Bring me all the violent female characters!
FINISHED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE:
I will be the first to admit that the first novel in Vic James’ trilogy was not my favorite. However, I feel it drastically improved during the second novel and thoroughly enjoyed the read. This final novel though is unbelievable. It is a culmination of the previous two stories, complete with violence and gore, intrigue, battles of all types, near escapes, betrayal, and magic. The chaos that reigns between the Skilled and the Unskilled reminds me a bit of the one-percenter milieu and everyone else, with much of the fight between the two groups reminiscent of the current struggles between Republicans and Democrats. This story, however, has the added benefit of magic and people willing to make sacrifices for their cause. I tore through this series finale with gusto, even going so far as to sneak reading some pages during work. For a series that has what I feel is a lackluster beginning, the ending exceeded all my expectations and left me breathless with adrenaline. It will be difficult finding a novel to follow this one.
I have been relatively vocal on social media lately about how I am channeling all of my anger and frustration – about work, about the government, etc. – into my reading. The bloodier the story and the angrier the hero, the more I am enjoying the story. Before this, I was somewhat cautious in the types of novels towards which I was gravitating. However, with a title like Kill the Queen, there is no circumspection. The title says it all, and I loved every page of it. There is rage – cold, bright rage fueled by years of torment and petty tortures. There is violence; we are talking about a society founded by a gladiator in which the gladiatorial battles still are the highest form of entertainment. Magic, political backstabbing (in the literal sense), a fantastic training montage, and great characters round out this entertaining story. It fit what I need in novels right now and is, in general, an excellent story. I am excited to see where the series goes next.
I said last week that I was most likely going to skip to the last few chapters to see how Ms. Dalcher’s novel ends, and that is what I did. I am thankful that I did not do anything more than that because the ending made me just as angry as the first half of the book did. The end is entirely unsatisfactory; the main character gets her happy ending, but that is about it. The sweeping changes that need to happen to society at large are only in the fledgling stages when the novel closes, so while Jean obtains freedoms for her children and herself, the women in the United States still face the same persecutions. The fact that there is a new government in place and changes in the works should be enough to satisfy the reader. It did not satisfy THIS reader, and I remain pissed at the entire premise. I know others love Vox and think it is a heart-pounding cautionary tale. However, I see it more as someone capitalizing on the sentiments of the current administration to tell a story. Jean is not a sympathetic character and is not a good symbol for every woman. Plus, out of every dystopian scenario in existence, this is one I cannot believe. So, if you are as angry as I am these days, this might be one you want to skip. There are too many issues with the characters and the story, and the premise of the story is not the necessary distraction from real-world concerns.
I found I had to reread This Mortal Coil before I could start This Cruel Design because the one picks up right after the end of the other with no exposition to explain what happened. I did not mind because it is such an excellent story. In this sequel, it is as if Ms. Suvada ripped my heart from my chest and tore it into little pieces in front of my eyes. If you think the first novel has plenty of twists and turns, Ms. Suvada ups the ante to make a story that is impossible to set down for real life. This ode to girl power and coding is such an adrenaline rush that I want to read the two novels all over again. Considering the gut punch of an ending, I might have to do just that while I wait for the finale.
DID NOT FINISH:
I am thoroughly enjoying reading whatever fits my mood. I only hope that someday I can go back to reading historical fiction, literary fiction, or even romance. I can’t read them now because I have no patience for them, but maybe someday when this nightmare is over, and the appropriate people are rotting in jail will I be able to read a little more broadly than I am now.
So, what are you reading?