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Review: Moon-Sitting by Emma Mort Harding


The Moon fell into the Ocean and the Waves wept.

Infinity was once home to a thriving civilisation. That is, before the Moon arrived. The enormous, spherical structure brought with it death and destruction, wiping out most of the population with a series of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Since then the Moon has sat silently on the southern edge of Infinity’s mass continent.

Lucky Marsh is one of three moon-sitters charged with monitoring the Moon, acting as a living alarm system for Infinity’s last city. They must watch, but never touch: that’s the golden rule of moon-sitting. However, for the ever-curious Lucky, that rule has become increasingly difficult to abide.

Her nightmares compel her to do more. Her feet betray her while she sleeps.

I picked this book up on a whim because A) it was short, and B) my heart needed a break after the second Fear University book. Being a novella with a length of only 100 pages, Moon-Sitting is easy enough to read through in one sitting (or two sittings, if you’re a terribly slow reader like I am). Despite the length, however, it’s got a surprising amount of depth to it, an interesting main character, and a super interesting world to boot.

I’m totally a sucker for soft post-apocalyptic settings, which I guess is to say stuff like Roadside Picnic, where something huge and world-shaping has occurred, people aren’t really sure why it happened (or even necessarily what happened), and they’re now stuck with the consequences of it and have to figure out a new way of life. Moon-Sitting has tons of Roadside Picnic energy, especially in the first half, but unlike the Strugatsky brothers’ classic you do actually get some definitive answers in the second half, which I think most people will tally as a point in its favor.

I quite enjoyed Harding’s writing style. Things move forward quickly, descriptions are relatively sparse though functional, and every now and then you get a super nice line that reminds you that language is a thing that can be cool when used skillfully. I do still have some questions about the physiology of the characters (who are not strictly human), though that’s a pretty minor gripe which is easy enough to solve with your own head canon. On that note, the book gets bonus points for being “aphantasia-accessible”, which is totally a category I’m making up on the spot, and it just means that Harding doesn’t spend an overly indulgent amount of time describing scenery and intricate visuals.

Really my only complaint about Moon-Sitting is that it’s a novella. I would have loved to spend more time in this world, get to know the other moon-sitters a bit more, explore a bit more of the world outside the eponymous moon. Especially toward the end, the reveals and twists come rapidly one after another (and the content found therein is great), but it would definitely not have overstayed its welcome if it were a little longer. That’s just my personal preference for long, meaty reads talking, though. There are also couple dangling threads in the plot that have me second-guessing myself, wondering if I missed something important. Though considering it seems another book is in the works we’ll probably find out sooner or later!

If any of that sounds interesting to you (and it should, considering the premise starts with the freaking moon fell down), you should pick up a copy from Amazon. Also, head over to Twitter where Harding’s having a giveaway for a signed proof and some other goodies (including a face mask!).

Final rating: Moontastic