I flew through this book and had to make myself slow down because I knew that I would miss important things if I went too fast. While there were things I figured out slightly ahead of our protagonist, there were other things I was pleased to discover along the way.
This is not a book about anything even if it tries to get there. Yes, there is an ethical question raised at one point but it is so quickly rendered moot, that no one really has to wrestle with it… or rather, Klara doesn’t wrestle with it, Josie doesn’t wrestle with it, and the parents who do are so ancillary that the reader doesn’t feel compelled to give it much more thought past “/shudder, yikes!” before moving on.
I really liked this trilogy. The 1st book is adrenaline, the 2nd is cerebral and the 3rd is ramifications. All are enjoyable and I really appreciate the nuances that Ness adds in. The stakes ratchet up, the tension increases, the death toll climbs (even though the saddest death is in book1 -I am still upset by it-) and the tone gets darker as the series continues. It is a lot like growing up.
It is a slow burn. It takes quite a bit for things to get going and the only real action happens in the last 20% of the book. Thankfully the mystery has been so fully entrenched early on that there is enough tension to carry us through. The payoff is worth the wait.
We sort of know what we are getting ourselves into… but then the carpet is thoroughly pulled out from under us at chapter 9 and everything changes. This is very very cool if you, like me, hadn’t been spoiled by the back of the book.
I love Red! She has a prosthetic leg and therefore gets to be a strong (in body and mind) character who is differently-abled. She is also Black. And queer! HOORAY!
The book manages to evoke crushing despair while still being a beautiful love story… because it is… it is a beautiful love story, not just between the two boys, but a love story about life and how we need to suck the joy from our lives with every damn breath we are privileged to get to take.
This book has stuff for everyone… it is not just a “gay” book even though, yes, it is hella gay. I would highly recommend it for the story, the writing, and the universal truths. And again… That ending… /chef’s kiss.
It’s still #Pride month and I am still reading queer literature to celebrate. Back to the comforting well of speculative fiction… and unlike my last foray into that land, this time I was very glad for the journey.
I should have loved this book. Lesbian dealing with alien invasion and mind control issues coupled with thoughts about aging, letting, go, accepting change, and can you be human without struggle? Sign me up!