“Katya’s War” by Jonathan L. Howard

I received this book for free from NetGalley, Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“Katya’s War” by Jonathan L. HowardKatya's War by Jonathan L. Howard
Series: Russalka Chronicles #2
Published: 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley, Purchased
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Katya’s War is the second book in Jonathan L. Howard’s Russalka Chronicles, which are set on a watery planet that was colonized by a group of Russians but eventually broke away from Earth’s influence.

Katya’s War picks up after Katya Kuriakova has saved the world from an imminent threat, and now she’s trying to get on with her life as a submarine captain even as her planet is in the midst of a civil war that she helped to start.  When Katya receives a strange request from her former reluctant ally, the pirate Kane, it changes her world completely.

Katya’s spent her whole life believing that the FMA are heroes and that her planet is the honorable underdog that beat the odds against evil oppressors.  What Kane tells Katya challenges this worldview and shows that the government that she’s supported wholeheartedly has done some pretty nasty things in the name of its citizens.  Katya realizes that the maintenance of the status quo comes at an unacceptable price, and she’s in a unique position to do something about it.  Katya struggles with her conscience as she sorts out what really happened, who she can trust, and whether she’s willing to risk her life to do the right thing.

It took me a while to get fully immersed in the book, partly since it’s been a while since I read Katya’s World, and I had forgotten some of the major characters/events/tensions in the story.  However, once the plot picked up, the book was impossible to put down.  Howard writes some great characters, my favorite of which is Tasya Morevna, often called the she-devil.  Tasya was a leader of the Yagizban, which has been fighting the FMA in the civil war.  She’s competent, ruthless, and an excellent shot, and her preferred means of getting out of a sticky situation involves lots of firepower.

One of the things that’s great about this series is that there’s no love story whatsoever.  Most young adult novels (especially those with female protagonists) have a romance as a central conflict in the story, and it’s refreshing to see something so different from the norm.

The ending leaves off on a massive cliffhanger, and I’m just itching to see what happens next.

If you’re a fan of submarines, politics, and adventures on (or under) the high seas, then be sure to check out this series!

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