From Moon to Joshua – Matthew Moffitt
Title: From Moon to Joshua
Series: The Sands of Deliverance
Author: Matthew Moffitt
Publisher Location: Calgary, AB
Publisher: Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy
Publication Date: November 2016
Back cover copy
What would you do if there was an evil inside you that you couldn’t stop? And how would you live with yourself when you realized it?
Blending science fiction, a dystopian world, and the old west, FROM MOON TO JOSHUA is – at the heart of it – a tale about how one man answers those very questions.
The story follows Drayaden Sinclaire, as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of a husband and his son, lost while traveling from the town of Moon to Joshua. The search forces Drayaden to confront the very thing he fears most: himself.
Drayaden Sinclaire lives by three rules:
- he kills when he needs to, never before;
- he always pays his debts, and
- he never draws his sword.
FROM MOON TO JOSHUA takes places on the Desert Land, a barren wasteland where Toreth, the home country, sends their criminals to live out the rest of their days. It’s harsh and relentless, like its people.
No one is safe and no one is ready.
I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything quite like From Moon to Joshua. It’s an odd combination of Hunger Games meets the Wild West meets Supernatural. Cross-genre pieces like this can turn out to be experiments best left untouched or they can be amazing masterpieces—Matthew Moffitt definitely managed the latter.
I’ve never been a huge fan of westerns, but Matthew brought in just the right elements of science fiction and fantasy to make the twist work. Drayaden Sinclaire (how can you not love that name?) is in a land without laws and in possession of a powerful weapon that can destroy any enemy he comes across, but with a hefty price.
The biggest strength of this book is definitely the characters. Although I couldn’t necessarily identify with their situation, I could identify with their motivations, and each character goes through their own arc and grows significantly to adapt to their unusual situation.
Drayaden is not a typical hero. His motivations sometimes seem questionable, and his inner demons even more so, but he is dedicated to protecting the innocent in a land of the guilty, and he always sticks to his word. He is consistently thrown into more and more unusual situations, which causes an inner struggle with temptation for power. The weapon he possesses could solve his and his friends’ problems, but at the cost of his sanity and personal control.
Does he succumb to the temptation, or can he solve the land’s problems without giving up his mind and body in the process? You’ll have to read to find out!
Ellen is a freelance fiction editor, book reviewer, research assistant for Simon Fraser University, marketing coordinator for WCSFA, and member volunteer for Editors’ Association of Canada. As of September 2017, she is also a master’s student of publishing at SFU. You can contact her via ellenmichelle.com for any editing queries and at email@example.com for book review queries.