Title: Chameleon Moon
Author: RoAnna Sylver
The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.
The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die – directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.
Regan, stealth and reconnaissance expert with a lizard’s scales and snake’s eyes, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he’s finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isn’t enough: he needs an escape, and he’ll do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.
But instead of ending a man’s life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice – and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.
They join forces with Evelyn’s family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then there’s Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Parole’s few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.
Separately they’d never survive, much less uncover the secret of Parole’s eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isn’t above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating… and holding Regan’s memories hostage until he gets his way.
Parole’s a rough place to live. But they’re not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way…
Excuse my language, but holy fucking shit. This book. It’s so good!!!
I started reading this book back in April, and it took me 3 months to finish. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m glad that it took me so long. I’m happy I got to spend so much time with the characters and in this world, because I had a wonderful time.
The characters are, in my opinion, the best part of this book. They’re all so real, wonderful, and shit, there are literal tears in my eyes right now because I’m trying to think of a way to describe how much I love them but it feels impossible. Every single one of them is just so loveable, strong, intelligent, kind, brave, and the way they all interact warmed my heart. And have I mentioned that I love them yet?
I also really adored the world and the story in general. It felt very unique and like something I’ve never read before, and it really sucked me in. I have to admit that it was a little bit confusing and that I had no idea what was going on 80% of the time, but that just compelled me even more to just keep reading. And while this book is a dystopian, the city where the characters live in is in ruins, and it seems like their situation is hopeless, this story is so incredibly hopeful, which in turn gave me hope. And hope is the most powerful thing of all.
Now let’s talk about something in this book that meant the world to me: the anxiety rep. One of the characters in this book deals with really bad anxiety and panic attacks, and it was the best rep I’ve ever read. This was the first time I could really see this side of myself in a book, and it was so incredibly important to me, and it meant so, so much.
I swear I tried to make this into a normal review, but you know that feeling when you love something so much that you can’t quite put it into words and you just start rambling a bit? Yeah, that’s me right now. But I hope this somehow convinces y’all to pick this book up.
And in case I haven’t convinced you yet, I added three quotes from the book down here that I feel like perfectly capture the story, because if my words can’t sway you to pick this book up, RoAnna’s words will:
It made her want to mow down the whole damn city, ripping and screaming and defending until this violent, sick world was safe for sweet flower girls and little boys who tucked flowers into her hair and called her Mama.
“I don’t think you’re a paradox. But you might be asexual.” Regan’s mouth fell open. He looked up with wide eyes again but for a much different, much better reason. Slowly, the tension melted out of his shoulders and his frill dropped back down to hang loose. When he looked at her now she saw something else in his eyes. One of her favorite things to see. Hope.
Your voice is your power, and nothing and nobody can take it away from you. Love yourself, love the people around you, and never give up. If you need help, reach out. If you’re drowning, make some noise. There are people who love you, who will throw you a life preserver. That’s what it all comes down to, love. That’s how we’re gonna get through this. And we are gonna get through this.
That last quote is from the epilogue that I have now reread and cried over multiple times, and I feel like it really holds a big part of the message that this book wants to give you. No matter what your sexuality is, how you express yourself, how you feel or who you are, you’re okay. You’re valid. You’re good. You will get through this, and there’s always hope. And that’s why this book is so incredibly important.
I could keep on rambling about this book for hours, but I should probably wrap this up here. But please, pick this book up. You won’t regret it.