What's it about?Andi's world is very different from our own, right? Her life consists of hiding from the police, living with a freedom fighting group and trying to keep her head straight between drug fixes. Young and foolish, she is still incredibly loyal to those around her and when a new mission comes up, she'll easily go along and do what needs to be done. Andi's life in the walled up United Free States is a lot of following and doing what she's told and still messing it up. But she's going to have to learn to make decisions on her own, because there aren't always going to be people helping her out of situations. Eventually she's going to have to help all of them.
Thoughts:My partner and I picked up this book from the author at a convention in Portland. I would have to say the first thing that caught me was the character's world, and the very specific queer dystopia that made up her life. In her world, which seems so wildly different from ours, there are very real and uncomfortable parallels. Sure, there's a wall, much like the one that Trump wants to build, but it's so much more then that and the book uses these qualities to suck you in right away.
Andi's voice and slang in the book is striking and takes a bit of time to get used to. It's so wildly different from what I'm used to reading that it took me some time to get into. However, the author has obviously paid attention to this because it's very consistent and it's a great tool to suck you into Andi's world whether you want to be or not. Her struggles and trials are that much more sincere and real when you read her expressions and can still understand them even when you aren't given a glossary to explain all the terms. Nope, not needed, the author has paid enough attention to basically create a whole slang language and it feels real. I really appreciate that.
My only hesitation with the book is that Andi spends most of it as a passive observer. Sure, she's running with the others, on missions and trying to escape. However in that, most of her actions are not taken until someone tells her what to do. It can be infuriating because the book is told in first person and her 'wants' are quite absent save for general survival and drugs and not being snipped. After a while I wanted to grab Andi and shake her, but I couldn't exactly blame her for acting the way she did, so it ended up not being a bad thing, just a bit frustrating. Someone else's mileage may differ, but that quality stuck out to me.
Final Thoughts:Overall I ended up loving this book, though it is a gradual love that it built as you read each chapter and the characters burrow more into your head. Getting into the world and the vocabulary takes a bit, but the journey is worth it and I am looking forward to the second volume and how Andi's journey will progress.
Where you can get it:Ninestar Press