colony."

So... are the Cheese not human?

The Cheese kidnap the women to turn them into warriors who will fight against with the Cheese--against the humans.

Rae and her sister find out that the Cheese treat women better than the humans did.


I need one of those images of face palm, or head desk. Or a cool GIF. Daniel José Older always tweets some excellent ones. Where does he find those, I wonder?!

Red Moon Rising is out this year, from...  Wait for it...  A major publisher! It is from Margaret K. McElderry, which is an imprint of Simon and Schuster. That is one of the Big Five! Big bucks for the author, big bucks for the promo of the book.

I'm certainly being cynical in what I've said. Maybe I'll regret it. Maybe this book is gonna rock.

I'll be back.

Update: Saturday Feb 27

Author Martha Brockenbrough submitted a comment, noting that my use of "big bucks" suggests that people can make a living with their writing. I'm glad for her note. Being published by a big house does give writers a huge leg up in terms of visibility of their book, but it doesn't mean the writer can quit their day job(s). That could come later, after a lot of success and a lot of work, but it isn't the norm.


Yapha Mason said...

I think you might be pleasantly surprised by this book -- I certainly was. There are some twists that turn the stereotypes you see in the synopsis on their ears. I am very interested in hearing what you think.

Martha Brockenbrough said...

This doesn't have bearing on the synopsis, and K.A. Holt is a friend. BUT ... just because a book is out with a major publisher doesn't mean big bucks. For my latest, I earned about $3,000 per year I worked on it, and it's with a major publisher.

I think it's worth clearing up this misperception because it gets at a difficult problem with publishing. The work does not pay most authors and illustrators anywhere close to a living wage. So, anyone who does not have another job or who is poor might not be able to afford to be a writer.

I don't know how to solve this one. But it's definitely an issue. People who are better financed have a better shot at publishing.

Once a person is published, you can then go into schools and be paid for visits (at least in schools where not ALL of the money is spent on testing). But getting over that hurdle in the first place is really hard.

Debbie Reese said...

Thanks, Martha, for that corrective note. I've been working on an analysis of books published by major publishers, and those from smaller ones, and that's where my head was when I said "big bucks."

I'll add a note of clarification above.