Tag: Books

Otherbound is trying very, very hard, but just isn’t that good

Otherbound is trying very, very hard, but just isn’t that good

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

This is a very meh book. I didn’t particularly want it to be, but it failed me in every way. There was nothing really going on, the writing was dull, the worldbuidling was clearly making an effort but explained poorly, and nothing felt interesting, legitimate, or real.

The characters are diverse, but even in the reviews that’s all anyone can talk about. Yay for diversity! Not much to cheer about otherwise.

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A Soul To Take has a great premise, but needs a rewrite (or two)

A Soul To Take has a great premise, but needs a rewrite (or two)

★☆☆☆☆

(1 star)

(This is a review of a free ARC I got from the publisher. As you may guess, this did not impact or change my review or review process. These opinions are my honest own.)

I hate to leave a negative review, especially for a book I’d been excited for, especially for a book by a debut author, especially for a book from an indie press… but here we are.

This book was right up my wheelhouse- wait, scratch that, it was parked in my garage. Urban fantasy? Demons? Demon-human integration? (with promise of political-social implications of that?) Beauty and the Beast type romance? Soul selling? Gothic cyberpunk? Yes. Yes please. It was on my ‘to-read’ list before I’d gotten myself an ARC.

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Only Ever Yours is an incredible modern, yet classical dystopia

Only Ever Yours is an incredible modern, yet classical dystopia

★★★★★

(5 stars)

I read this on the floor of a train station during a ten-hour train delay, finishing around 2am, and it was probably the perfect experience for this book. Strange, long, complicated, at times mysterious and frustrating, Only Ever Yours brought perfectly together Brave New World and 1984- but with a more direct commentary on feminism, the role of women in society, sexuality, and media. (While also having time to talk about racism, eating disorders, sex, sexism, social inoculation, brainwashing, and mental illness).

And listen, folks, I’m not a pretentious person. You won’t catch me dead giving a holler about women’s studies or queer theory. But Only Ever Yours is not some highbrow, academic commentary. It’s a solid story in an extreme dystopia, where the world has shaped the characters perfectly, and the reader never quite knows enough.

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Archangel Protocol: Sometimes, you find something unexpected(ly good)

Archangel Protocol: Sometimes, you find something unexpected(ly good)

★★★☆☆

(3.5 stars)

(About the rating: This book gets three stars, but the rest of the series is all five stars. I’ll probably review them later, and will address why this one is much lower, but let it be known: these are good books.)

Ever since I found the wonder that was mallworld*, I’ve been really riding on that fantastical hope that mysterious second hand bookstores are going to lead me to obscure and lovable stories. I don’t really think that ideal is true or false right now- it’s just my way of saying I picked this book off the shelf for two bucks and with zero expectations.

It didn’t disappoint, only because there was nothing to be disappointed with.

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Beauty Queens: Diversity is good, but it doesn’t make a book

Beauty Queens: Diversity is good, but it doesn’t make a book

★☆☆☆☆

(1 star)

I love Libba bay. I want to put that out there. I loved Going Bovine, and when I was about 13, it was probably my most read and reread book. Beauty Queens, by her, sucks. Oh man. Oh boy. I used to just be lukewarm, but I’ve been seeing it float around on LGBT recommendation lists and on tumblr, so I want to officially clear the air: Don’t read this book.

Is there a lot of diversity, female friendship, gay stuff, ethnicity stuff, and feminism? Does the cover rock? Is the premise gold? Well, sure. But that doesn’t make up for everything else.

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Valhalla is, at the very least, something different

Valhalla is, at the very least, something different

★★★★☆

(3.5 stars)

Valhalla is not for everyone. It’s action, for one, an overlong action film put onto the page. It’s a hyper violent romp through a complex future world with a murderous lesbian as the guide. Do I like it? The first book holds up well when reflecting on the rest of the series. What I ultimately have to conclude, however, is that it’s at least something very different. New.

It harkens back to the old days of action/sci-fi while still being a very modern book. And even though I say this, I can’t name any one thing I could compare it to.

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