Date Read: May 28th, 2021
Final Score: 8 / 10 !
Wow. Like seriously WOW. This was an AWESOME treat to read!
It was a really intricate world and had absolutely EPIC characters! When combined with a plot that was halfway between an Agatha Christie novel (a la 'And Then There Were None') and a Space Opera remix of Max Max, this was AWESOME.
Action packed, full of personal politicking social intrigue, intricate discussions of anatomy and theoretical science... It was an encompassing swirl of deeply engaging storytelling and 'couldn't put it down' drama!
It's also a great representation of LBGTQ+ Lit in adult SciFi where there romance is secondary and Not-A-Big-Deal-TM, while still keeping the notion of gender/sexuality being a spectrum at the fore. It's a great example of how to run a universe with LGBTQ rep, entirely because it doesn't stop to Examine-Things every time a non-binary blip pops up on the reader's radar.
Everything about this was epic. And it was one of the very best versions of 'how to make a character a badass super-fighter' without just making them ridiculous or overpowered. Gideon is Epic. And she's an insecure disaster of a human. And she loses a lot. But she's shown very elegantly as being an incredible swordswoman.
All in all, it's very well done.
Mainly, there was like zero comprehensive world building. This is the half-complaint because it was part of Gideon's character building. Gideon doesn't frickin care how the world functions. So she didn't really discuss it in her mental monologue. It was great, even as it got a bit annoying/confusing towards the very end.
The only other piece of complaint I've got is that the final fight scene was excessive. It was just too long and too over the top to really play well with the pacing of the rest of it. I do understand why the choice to make it that way was made, but I disagree and I dislike the outcome of the final rendering. I would've shortened it by a few pages. Nothing too drastic, but it just got long ...
Otherwise, this is probably the best book I've read thus far this year!
And it's a GREAT transition for readers in Upper YA who are thinking about jumping into the mixed-bag of adult-SciFi!