The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers, #1) - David Estes Actual rating: 3.5 starsSo, my Kindle seems to have inexplicably deleted more than half the notes I took while reading this.But whatever, whatever. I can deal with it. Even though it's been about a month since I finished this, I think I can remember what I was going to say pretty well.The story: Humanity (what's left of it, anyway) is forced to live underground after the surface of the Earth is completely destroyed. A new society is formed called the Tri-Realms, which consists of the Sun Realm, the Moon Realm, and the Star Realm.17-year-old Adele, a Moon Dweller, has been sentenced to life in prison as punishment for her parents' treason. She is desperate to escape and find her family––her parents and younger sister, who were also captured. Two other prisoners, Tawni and Cole, decide to help her escape and search for her family.Our other protagonist/narrator is Tristan––who is not only a Sun Dweller, but the son of the President himself. His mother is gone, and he thinks his father is evil.One day while he's in the Moon Realm, Tristan catches sight of Adele in the prison yard and feels inexplicably drawn to her. In the following days, he finds himself unable to forget about her. Unsatisfied with his luxurious Sun Realm life and feeling like he is destined for something greater, he decides to leave his home with his best friend Roc and go after Adele––who, after she and her friends escape the prison, is being pursued by a ruthless killer hired by the President.My thoughts:I found The Moon Dwellers to be an addicting and exciting read.The dystopian society David Estes creates is unique and intriguing. I really liked the idea of the three separate realms and how each one had its own rank; it felt realistic, like something that could potentially happen. That is, even after the apocalypse and everything, there's still a power struggle among humans. I also enjoyed the cast of characters. Adele is a strong heroine who can really kick some ass. Tristan is kind of like a sad puppy dog in some ways, but I still found him likable and his narration is amusing. Tawni and Cole are both nicely fleshed-out characters with interesting backstories. And I loved the bromance between Tristan and Roc ... I'm a sucker for bromance.That said, there were a few things that I found confusing and/or unrealistic in some way.I had some trouble suspending my disbelief when it came to the premise. This is how it's explained by Tristan at the beginning of Chapter Twelve:They say the meteor was the size of Texas. Any life left on the surface of the earth when it hit was wiped out by either the shockwave caused by the collision, or the resulting tsunamis unleashed around the world's oceans. Humans were forced to move underground.Secretly, government scientists expected it for years, using covert teams of miners to dig the world's largest caverns in preparation for the inevitable. But still: There wasn't room for everyone. It would've been terrible: the Lottery. Families ripped apart; friends lost; blossoming relationships cut off at the knees. Of course, key individuals, like politicians, doctors, scientists, and farmers received a free pass, but all others just got a number. The number gave them a one in a hundred chance of getting selected to move into the underground facilities.All the rest were destroyed.And that was just the United States. No one knows for sure what happened to the rest of the world. Perhaps they weren't so prepared. Perhaps they were all dead.So ... I have some major issues with this explanation. First of all, I don't understand why the U.S. government would know that the apocalypse was approaching and prepare for it without telling anyone. I also don't think it's scientifically possible to know a meteor is coming years in advance––certainly not long enough to be digging enough tunnels to fit that many people underground. I mean, that would take ... a long, long time. Not only that, but wouldn't people have suspected something? I mean, where did they put all the dirt and rocks they were digging up? There would have to be like mountains of soil everywhere. It would look really suspicious.Secondly, I find it hard to believe that everyone would go along with this "Lottery" thing and that a majority of the human race would just stay on the surface of the Earth and wait to get fried to death. I would think there would be a lot of rioting over who gets to survive and who doesn't; I mean, it would probably end up being some kind of crazy all-out war with everyone just killing each other all over the place. Thirdly, I find it really hard to believe the whole "we don't know what happened outside of the United States" thing. I mean, we're not talking about a disaster that's going to only affect one country; it affects the entire world. Surely they all still had phones and Internet and television. So, first of all, all the governments in the entire world would have to decide not to tell anyone that the apocalypse was approaching and they would all be preparing for it in secret––which seems highly unrealistic to begin with. And then, after it had happened, I don't understand why the U.S. wouldn't try to get in contact with other countries. They still have the technology to watch TV and whatnot throughout the course of the story ... so, wouldn't they have the technology to at least make long-distance calls or something and find out if the rest of the world survived? There's also this:Our senses of hearing and smell have been heightened, making us less reliant on our slightly improved sight. Our skin has become paler and dustier. Human lungs are now more resistant to the constant intake of rock dust.... Which I also find hard to believe, because evolution takes millions of years. I would think that the inhalation of dust and mold and whatnot would have quite a negative effect on a lot of people's health; they wouldn't simply adjust to it that quickly. So, those are my believability issues. Sorry for the long rant. :PI also had some problems with the double first-person narration. I sometimes had trouble distinguishing Tristan and Adele's "voices." The book probably could have been written in third person and it would have been less confusing at times.Speaking of voices, Tristan's dialogue felt really unnatural to me at times. For example, when he first describes what Adele looks like to Roc, he literally says:"Even wearing her gray prisoner's tunic she was stunning. Her hair fell like a black waterfall around her shoulders. Her eyes were intensely fascinating."This just doesn't strike me as the way any teenage boy talks. Ever.On top of that, I had some mixed feelings about the romance. I liked it for the most part; it was pretty atypical, at any rate. I found it a little strange that Adele and Tristan were so obsessed with each other after only seeing each other for about five seconds––and I mean, I don't think that's completely out of the question, but they also would both kind of act like they knew each other and would defend each other so intensely if one of their friends questioned their obsession. So, I understand being that drawn to someone, but I'm not sure about the whole "I just know this person is perfect because we're soul mates" type thing. But anyway, once they met up with each other (which took a long, long time) I thought their romance was sweet and didn't go as over the top as it could have. ... That seemed like kind of a long list of complaints. But really, I did enjoy this book a lot and I hope to read the sequels. I did have some believability issues with it, but over all I thought it was a lot of fun to read, built an original world, and had an exciting plot. Good stuff. :)