May. 16th, 2017

mrissa: (Default)

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

Review copy provided by First Second Books.

Colleen is a human on a world colonized by humanoid aliens. She was born before the Derichet arrived, and her family was one of the richest, most powerful families on the planet, but that’s all gone now. She works in a factory, longs for her dead and missing relatives, and scrapes by as best she can.

One night she meets Jann, a fellow human involved in the rebellion against the Derichet. She moves from self-protection to a larger political activism–and opens up in her personal relationships along the way.

Ostertag is the artist who draws Strong Female Protagonist, and her style is clearly recognizable in this, her debut graphic novel. Shinn is the author of lots of speculative fiction novels, and her previous style also shows through, particularly in the ways the romantic relationship beats fall. I feel like it’s a reasonable introduction to Shinn’s work, accounting for less story per page than you’ll get in her prose novels. Ostertag, too: the modes of being expressive, the way interpersonal and action scenes are shown, are distinct from SFP but clearly the work of the same hand.

Please consider using our link to buy Shattered Warrior from Amazon.

mrissa: (Default)

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

Review copy provided by the authors, who are personal friends. Of mine, I mean, although also one expects of each other. Although, hey, still friends three books into writing a series together, more power to them.

So yes: this is the third book of the Change series. It is not my recommended starting point. There is quite a lot of backstory here, but more importantly this is very much a character-driven story. There are very active plot elements–fire and fight and family feud and scheming and politics and travel–but the thing that ties together all the many point-of-view characters and their several concerns is coming-of-age, finding one’s place in the world, characterization stuff. And if you don’t have the background for that, it won’t have nearly the punch.

These books are diverse along numerous axes. They are about teenagers trying to figure out who they want to be in worlds that have complicated attitudes toward some aspects of their identities–and even in the places where the world is not restrictive, sometimes it’s still hard to figure out just because it’s hard, just because learning to human is hard even before you start throwing in mutant powers and post-apocalyptic Southern California landscapes. But at their core, these books are full of people who care about each other, and who are effective at doing it, too. Which is far too rare.

Please consider using our link to buy Rebel from Amazon. (Or, if you’re just starting this series, Stranger.)

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