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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Book Review: Day Moon

Dystopian novels can tackle some interesting "what if" scenarios and Brett Armstrong accomplishes that in his novel Day Moon.

In the near future, a 17-year-old boy named Elliott is tasked with logging printed works into a computer database for Project Alexandria, founded by his grandfather as a means of keeping all human knowledge secure and accessible to everyone. This means printed works are destroyed in good faith. But Elliott discovers that a book of William Shakespeare's works that belonged to his grandfather do not match what has been logged into Project Alexandria.

It presents the "what if" scenario about the government keeping digital copies of books and other printed material, only for the government to determine what is kept and what the work really meant, instead of allowing people to read the work as originally written. It begs the question about who decides what when it comes to writings that are passed down from generation to generation.

The "what if" scenario is what makes Day Moon an interesting read. But it also sees Elliott unraveling a mystery along the way, all while trying to figure out who he can and can't trust. Armstrong keeps Elliott's character consistent along the way -- Elliott is a Christian, but he doesn't preach about it and instead goes back to his beliefs as part of his motives for deciding what action to take and who he should trust.

I did find a few spots in which it seemed Armstrong pulled away from Elliott's POV and into the mindset of another character, but they didn't detract from the book overall. I would chalk that up to how writers try to show, rather than tell, the emotions of a non-POV character but don't always nail it.

Day Moon is a book that makes you think, regardless of what your religious or philosophical beliefs may be. After all, history is filled with people who have taken popular works and tried to change them based on what they think is appropriate, often in ways that deny others a chance to read the works for themselves and determine what they mean.

It goes without saying I consider Day Moon a recommended read. You may purchase it at Amazon.

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