Series: Plotting the Stars #1
Published by Pixel+Ink on 2022-11-01
Length: 368 pages
Reviewing ARC from the publisher Pixel+Ink
Reading Challenges: 2022 New Release Challenge
"Moongarden blooms with heart and adventure. A stellar update of The Secret Garden, woven with a little science fiction, a lot of magic, a vibrant heroine, and a plucky robot sidekick to rival R2-D2." —Victoria Aveyard, New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen
The Secret Garden meets The City of Ember. Failed climate change policy, an intergalactic conspiracy, and the magical, unlikely heroine who could unearth it all. An explosive STEAM-inspired series starter perfect for young change makers.
Centuries ago, Earth’s plants turned deadly, and humanity took to space to cultivate new homes. Myra Hodger is in her first year at an elite school on the Moon, and she’s crumbling under the pressure. She doesn’t fit in and, worse, the tattoos that signal her Number Whisperer magic aren’t developing. In her heart, she knows she doesn’t have a Creer, and soon everyone else will, too.
Wandering the halls while cutting class, she discovers a secret lab hidden behind one of the unused classrooms and, beyond that, a secret garden overflowing with plants. Dangerous toxic plants.
As she learns more about the garden, Myra begins to wonder if she does have a Creer after all—one that died out when the Earth did. One that could help solve the food shortages the government doesn’t want anyone to know about.
Re-envisioning The Secret Garden for a new generation, Moongarden weaves together STEAM themes and intense social pressures in a stunning series starter, and introduces a dynamic heroine who might just grow a revolution.
Inspired by The Secret Garden, Moongarden by Michelle A. Barry is the first in a sci-fi series about a young girl finding her place in a world that shuns those who are seen as “weaker.” Myra is attending a school for the elite that will train her to use her magic and become a Number Whisperer like her parents. However, she struggles with math, doesn’t fit in with her classmates, and her Creer, a mystical tattoo inscription, isn’t filling up to show her work. Then, she finds a hidden door in an abandoned classroom that changes her life and everything she though she knew.
Myra is an easy character to follow and identify with. Her struggles are similar to those that all kids struggle with in middle and high school: fitting in, finding a place in the world, finding a purpose. In this dystopian world, plants are seen as deadly. Plants are the reason humans fled to space and settled on the Moon and other planets. So why is a garden in an abandoned classroom and why can Myra feel a connection with them? There is danger and a sense of urgency that surrounds Myra when she finds the garden and every time she visits it. She knows she can tell no one about it.
While I enjoyed Myra and what she discovers, I struggled with some elements. Dystopian novels imagine and give readers insight into what the world will look like in the future, usually based on current events. For this one, we are told that people left Earth due to toxic plants, but no explanation is giving as to how or why they were toxic. Now that being said, this is a series so it may be explained in later books, but that was a big question that loomed in my mind and was never answered.
Overall, I enjoyed Moongarden. Following Myra as she continued to learn a forbidden magic (tending plants) was exciting. The magical world mixed with the sci-fi element was interesting. While this is written with middle graders in mind, teens who enjoy dystopias will like this one too. If you are a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopias, I highly recommend it.
Tour-Wide Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway
- 1 winner will receive a finished copy of MOONGARDEN, US Only.
- End November 8th, midnight EST.
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