Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: Two Moons of Sera engaging read full of mystery and emotion

Two Moons of Sera by Pavarti K. Tyler
With the publication of the novella Two Moons of Sera author Pavarti K. Tyler has launched a creative new series. Two advanced species live in the world of Two Moons of Sera. The Sualwet are a water people who live and breathe underwater but are capable of coming onto land. The Erdlanders are the people that live on the land. They are at war with each other, and the story opens with the Sualwet female Nilafay fleeing from her Erdlander captors. She does not escape.

Then the story advances about 16 years and Nilafay is living in an isolated coastal cove with her daughter Serafay, or Sera. Nilafay has finally escaped the Erdlanders but she is rejected by her Sualwet people because Sera is an Erdlander-Sualwet hybrid. The pregnancy was forced upon Nilafay by cruel experiments. Unwilling to abandon her daughter, Nilafay lives in hiding and Sera grows up with only her mother for company.

The unrelenting isolation has begun to weigh on Sera, who longs for new experiences. While Nilafay is away on one of her frequent forays to scavenge supplies, a seemingly wild young male Erdlander enters Sera's refuge. Unbearably curious and needy for company, Sera seeks contact with this strange new arrival. He has apparently been hiding in the wilderness for a long time because he has forgotten how to talk, but he quickly learns again with Sera's help. His name is Torkek and he possesses unexpected powers that suggest he is the product of experiments as well.

The story in Two Moons of Sera has an overall good pace and guided me from scene to scene almost effortlessly. A new and startling event was always popping up to keep me reading. It only got a little slow during the initial scenes between Sera and Torkek because of the need to help him reacquire language.

Throughout the story Sera comes through as a sympathetic and believeable character. Her normal adolescent longings for friends and new experiences are easy to identify with. Sera embodies the recognizable teenage need for companionship along with the realization that she will need an existence beyond the protective zone her mother has created for her.

Tyler's writing is concise yet still filled with feeling and imagery. I felt Sera's webbed toes digging in the sand. I felt how her body slid into the gentle sea waters of her cove. I felt her alarm when she had to flee the coast and enter the foreign inland areas. Tyler has obviously poured a lot of love and imagination into her fantasy world. I anticipate that future installments of the story will further reveal the opposing societies of Sualwet and Erdlander from the point of view of two rejected outsiders. Even in the short space of a novella, these two characters came through strongly. The author has carefully created her characters and revealed gracefully the awkwardness of two young people getting to know each other under difficult circumstances.

Two Moons of Sera leaves me intrigued about how the story will develop. This initial novella that tells the story of Sera's origins and how she met Torkek was fascinating, disturbing, yet a little hopeful because it shows two outcasts finding each other.

Thank you to Pavarti K. Tyler for sending me an advanced reading copy. You can use the links below to purchase Two Moons of Sera. Also be sure to visit Tyler's website and enter her November giveaway.

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