Ukrainian / Ukraine
Slonova, Katja (Slonova, Katya) (illus.)
L'viv: Vydavynctvo Staroho Leva, 2018. – 116 p.
Hierarchy | Faith | Doubt | Truth | Self-confidence | Dystopia
White Ravens issue: 2018
Reading age: 10+
Ukrainian born, Vienna-based author Tanya Malyarchuk (b. 1983) has received accolades for her novels as well as short stories, and “Mox Nox” is her first children’s book. It’s sombre, mysterious, bizarre, and marvellously creepy. Humans have disappeared from the Earth, and the abandoned ruins of cities are now populated by nocturnal winged civilisations akin to bats and flying foxes. Young Tereza is one of these creatures, who is raised believing in a mangrove forest paradise and the words of the mighty “Night-seer”. Yet she begins to doubt these givens and wants to find out what the world is really like and why the humans left it. Tereza overcomes challenges set by her group’s aggressive matriarch and looks to discover the truth. Together with illustrator Katya Slonova, Malyarchuk creates a spine-tingling story about faith and trust, hierarchies and, above all, staying true to oneself.