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A Series Like The Hunger Games That You've Probably Never Heard Of

Updated on November 20, 2013
The Moon Dwellers Cover
The Moon Dwellers Cover | Source

The Dweller's Saga

Right about now everybody is gearing up for tomorrow's release of the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire. Many have already purchased their tickets and the dedicated fans are re-reading the series. There is excitement in the air and there is almost a Christmas feel to it as we all eagerly await for "Hunger Games Santa". However, what's going to happen in a few weeks when all the excitement dies down? Fans will enter into the dreaded Post-Hunger Games Depression. They will look for anything and everything to distract them from the fact that they have to wait at least another year before being engulfed in THG once more. This is usually the time when readers begin to search for new books and trilogies that may resemble THG. I'm here today to introduce you to one such book that I stumbled upon by chance called The Moon Dwellers.


The following is a summary of the book:

In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.

After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents' crimes of treason.

Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.

At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.

When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.

In their world, someone must die.

Why Read It?

One of the main reasons I am writing this article is so people can discover this book. I wanted to give the readers something NEW. If you search for books similar to THG you will get the same ones EVERY TIME. This lists includes books like Divergent, Legend, Delirium, etc. I'm not saying these books are bad. In fact, I've read them all, but I wanted something else, not just what was popular.

The author, David Estes, is amazing but still unknown. It kills me to see less than 1,000 ratings on this book on Goodreads while THG has almost 2 million! But believe me, this is solely due to popularity. I believe that if and when the Dweller's becomes as well known as THG it will receive just as much praise.

This book is the first of seven books. Sounds like a lot right? Well, once you start reading you will wish there were more.There are four in the Dweller's Saga and three in the Countries' Saga. At first it seems as though the two Sagas are independent of each other, but in the final book they tie together perfectly.

Fan-made Scores for the Moon Dwellers

What Order Do I Read Them In?

Some people may be confused about the order in which to read the Series. There are actually a couple different ways you can read them. I read them in the order they were released which worked just fine for me:

Moon Dwellers -> Star Dwellers -> Sun Dwellers -> Fire Country -> Ice Country -> Water & Storm Countries -> Earth Dwellers

Once you read the first book or if you want a little more detailed info on exactly what I thought about the book you can check out my review below! In the meantime here's a video with some amazing fan-made scores for the book =)

Happy Reading!

My Moon Dwellers Review

Let me start off by saying I LOVE this book. I love the pacing. I love the world building. I love the story. I love the perspective changes from chapter to chapter (which I'm starting to notice in a few other books: legend, unwind, gone girl <-- last one not dystopian but still good) and of course I LOVE the characters! That being said, here's my review...

I'll start with the main characters:
The book starts off with one of the two main characters, Adele. If you're looking for a strong female lead this girl is it. She's not the girl character that is weak at first and then realizes how strong she is... NO, this girl knows from the beginning that she is a fighter. Her dad taught her to fight from a young age and she's good at it too. Her character growth from the beginning to the end of the book is amazing. In the start of the book she could barley have a conversation, because she had secluded herself from everyone for the last 6 months. By the middle of the book she has made friends that would literally die for her.

"The last 6 months, though hard, have chiseled me into a different person. I am the same, but different. I am no longer reliant on my father to protect me. I am tough. A survivor"

Then, there is Tristan. The son of the president, whom is also the most hated person in the lower realms. However, from the beginning it is easy to see that Tristan is different. He cares, he puts others before himself and he protects his friends. He's the guy you trust to have your back in a fight.

Roc (my favorite character) is Tristan's servant and best friend. Roc is my favorite for several reasons, the main one being that he is the most loyal person in the book. I found all the characters to be pretty loyal, but Roc is above all. He has almost no fighting skills, and he still risks his life in more than one battle for Tristan. He's also hilarious.

Even the supporting characters have interesting backstories. I really admire when authors take the time to carve out each character. It adds to the emotional investment, and makes you feel what these characters feel because you know what they have been through.

Even though the characters have been through a lot, most of them seem to have a lighter side. This book made me laugh so many times. Between Tristan and Roc's constant banter and Adele's misplaced sarcasm I found this book hilarious. A few of my favorite Adele sarcasms:

"I worry that my stay-away-from-me-vibe disappeared, but then I check and find it's still here"

"should be simple, easy, no problemo! Or impossible. It's definitely one or the other"

"I'm not sure what everyone's been smoking but I want some- clearly it's good stuff"

"Can it be: another friend? Two in one day? It's like a Christmas miracle"

There are so many more. Sometimes it feels a bit too much but that's what the "misplaced" is for right?

The world building in the story is awesome. I mean think about it. Life as we know it is gone. Everyone lives underground. Somehow life still works, but in different ways. There is no sun, no moon, no weather. I mean, as an author, that takes some careful planning to explain to readers without an information overload, but so far the author has handled it beautifully. There wasn't a ton of world building done in the first book, but that is because we mainly stay in the moon realm. However, we do get the backstory of how everyone came to live underground which was my number one question coming into this book, and we have a pretty good idea of the social system as well. With the following 2 books in the dweller series there will be plenty of time for more world building.

The pacing of the book is good. The parts that are supposed to read fast, like fight scenes, do exactly that but still with enough detail that I could picture each move being made.

I like how this book isn't entirely centered on romance. Actually, there is very little romance. I'm sure it's obvious to anyone who has ever read a book that Tristan and Adele's relationship will most likely blossom later in the series, but it was a nice reprieve from what most books give you, which is the main characters staring into each other's eyes for 90% of the book. Yes... the center of the story is that Tristan and Adele were "drawn" together, but they both make it clear that at first there was nothing romantic about it. For those critics saying that this was "insta love"... Um no it wasn't. Tristan didn't look at Adele and think "I'm going to marry her". He looked at her and wondered why he felt like his head was about to explode.... Nothing very romantic about that is there??

Well, it's a tough choice but I'm going to have to give this book 5 stars. I hope everyone enjoys my review!

Dwellers Poll

What did you think about the book?

See results

© 2013 haleyp321


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    • jrpierce profile image


      5 years ago from Ellijay, Ga

      Thanks for the review, I will share this with my teenage daughter, who adores the Hunger Games series. She will be happy to know there is something similar out there to read.


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