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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 2017-03-08 03:33
Good Night, Firefly
Good Night, Firefly - Gabriel Alborozo,Gabriel Alborozo

Good Night, Firefly is a sweet story about a young girl who is afraid of the dark, and the firefly she catches as a nightlight. It is a story about understanding and doing what is best for others.

This book scored a 2.4 on the Automated Readability Index, making it ideal for 2nd grade and above. This book can be used to teach empathy to students. Classes can discuss how the characters might have felt throughout the story, and whether or not the main character did the right thing in the end. 

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review 2017-02-11 19:55
Crow and Firefly (Crow and Firefly #1) by Sam C. Leonhard
Crow and Firefly - Sam C. Leonhard

Tho entertaining (to a degree), this book can stand some serious editing. The characters are unhinged, the writing is ...well, just let me warn you, the author is not a native speaker and it shows. There are plenty of people out there willing to proof-read, if only asked. That authors and publishers let it slide baffles me every single time.

I liked the idea of sifters-mating-humans being - literally - a deadly affair, however, it was not the real focus of this book. This is a cinderfella story, in which the future king of the land lures a poor young starving shifter, Ari, into his castle to marry him, the shifter/human conundrum a purrr-fect excuse for the jolly event. The pair, no surprise there, turns out to be a purrr-fect match.

Ari disappointed me great greatly at the end of the book, bragging about sleeping around with pretty much every available male since he was 14. That revelation comes out of his mouth on his wedding night, while talking to his brand-new husband. What a turn on ...um, not! :/ Oh, and then there was that episode where Ari seduced his husband by turning into a cat. What the heck? O.o

The author left no incentive to read the second installment. Everything smoothed out perfectly towards the end, with a perfect neon HEA flashing gaily all over the last pages.

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review 2017-01-03 15:02
Book Review - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

I got my latest read, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet as a gift, and had a great time reading it.  The first novel from Becky Chambers, it follows a young woman named Rosemary as she joins the crew of a tunneling ship (basically they make shortcuts through space) as they get a big contract that could very well set them up for bigger and better things in the future.  But with that comes danger, especially in a universe where humanity is NOT at the forefront of the great intergalactic governing body, but a minor cog.

 

The cast of characters are adorably quirky, with the long-suffering Captain Ashby putting up with all sorts of shenanigans that would feel at home on Farscape or Firefly.  I also love the care that was taken to make the aliens truly alien.  Cold-blooded aliens, aliens with differing numbers of limbs, aliens that are symbiotic with a weird virus, the works.  The story of the tunnel the ship needs to make is the overall driving force of the story, but most of the book is a series of what feels like episodes, with each crewmember having an adventure or getting some backstory in.

 

If you've been overwhelmed by Dark and Gritty™ sci-fi or are in the middle of a 74-book high fantasy slog and need a break, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet works great.  It manages to be light and fun and still have a lot to say about gender, relationships and artificial intelligence.

Source: www.honkifyoulovejustice.com/2017/01/03/book-review-the-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet-by-becky-chambers
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review 2016-11-01 04:19
Firefly Hollow - T.L. Haddix

Dnf at 70%

 

I started this on a whim after seeing some good reviews of some friends.

I just wanted something that would make me want to read, so I started this, and I found myself liking it.

I had never read a paranormal romance in which the paranormal element was so toned down.

Also for a story that takes place in the fifties, the characters were surprisingly modern. I should know that sooner or later there would be a catch.

Sarah is a feminist, she knows what she wants, and she knows how she'll get it.

She wants an education, and she has the support of her family.

 

Owen, also wants an education. Unfortunately due to his condition _ the shifter thing that runs in the family _ he won't be able to follow his dream. Also, as a consequence of his different condition, he ends up estranged of great part of his family.

In that moment we believe when he says he will live the rest of his life as a hermit. Too bad the author didn't explore this.

 

Some years go by, Sarah returns home, due to some events, and I'm afraid that things start happening extremely fast: things that had been properly developed would allow for some real conflict.

But no, instead the romance between those two blossoms in the blink of an eye, and by the middle of the book, I was ready for the thing to end. Really.

 

We have two characters, extremely likeable, sweet and reasonable who start behaving as idiots. Because by that moment, the book was only about their romance. The shifter part was still extremely undeveloped, and Sarah who up until now had behaved in a logical manner, decides to act all drama queen.

Maybe I'll finish it some other time, but at this moment I just don't have the patience for it.

Too bad, because at the beginning of the story I thought I was reading a four star book.

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