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text 2017-08-07 19:20
Light Space Opera Marred by Sexual Violence
Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1 - Lindsay Buroker

Lots of shitty sff tropes hitched to the specific kind of ugly sexual politics one finds in romance novels overwhelm what should (and occassionally is) a quipping romp through the universe. Rape threats and straight up sexual assault continue regularly from the first scenes to,the end of the novel. Before I get the "but that's realistic" chorus, I would like us to all take a minute and consider that this is clearly supposed to be a comic space fantasy with romantic elements, and the introduction of "rape as realism" is unnecessary, thematically jarring, and fucking stupid. And that's not even getting into a 45 minute diatribe about the very equation of rape with realism. 

 

Which is disappointing because there are some nice comic moments and a gift for the absurd in Star Nomad, hidden in under bad world building and rape threats. Sure, a lot of it was derivative -- Firefly has its fingerprints everywhere, from setup to character types -- but I'm not looking to some romp through a pirate-infested asteroid belt to blow my mind or anything. (Unless it's Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit, and that shit was amazing.) The Paradox series by Rachel Bach, starting with Fortune's Pawn, contains many of the same elements found here, but is much more expertly done. Start there for your lighter space opera. 

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review 2014-11-21 06:39
Finished! such a good book.
The Emperor's Edge (The Emperor's Edge #1) - Lindsay Buroker

So i can across this book randomly on my kindle. and boy am i so glad that i did! this book was great!

I'm a bit iffy on where it was set as some of the things in this book seem to relate to it being ....... more historic maybe? for one the women's rights aren't fantastic. we get glimpses of this because our wonderful main character, Amaramthe wishes to be promoted and eventually advance high enough to run the enforces (police), and she would be good at it, but most of her colleagues look down on her for being a women, thinking her incapable of 'handling difficult situations' but at the same time it seems women run most of the businesses, apparently doing fine when left to their own devices. which is an odd contradiction.
another thing that seems to set this book in the past is its crime solving procedure, which is absolutely terrible. yes they seem to get the job done with some Sherlock Holmes skills but thats it. there's no finger printing, photos been taken, actually I'm positive they have to rely on artist to capture image.

but then the language at times can be quite modern, if not impressive. between Books and Amarmthe i was constantly having to re-check their words to make sure i got the meaning correct. which was kind of fun. I definitely learnt a new word or two.
So as you can see the time period is...hard to pin down.

The land is obviously based from an Asian culture, which i really enjoyed. Emperors and Kings always make life so much more ...... interesting. though the author was rather vague when it came to pinning down as culture as well, beyond a few obvious things, like the mention of Emperors, the main 'peoples' body and facial description and enforcers using swords. I dont recall anything else making it stand out culturally. I did quite enjoy it being more on the vague side, it left my imagination to do the rest and possible run wild.

I also highly enjoyed the characters, even the crummy ones (villains). especially Amaramthe, who was kind of an odd but wonderful mixture of old/young and motherly. She had some serious OCD issues which i thought added a nice quirk. plus she was rather ambitious in her field of work, which was a nice change. occasionally she questioned her morals over a promotion and what she was willing to do, which is something i havent come across a lot in female characters. Plus i loved how she used a combination of intellect and physical force to get herself out of trouble, it was never just one tactic. 
The side cast where also fun, we have our 'no feelings' assassin, who is all work. The pallor opposite, young hottie, who jokes and laughs about everything. The intelligent but washed-out old dunk and the young gang-banger who also happens to be able to use magic. chuck in a few villains and your guaranteed a good time.

weirdly enough (for me) i even liked the slight love interest, so say they're more than that would be...laugh worthy. but its ridiculously adorable, it works and its such a nice change from the usual insta-love, which im sure were all sick of by now.

 

anyways this book was fantastic! i loved pretty much everything about The Emperors Edge, including the pace of the story. and I'm excited to get my mits on the next book!

 

 

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