One of the things I loved about the original suicide squad was how political it was. How it created strong female characters. It had things to say, and it said them, and I think this might be why it felt so directed. Pointedly so.
I'm loving this incarnation of the Squad, but I think parting Flag and Harley up was a mistake. It's things like that which make me feel like this has no direction. I see the purpose of it narratively, but there seems to be no larger direction, no larger statement about the world and its politics, and that makes it feel like a bit like a ship at sea with no rudder to me.
I'm hoping this pulls together soon.
But it turns out I do. This was a bittersweet look at Sideswipe, his relationship with Sunstreaker, and his relationship with Arcee. (I also didn't realized I shipped them until now, and I do, really hard.)
It didn't end where I thought I would, and yet it's the most perfect ending to Sideswipe's storyline here. More touching and thoughtful than this series has been in my opinion, and this kind of issue is why I never discount Barber, even though a rough patch with this series.
I'm finding myself interested more in Sideswipe, Jazz, and Thundercracker than in the title character. I wish this wasn't so focused on Optimus, to be honest, as I usually am neutral about him, but dislike him given what he's done in this continuity.
But, yes, I will most definitely be picking up number ten!
And man, I just loved this novel. I know that this isn't for everyone - amnesia trope, by the way - but I've loved it since I fell in love with the X-Men, and Wolverine in particular. I also love how well Novik does hurt/comfort, two tropes that are well used in fanfiction. It should be noted that Novik is very open about starting out writing fanfiction, realizing she didn't like those confines, and never wanting to write fanfiction, filing off that serial number, and replacing names before publishing. Oh, no, she uses fanfiction to get somewhere original, to eventually create a wholly original world.
But I'm not surprised to see so many tropes that I enjoy and are used in fanfic so often in her writing either.
Laurence, shipwrecked in China, has to find his way back to Temeraire, without use of his memory. Meanwhile, everyone around Temeraire is convinced that Laurence is drowned, and tries to let him get on with it - mostly by allowing him to believe that Laurence is alive and to keep looking for him until he wears himself out with that searching.
I find it very telling when they're apart and what they're willing to do for each other: it's touching, and I couldn't help but hurt for Temeraire every time someone tried to tell him Laurence was dead.
Love, love, love. This one moved really quickly for me, and I tended to resent having to put it down. Looking forward to the last novel.