Review: Moth by Daniel Arenson

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Publisher: Moonclipse
Publishing Date: November 2013
ISBN: 9781927601150
Genre: fantasy
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Publisher Description: They say the world used to turn. They say that night would follow day in an endless dance. They say that dawn rose, dusk fell, and we worshiped both sun and stars. That was a long time ago. The dance has died. The world has fallen still. We float through the heavens, one half always in light, one half always in shadow. Like the moth of our forests, one wing white and the other black, we are torn. My people are the fortunate. We live in daylight, blessed in the warmth of the sun. Yet across the line, the others lurk in eternal night, afraid… and alone in the dark. I was born in the light. I was sent into darkness. This is my story.

Review: I didn’t like the beginning of this novel. The dialogue and scene development seemed stilted and “nerdy”. Like someone still living in their parents basement, playing online D&D with other 40 year olds. There were some repetitive lines that were soon grinding on my mind. I think if I read “…and cold sweat trickled down his back” one more time I will fly into a manic rage and start the Emo cutting.

I would have thought that the nerdists that flock to these kinds of epic LARPing novels would have caught some of the basic flaws in the story-line. We have a planet where one side is in perpetual darkness and the other in daylight. If we assume that this is a planet with a sun, then this planet (Moth) would take one year to cycle from day to night, not perpetually in either state as the earth still circles the sun. So the cities on either side would experience half the year in daylight and the other half in night (assuming the planets orbit around the sun is the same as Earths). Temperature swings from season to season would be much greater with those areas along the equator (infernally hot) and their geographical counterpart, extremely cold. We don’t really see the seasons affected on Moth. As we don’t know the latitude or longitude of Moth, I can only assume (based on the map provided) that this area is somewhere along the equator. There is also the matter of Moth being susceptible to harmful solar wind radiation if the planet is not rotating (magnetic field generation).

The novel prefaces their origins as being on a daily day/night cycle when, at some point, it changed to perpetual day on one side and night on the other. The ecosystem/habitat as well as the flora and fauna of Moth don’t parallel a logical evolutionary development to what it is at present. It would take millennia to move an ecosystems development from a day/night daily cycle to a half year cycle. Since a perpetual day/night cycle is impossible on this planet that doesn’t rotate I can’t really give a biological scenario that makes sense. Even with the half year cycle, and the equator being infernally hot, those equatorial areas would quickly become desert (unless there are weather patterns on Moth that support a lengthy monsoon season). Additionally, without an earthly rotation, there would no longer be an equatorial bulge. This spin and bulge hold most of the water at the equator. No spin and the water is mostly at the poles with large land formations at the equator (hence my assumption that Moth is at the equator).
There is a whole world that needs to be built, biologically and astronomically etc. around a consistent and believable story-line. LARPers eating mulberry fruit and thriving in a world that exists in total daylight is not scientifically supportable. Whole biomes would have to be created to accept that this is an alien environment with alien peoples. The author built a world that is essentially Earth, with a twist.

The cover art is really bad. Looks like a third grader with a crayon dropped some acid.

Koyee is an Elorian that differs from the day lighters by having large owl-like eyes (the better to see you with). Koyee is really the only story to follow that is worth a read. She is a great character whom travels to the big city on the dark side to enlist the help of her people against the day lighters. The rest of the mini-stories that make up the story-line are pretty poor in comparison. Take for instance, Koyee’s brother, Okado whom is now leader (Alpha pack leader) of some clan that lives wherever seeking revenge on being cast out. It mostly reads like a comic rendition of a Viking feast. “Yaargh, you are a coward…I will not step aside for long….I will rule this pack….My queen Alpha is hotter than your Viking chick…Yaaargh!!!!” Torin (on the daylight side) is also a weak story-line. They let the monks pretty much run the show and brain-wash everyone into believing that there needs to be a war with the Elorian in order for them to consummate their power as the new religion. Hmmm. I guess people are dumb. Especially people in a village that have lived, thrived and died together for millennia. They all of a sudden abandon trust in their own and place it in a monks new religious zealotry. Not believable considering the setting that was developed. There is no magic, which would have added to the story-line. There was no prognostications of future events foretold in the ancient this or that, that might give credence and validity to our two heroes of dichotomous birth that culminates in the peaceful resolution between two disparate and hostile societies.

This novel is a solid read with Koyee but pretty dismal in other aspects. Most of the novel reads like a covey of LARPers reciting high English poems. I really like the habitat and wildlife/fish descriptions as they are inventive, yet there is no biological fact that supports their existence. The author should have had a minimal of xeno-scientific development to make his dark world more believable. I would have rated this higher in spite of some issues but the World of Moth and it’s lack of scientific fact, makes it’s existence a huge stretch for the imagination.

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One thought on “Review: Moth by Daniel Arenson

  1. I’ll skip it, thanks. I skip most of these types of books. I swear they are all generated by some computer application!

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