#BookReview Moongazer or Alternity by Marianne (Mari) Mancusi 4/5 Stars

Overview: Skye Brown loves her life; she has a fantastic game designing job, a nice New York apartment, and a delicious DJ boyfriend but lately something is off. Every time she falls asleep she has horrible nightmares about being someone else running for her life. Then one day she wakes up in a strange box full of kaleidoscopic moving colors and sunglasses on. She stumbles out of the box to find a hall with other boxes just like that one. Lost and confused, she remembers a couple of names and advice her yoga instructor gave her, “Don’t trust Duske, find Dawn.” Once out of the hall, the brothel-looking waiting room, she was completely lost. Using a phone, she calls the number Glenda, you teacher, wrote on her hand and contacts Dawn who thinks she is someone else. She follows him and learns that Moongazing is a government funded program for the underground people of Terra, to live in paradise in an alternate university in new reality, Earth. According to Dawn, and friends called Eclipsers, Skye was actually Mariah Quinn who was the leader of the rebel Eclipser group. Denying it with her whole being, she is kidnapped by Duske who seems to believe she is Skye, and forces her to be apart of a seminar for the citizens of Terra in hopes of getting more people to make the jump to Earth, by showing pictures and comparing it to the horrible conditions of living underground. Duske send Skye back to Earth and she takes pictures of ordinary things hoping for Duske to leave her alone and on Earth. The second she uploads the picture to a website, she is pulled back to Terra and held in a locked room. She is then rescued by Glenda and runs back to Dawn. The longer she is in Terra, the more she feels at home and everyone feels familiar, but still holds that she is Skye Brown and not Mariah even after seeing convincing pictures of herself she doesn’t remember taking. She takes up the mantel of Mariah to rouse the rebels into shutting down the program, as she realizes the government is using it as a way to kill people and take their money. The government sweeps in and they have to run. She finds her way back to Earth, but everything there seems foreign to her and there are strange new changes she doesn’t remember. Skye decides to go see her boyfriend and make up for lost time, but runs into Terrans visiting Earth and finds out the government is killing people because they kidnapped her. Feeling guilty and heartbroken over losing Dawn, whom she has come to love, she ditches Earth to fight for freedom on Terra. Once back they come up with a plan to overthrow the government and find that the Moongazing program is much darker than anyone ever thought. She and Dawn get caught and she is being held to her deal to speak at the seminar. The Eclipser come in, save the day and shutdown the program.

Interesting fact: Moongazer came out around 2007, since then the title and author’s name has changed. Moongazer has become Alternity and Marianne has simply been shortened to Mari for the rest of her books. I do not know why the changes where made, but if you hunt for this book I would try the new ones before the old. It may have had something to with the republication of the book, as the copy I picked up has many typos and missed edits.

3

Opinion: It’s awesome! There were a bit too many pop culture references for my taste, but they helped add to the mysteries of the ‘gazing program. This is actually my second time reading it and it is still great. The duality in the main character is spectacular as she battles what she knows is true and what others tell her is the truth. It isn’t until the end of the story we learn who she really is or isn’t. It makes you think about how much we take for granted and how poorly most of the population are prepared for an Apocalypse.

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Courtney M. Wendleton

I'm an author with an associate's in psychology. Interested in a lot of different things, and love controversy. The more controversial the better, but that's not all I'm interested in. Can be a bit confusing at times, but that's normal!

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