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.