Some of my choices are first books of a series but the series has to hold up to be included and there's a controversial author or two, but I'm judging the books by their own merits, nothing else.
Does finding one's self mean losing their heart? Big dreams don't always bring long-lasting results. For Patrick and Maggie, it takes pulling their heads out of the clouds to appreciate the happiness they have right in front of them. Only Kylie Gilmore can package realistic advice in a fun, flirty, irresistibly lovable, breath of fresh air. Maggie Meets Her Match brings the smiles despite some heartache.
I almost loved this book. In fact I did love it, until about halfway through when I realized where it was going. Then, not so much.
First of all this book is far more speculative fiction than it is strict sci-fi. That's actually fine with me, but since it was marketed as sci-fi (and published on a sci-fi imprint) that did throw me off a little bit. The focus in this book is on the characters, not the world-building nor plot. Thankfully King does a good job with her character development - each character was well drawn, distinct, and sympathetic even when I didn't care for them at times. (Except BeiBei - he may in fact be the most obnoxious child in literature to date.) I was invested in these people and their plights.
The core of this story, at least for me, is how these four individuals are failing to have their needs met. And this is where my feelings on this book become complicated.
What I wanted the book to be about is these four people coming together, learning how to better take care of and love one another, and forming a supportive cohesive nontraditional family unit. That is not what happens. Instead the book does something I was suspicious of from the beginning: it imperils the queer character, makes them suffer, and ultimately cuts them off from the family unit. For the last half of the book he is basically just there to suffer and drive the other characters to action. The character that was neurodivergent also has a less than satisfying ending in my opinion, failing to gain his freedom (or dogs) and spending his time trying to ward off surveillance. The only real winners are the straight couple. And while I see what King was doing, and I think the narrative was functioning correctly, this is simply a story I'm very very tired of reading. I am, in fact, exhausted.
So where does that leave me? I feel bad criticizing a book for being something other than what I wanted it to be. The book was well written, and effectively told the story King set out to tell. Unfortunately it wasn't a story I wanted to hear right now. Quite frankly it bummed me out. I would happily give King another try, as I think she's a good author, but this book left me sad and craving a story with better outcomes for its more diverse characters.
WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY ABOUT MAD MAGGIE...
Maggie is such an unexpected protagonist with so many barriers to achieving her dreams that I found her inspiring. I cheered for every single one of her victories. I feel that few romance heroines deserved HEA more.
- FIVE STARS, Shomeret on Flying High Reviews
"A good read that explores an improbable romance with all its consequences."
- FIVE STARS, C. Widmann, Goodreads review
"The storyline was captivating, the characters believable."
- FIVE STARS, Reviewed by Bitten by Books
- FOUR STARS, Elspeth, Goodreads review
"The plot was unconventional, it really had me hooked... Insightful.
- FOUR STARS, Dee, Goodreads review
"Loved it! Couldn't put it down."
- FOUR STARS, Booklikes.com review
Two passionate opponents, the antithesis of each other are about to clash over the future of a grove of Ancient Old Growth Forest on a secluded island.
Maggie talks to trees. Dieter talks to corporations. Maggie embraces mystery and flirts with magic. Dieter adheres to logic and the doctrine of Nietzsche. Dieter's client wants to destroy the trees. The trees want Maggie to protect them. Dieter has terminal cancer. Maggie is schizophrenic. Maggie says she can save him if he saves the trees. Dieter thinks she's crazy, but what choice does he have?
A week together alone on Deadman's Island changes everything for both of them. Is it madness? Is it magic? Or is it love?
Mad Maggie is a love story between two disparate characters, a brilliant though somewhat anal retentive corporate lawyer whose personal and career mantra is "the will to power," and a free, uninhibited spirit who practices natural healing on a secluded island in the wilderness.
It's a story about protecting wild things and wild places as well as the devastating effects of mental illness and the stigma society still inflicts on those affected. It's a story about compromise, tolerance and understanding and how these feelings spring from love and are nurtured by it. It's about mystery, secrets and power that abounds in nature and within ourselves.
Mad Maggie and the Wisdom of the Ancients is the third book in the stand alone series ECO-WARRIORS.