Strange, Unusual & Completely Unique! My Review of The Merman and the Moon Forgotten by Kevin McGill

The Merman and the Moon Forgotten (Nikolas & Company #1)
Paperback, 203 pages
Published: March 31st, 2012 by Aero Studios
Source: Author
Nikolas and Company is fantasy adventure meets Goonies

This middle grade fantasy is perfect for readers between the ages of 10 and 16.

“A long time ago in a world not so far away…”
Senior stagecoach driver, Yeri Willrow, leads a group of mysterious passengers through one of the most fog-ridden night of his prestigious career. What he thought would be a simple drive and drop quickly turns into an attack by foul-breath, red-eyed creatures. Yeri learns that his mysterious passengers are a family of automaton-legged merfolk, and he is their only hope from the creature most foul.

“Sometime in the near future…”
Fourteen-year-old Nick lives in a time when one can zip from country to country in mach-speed hovercars, extend their life indefinitely through cerebral downloads, and have every whim taken care of by their ever faithful nannydrone.

Nick hates it.

Aside from the refugee camps, overpopulation, and unchecked consumerism filling every city across the globe, Nick just doesn’t belong. That is when he hears the voice of a woman:

“The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all.”

Shortly after, his slightly crazed grandfather reveals to him:

“All you’ve ever heard about the Moon is a lie, my dear Nikolas. He was not always a mere satellite, a ghost wandering the stars. In an age before our own, Moon was our twin, and in him bore the whole of magical life. The cradle of this magical civilization was a fantastic metropolis filled with fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you could smell it. We called this city Huron, and you, Nikolas, are her steward.”

The Merman and the Moon Forgotten is a very unique book.  It’s a mix of so many genres that there’s no way to label it.  It’s got a touch of Steampunk (look at the automaton legs on the merman on the cover, pretty cool!), a lot of scifi (part of the book takes place on the moon!), dystopia (the earth is in the future and MUCH has changed) and even has a touch of satire.  I hesitate to say that, but I felt like taking the futuristic earth to the extreme it was taken to with silly little rhyming messages, the robots that care for them but are sponsored by companies and constantly advertise as they work and the father of Nick being a gangsta wanna be to the extreme was feeling a bit like a satire.  But it worked, I liked it, so it’s not a negative!  But the father being a gangsta wanna be kind of threw me for a loop.  It kind of came out of left field so it was strange.  But later there was a bit of an explanation.  I just have a hard time imagining grown men being gangsta wannabe’s that far in the future (but once again, that’s where the satire comes in).

This is a middle grade book but at times it felt pretty complicated and even a touch confusing for me, so I would say more mature middle grade readers would likely enjoy it the most.  And it’s definitely a ‘boy’ book.  Oh yes, girls would enjoy it plenty, but boys don’t often read ‘girl’ books and this is certainly not a ‘girl’ book.  There’s a lot of action and a lot of cool inventions and things.  Things are weird, but yet really cool.  And I think boys would really go crazy for this book.

I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the characters as well as the plot.  Even though I found myself feeling a bit confused at times by the end I felt like I understood what all had happened and was finally wrapping it around my brain.  Nick was a great character and I love that he went with what he wanted to do and believed in and didn’t let people stop him.  He also stuck up for his brother and friends when they needed him.  His grandfather was really a hilarious guy and I could just picture him so well!  Not sure why he had a Scottish accent, but it added to his character, I liked it.

Yep, I certainly recommend this people looking for something a bit different who are open to strange and unusual.  I especially recommend it to middle grade and teenage boys (and adult ones as it’s going to my fully grown brother next).   There is a cliffie at the end but it didn’t leave me angry.  It did make me anxious for the next one though!  Another thing I want to comment on is the packaging.  It’s a gorgeous cover but the inside is done very well as well.  It’s got great chapter headers and is very appealing to the eye.  This book is definitely a keeper and a must-have for the shelf!

  Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

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  1. I haven’t heard of this one either, you always find great books to tell us about Candace, I love that about your blog!

    I am glad you enjoyed this one, it sounds like it has a little bit of everything for everyone.

  2. While something I wouldn’t necessarily pick up for myself, I know a lot of boys who come to the library that would absolutely love this book so I’m going to order it and recommend this to them. Thank you for letting me know about the book. I haven’t heard of it before.

  3. Okay, I’m looking at this cover and correct me if I’m wrong, but does he have mechanical legs AND a merman’s tail? What a clever way for him to be able to be on land. Win. You know I’m not a huge MG reader Candace, but I’m always on the lookout for my younger cousins who are just starting to be really into reading, and I think my cousin Clayton would enjoy this one. I’ll definitely forward the recommendation on to him!

  4. Jenny, yes indeed, that mermaid does have a mermaid tail with mechanical legs, very cool right?

    Rummanah, YAY! Lots of boys will be happy with that decision!

    Kindlemom, It’s most definitely a mix of genre’s!

  5. A mechanical mermaid now that is something I have never heard of! Very original indeed. I am glad this was a good read for you. It definitely sounds unique!

  6. Candace just wanted to thank you for these middle school reviews. I don’t read much MG books, but my mom is a MG teacher and she need recommendations all the time. So anytime you give a book a good rating, I write it down and tell my mom to read it.

    Your the best!!

  7. This does sound very different. It’s not my kind of read, but I’m always looking for books to push onto the youngsters in my life and for my teacher friends. The cover looks cool, so I can only imagine what it looks like in person.

  8. Hi! Just stumbled across your blog via The Bookish Babe. This book sounds very intriguing! I love the merman/automaton on the cover – so original! I’ll definitely be looking for this one.

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