I do not have enough words to convey my love for Chameleon Moon. It is remarkable for so many reasons, which I will talk about below, but my most favorite, is how diverse this science fiction book is. It’s exactly everything I have been wanting, a way for diversity to be seamlessly integrated into the genre. Yes, all the yes and more.
Parole is burning up. Cut off from the rest of the world, they are trapped within this scorching city, feared by the world because of their superhuman like abilities. However, Parole is more than its temperature, and is populated by people who are struggling and fighting to survive. Behind the scenes, the wheels are turning and a plot begins to hatch to unravel the mystery below the surface. But little do they know that this plot has been in the works long before they imagined it, that is has more than moving pieces, and that to save Parole just might mean going into the depths of the fire itself.
First off, the characters were amazing. Each, not only is wonderful, but has their own quirks. I hate when characters do not have personalities, but this is not the case with all of the characters in Chameleon Moon, even the ones that weren’t my favorite, I still enjoyed. It is so rare for me to read a book and not be able to a) pick a favorite and b) not dislike a single character. They all have depth, diversity, and differences between them. Because they are so colorful in their own way, they contribute to this clever plotline.
Throughout the book, we never truly see the whole picture, and Sylver does it masterfully. I am most definitely partial to books where there is all this intrigue and mysterious world building that I cannot even begin to grasp. It reminds me of how clever authors are, and it just leaves me reeling. (By the way, I am always interested in how authors, especially of SF and fantasy novels, introduce us to the world, via characters or world building. Sylver is no exception and has one of the best ways I have seen in a while to parallel our confusion on Parole. If that makes absolute no sense to you, trust me and read it!)
The writing is phenomenal. It is both moving as well as clear, even when the ‘lens’ we read it through is foggy from our confusion. I am under the firm belief that we wear different lenses when we read speculative fiction, and it is always a challenge for an author to immerse us in the world while never losing us. It is a tricky tightrope and in Chameleon Moon we never fall off, Sylver always catches us at the last moment.
The representation in this book is wonderfully rich – polyamorous, lesbian, nonbinary, and more. It is such a vivid promise of what the genre can be like and I am absolutely so thankful it was published. Chameleon Moon is not only uplifting, but presents a future and heroes who are invested in the spreading of love and support to fight for their cause. (Also at one point Sylver refers to makeup as armor – I really thought it had topped the charts, but that blew it out of the water for me).
This book is amazing through and through from the way the plot comes together, to the character’s personalities, to Sylver’s writing. It is purely thrilling on so many different levels: from the personal – the diversity, to beyond – with the supportive message. I have already bought the second and am scrambling to move my review schedule around to read it! Chameleon Moon is an ode. An ode to not having to sacrifice, of daring to embody ourselves, to healing and community cooperation, and the power of people moving.
Would you rather be able to disappear, grow plants, or teleport?
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