The Six of Crows Book Tag (plus my new pet!)

Six of Crows Tag

Because the Six of Crows duology is amazing and also to celebrate bringing a new baby pet into my family, I’m doing the Six of Crows Book Tag! This tag was created by Ashley @ The Infinite Library, and I found it by way of Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews.

“Wait,” I can hear you asking now, “what does this have to do with your pet?”

The answer is that my new lil’ baby is a total cinnamon roll, so I knew immediately that my cutie had to be named after a total YA cinnamon roll. Find out which member of the Dregs my tiny dear is named for at the end of the tag!

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RULES:

  1. Link back to Ashley’s blog so she can check out your answers!
  2. Thank the person who tagged you.
  3. Answer the questions
  4. Tag as many or as few people as you wish to spread the fun and Six of Crows love

 

The Thief

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Kaz Brekker: a layered or complex character

 

All the characters in the Raven Cycle are so real and layered, but Adam Parrish is a little more ~complicated~ than the rest. Gotta love that boy.

The Wraith

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Inej Ghafa: a book with a twist you didn’t see coming

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns went some pretty dark and unexpected places, especially for a YA book, and it is safe to say I saw almost none of it coming! The same was also true of One Dark Throne, but for that one I didn’t see any of the twists coming because tbh none of them made any sense. -shrugs-

The Sharpshooter

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Jesper Fahey: an author than never misses the mark

What can I say? Maggie has been my #1 auto-buy author forever. She probably became one of my official favorites even before The Scorpio Races came out back in 2011, but if she wasn’t on the list already, that solidified her eternal place in my heart.

The Heartrender

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Nina Zenik: a book that broke your heart or gave you all the feels

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

If you can read Code Name Verity without tearing up a little, do you even have a soul? I’m still shattered into teeny tiny pieces and I finished reading this a month ago!

The Convict

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Matthias Helvar: a character caught between two worlds

Celaena Sardothien is definitely caught between more than two worlds. Girl’s got a talent for getting caught up in worlds of trouble, and she has the perpetual challenge of finding a way to survive everywhere, but not belonging anywhere.

The Explosives Expert

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Wylan Van Eck: a book that went out with a bang or a cliff-hanger

Wolf by Wolf

No spoilers, but Wolf by Wolf definitely goes out with a (literal) bang and leaves you desperate to find out what happens in Blood for Blood.

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I’ll skip on tagging specific people, but if you’re interested, consider yourself tagged! I’d love to see your picks!

And now, drumroll please! Fair warning, my new scaly baby is a snake, so don’t click the “read more” tag if you aren’t cool with noodley, sans-legs critters.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Children of Blood and Bone

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Vanished magic. A rebellious princess. Animal companions. Floating villages. Young warriors and duels.

The question isn’t what more could you want from a book. The questions is what more you could possibly want from the first three chapters of a book! Children of Blood and Bone literally gives you all that and more and I absolutely cannot wait for this book to come out already.

When I saw the cover and synopsis, I was excited. When glowing reviews started trickling out, I started bouncing in my chair with excitement. When I realized you can read an 80 page preview on Fierce Reads, my head exploded, and now here I am shaking my calendar and wondering why March 6th is so far away.

I’m calling it now: this book is going to be the next Throne of Glass. And I am so, so ready.

Some Quick Things to Love About CBB:

  • I literally have not heard a single bad thing about this book
  • A West African-inspired high fantasy by a Nigerian-American debut author
  • Tomi Adeyemi just seems like a genuinely wonderful person and she is super supportive of the writing community
  • Zélie is bold, fiery, clever, impulsive, and has a heart of gold
  • Did I mention that she rides a giant horned lion?
  • Macmillan released the map of Orïsha and I am so excited for Zélie to take exploring all over!

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Legacy of Orisha)

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Not for Me, but Maybe for You: Book Review of The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton

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The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton, has been getting quite a bit of buzz. This new release came out last week, and I received a ARC from Disney-Hyperion through NetGalley. This book gets mad props for talking about beauty and appearances in a way that I have never seen in a YA book! But also, before anything else is said, the LGBTQ+ rep in this book is not good, by which I mean this book has a case of Bury Your Gays, a relative of the Women in Refrigerators trope.

If you’re unfamiliar with the trope, it’s where bad stuff happens to marginalized characters (in this case, queer characters) in order to further the plot of the main (most of the time not marginalized) character. This is problematic and harmful because it basically tells readers who identify with marginalized characters that they have no place in the story and that their main value is in providing some sort of growth or lesson to other “real” characters through their suffering. In the interest of staying in my lane, if you want to know more about the trope and why it’s so terrible, Elise @thebookishactress has a post on the topic that I would encourage you to read, and it was specifically inspired by this book.

In short, if you know that violence towards LGBTQ+ people is going to be harmful to you, I’d recommend skipping this one. If this is a book you love and want to recommend, please be mindful and include a content warning.

Anyway, on to the review.

The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton

 

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

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The very best thing about The Belles is that it screams off the page for young readers everywhere that beauty is diverseCamellia and her five Belle sisters, considered to be the ideals of beauty in their world, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Each one is unique and different, and each one is upheld as equally beautiful. The rest of the people of Orléans, all striving to be as beautiful as possible, are also described as choosing all kinds of physical traits. I think that Tomi Adeyemi, author of the upcoming Children of Blood and Bone, put it best by saying,

“Additionally, I’ve never read such a diverse fantasy where all different types of beauty are celebrated and exist so seamlessly within the same room. This was the first book I ever got as a reader where picturing everybody in any scene allowed me to picture a diverse array of skin tones and body shapes and it was incredibly refreshing!”

At the same time that it upholds diverse beauty, The Belles shines a light on toxic beauty standards. Orléans is beauty culture taken to the extreme: appearance is an obsession and a competition in this world, and the people put themselves through excruciating treatments because they’re afraid that being themselves isn’t good enough.

And in this world of glorified external beauty, there are a lot of twisted people whose appearances are masking seriously lacking character.

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It’s not just the people of Orléans who are beautiful. Dhonielle Clayton’s imagery is effortless, and from the moment the story began, I felt as wide-eyed and captivated by the world as Camille was seeing it all for the first time. Clayton does a fabulous job painting the magnificent opulence of the world of Orléans and the Belles. But for me, reading this book was like walking through a cloud of raspberry perfume. At first it was delicious, exciting, inviting–but after endless descriptions of dresses and jewels, marble and flowers, people eating pastries (so many pastries!) and macarons? I got overwhelmed, to the point where I barely processed the scenery anymore.

The world building of The Belles was what drew me in to request the book originally. Clayton works with a fascinating and incredibly unique premise, and learning the hows and whys of Orléans was great. I would have liked a lot more detail than what we got, though. By the end of the book, I still had a lot of questions about some of the basic tenets of the world, like what exactly happened to the Gris who didn’t get beauty treatments (it was made to sound very ominous, but all the characters in the book had a very blasé attitude about reverting to their natural state, aside from the *not being pretty* part?).

Also, where there are lavish palaces and merchant houses that bring in fortunes on luxuries like spices and jewels, there’s major economic disparity somewhere else. Clearly there are people somewhere in the world who go without, but how they factor in is very unclear. Couple that with talk of colonies and other islands and a War Ministry, all of which are footnotes in passing–are there other countries in this world? What relationship do they have to Orléans? I was pretty confused.

From the way the book ended, I think Clayton is going to address some of my many questions in the sequel, but I had a hard time getting comfortable in this book without really knowing what was going on.

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To be taken with a grain of salt, I didn’t like Camellia. Plenty of other readers did. I thought she stayed willfully ignorant for a lot of the book. In the face of major, this changes the world as you knew it revelations about the entire purpose and culture of the Belles, she basically turned a blind eye and didn’t try to find out more until she absolutely had to. She also didn’t show a whole lot of integrity and was party to some really bad, cruel decisions without a lot personal consequences. And she kept expecting loyalty from people she really hadn’t done anything to inspire trust in, other than to be generally pleasant to them or maybe to bribe them? And then being flabbergasted if it seemed like they didn’t stand up for her, never mind that she rarely put herself at risk to stand up for anyone else.

The plot dragged for me. I honestly think The Belles should have been, like, 50 pages shorter. There’s just not enough happening here to justify the length of the book. The plot meandered a lot, too, because there were two big plot arcs that didn’t mesh very well: the secrets and conspiracies related to the Belles, and the problems facing the royalty. Only one of the two plot lines added very much urgency or tension to the book, and they were both hard to care about because Camellia was pretty indifferent to both sets of problems for a good portion of the book, tbh.

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To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy The Belles a whole lot. BUT I think this is very much a case of the book not being good for me and my personal tastes. I am solidly in the minority opinion on this one.

In this book, Clayton excels in creating a fun, whimsical, wildly different fantasy story, and there’s a lot here to love. If you loved Caraval for its decadent atmosphere, imaginative setting and premise, and subtle magic, I really think you might love The Belles, too, and you should definitely give it a try.


All in All…

  • 3/5 sea stars
  • Published February 6th, 2018, by Disney-Hyperion
  • 448 pages
  • For fans of Caraval, Ally Condie and Matched, French-themed settings, the politics-driven parts of The Hunger Games trilogy where people aren’t fighting to the death, Celaena trying on dresses in the Throne of Glass series.

I received this book free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reading Romance: How books helped to write the story of my relationship

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Three years ago, I found and fell head-over-heels for the world’s best dork. He’s sweet. His sense of humor matches mine perfectly. He’s incredibly kind and thoughtful. He’s always got my back when I need his care or support.

Oh, and did I mention that he indulges my love of books and libraries???

He’s a keeper.

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(Don’t be fooled: he actually hates the cold and the snow and was desperate to just go home already when I took this picture.)

He shares the name of a type of bird, so his mom calls him Bird, which I think is the cutest thing ever (she also calls him her duckling, her baby chicken, etc. I adore her). No matter how much I love it, he insists that it would be weird if I used the same nickname for him IRL that his mom does, and I see his point. He has no jurisdiction over my blog, however, so here he is Bird!

Sorry-not-sorry, dear.

We met the old-fashioned way: through OKCupid. I’m not sure what app people are using to meet one another these days, but I’ve been told it’s no longer this one. After a couple requisite coffee and lunch dates, once we knew there was definitely a tiny spark, we started testing the waters with dates that revealed a bit more of our personalities and preferences: movie dates, walks in the University’s gardens, playing sports, meeting each other’s friends.

But all the things we were doing together were outgoing, energetic, out-on-the-town kinds of activities, and I’m usually more of a homebody introvert. Bird is, too. So at the end of one of our dates, he asked me, “Sometime, can we have a rainy-day date? Stay in and read books to each other and eat cookies? I’d really like that.”

I swear, he’s the most endearing person I’ve ever met.

Not long after, we did indeed have a reading date. He made me tea and read a short chapter from one of his favorite childhood books. I upped the ante and read him the beginning of The Princess Bride. To my amazement, he’d never read it. Not at all to my amazement, he loved it and wanted to hear more. Continue reading

Book Review: Between the Blade and the Heart, by Amanda Hocking

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A while back, St. Martin’s Press sent me my first unsolicited eARC from a major publisher, and I was PSYCHED. Even more so, because it was Between the Blade and the Heart, by Amanda Hocking, a name I recognized as a popular author who built her writing career from the ground up as an independent writer and self-publisher. It took me longer than I intended to get around to reading it, but now that I’m done, I kinda wish I had put it off longer, because there are plenty of things I would have enjoyed more than reading this book.

Between the Blade and the Heart, by Amanda Hocking

 

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

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Guest Post: The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black

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So last week I found out that one of my best friends has been obsessed with Holly Black and somehow never told me? Matt’s back again with his spoiler free take on her latest release! Check out what he has to say while he tries to sell me on reading her Curse Workers trilogy.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, from The Folk of the Air trilogy

 

Guest reviewer here again, and this time I’m actually looking over a YA novel! We’re going to be taking a look-see into Holly Black’s latest book, The Cruel Prince. Now, this book is the first in a trilogy and it really reads best if you don’t already know the plot beforehand. You lose all of the subtle exposition and the nuances and the hints if you already know who the bad guy is. And so, rather than recap with a summary and some thematic elements, we’ll be looking at some short quotes from the book so there will be no spoilers.

One of the wonderful elements of Holly Black’s writing is that she really puts you into the shoes, or paws, or what-have-you of the main character. The Cruel Prince is no different. If you’re looking for something that will fly your brain away from this mundane existence for a few magical hours, look no further. I read the book in an eight hour stretch in which I only dragged myself off the sofa twice, and once was for pizza. I know, I have no life. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the book, and what the book does is suck you into those pages like a vacuum set to “impressionable young minds.”  I will say that it’s set in first person, present tense, which tends to polarize readers into two camps; enthralled, or apathetic. Fortunately, I think many more people are going to be camping out with the… thrallers.  Yes, that’s totally a real word; ignore the Google correction asking if you meant ‘thrillers’.

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Our first quote comes from the main character of the story, a stubborn, determined girl named Jude. She’s been taken, along with her two sisters, into the faerie world and forced to live among them, rather like a changeling child. When confronting yet another unfair set-back in the world that she was not born into, her thought process is literally:

“This is Epic, Epic Bullshit.”

I think we could just stop the review there, because in a sense this wonderful quote sums up the book. It is epic, in that it weaves together seemingly disparate clues into a masterful reveal at the climax. It’s also epic in that this book sets up the story for the next part of the trilogy, and it does it in a way that keeps the reader wanting to read more while still being completely satisfied by the ending. Did you hear that? It’s hard to craft a fulfilling ending while still maintaining suspense for future books, but Holly Black’s managed it rather deftly. The book even throws in some unexpected humor at times. When confronted with a choice of two different riding steeds, Jude thinks to herself:

“Only in faerieland is a giant toad the less conspicuous choice.”

Yet the book is not only about humor and a great ending: the build-up to the final confrontation keeps you invested in the main character as she gets herself into deeper and deeper trouble. It turns out that faeries are pretty racist, and at one point she has to deal with someone telling her sweet nothings such as:

“Being born mortal is like being born already dead.”

“If you couldn’t lie to yourselves, you’d cut your own throats to end your misery.”

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Of course, we are in a faerieland, even if our main character isn’t privy to all of its secrets. It’s a beautiful world, but here is where I have my main caveat with the novel. The world building for the novel is simply too sparse for such a rich, detailed landscape. Events such as dances, or feasts, are described in detail, but fantastical beasts get nothing more than a footnote. If the reader does not already have a decent understanding of fairy lore, then they are going to find themselves somewhat confused. Seelie and Unseelie, while common terms, are never explained. Additionally, several of the mythical creatures are never described beyond their names. Selkie, Redcap, these are familiar to me, but many others I’d never heard before, and it shook me out of my sessile potato-state somewhat.  I also took issue with one of the key twists of the book; Black blatantly takes from an oft-repeated theme involving poison. Let’s just say, The Princess Bride called and it wants its plot back.

Fortunately, the world is not as barebones as some others I have read, and the rest of the plot more than makes up for the one twist everyone knew was coming. The love triangle, while predictable, is well-done nonetheless and thankfully we have a main character who does stuff rather than becoming completely besotted with an attractive male. It’s an empowering read, and while there aren’t any concepts in here that will shatter your mind, you will still find yourself quite entertained for the duration of the novel. Black has once again managed to mix the magical with the mundane, all glued together with her own wonderful brand of creativity. I will leave you with one of the lines from Jude, while she watches a human recover from an enchantment:

“She’s looking around the forest, as though if she can prove it isn’t magic, then nothing else is either. Which is stupid. All forests are magic.”

Guest Review: The Changeling Plague

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My former roommate and one of my best friends is here today with a guest post. I’ve been trying to convince Matt to be a guest on the blog forever, and I’m thrilled that I’ve finally succeeded! He’s somehow always up-to-date on modern science-fiction releases and finding great backlist books from the genre, like today’s feature. Today, he’s bringing us a review of a pandemic-style sci-fi thriller that takes a wild, unexpected turn in the direction of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series, one of my middle school favorites. Take it away, Matt!

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Now I know what you’re thinking.  Who is this guy, and why is he reviewing something that’s been marketed as science fiction? And you’re right, Syne Mitchell’s The Changeling Plague belongs firmly in that spacey category and not in the YA section. Yet at its core, there are elements of this book that hit the reader as firmly as any pathos-appealing coming of age story. So, before you turn away and pick up the next Holly Black novel (you can do that afterward; The Cruel Prince has my seal of approval), consider this unique read.

The Changeling Plague by Syne MitchellThe Changeling Plague drops you into a near-future scenario: the world has been rocked on its heels by an epidemic caused not by a random disease, but by a cure for hemophilia which got out of hand. We’re introduced with a heart wrenching scene where Lillith Watkins, an empathetic researcher from the Center for Disease Control, comes across two children in what was supposed to be an abandoned quarantine facility. Chained to the radiator, one of the children has contracted the new fatal Mahn’s disease. She dies in Lillith’s arms while the other, a bright blue-eyed boy named Idaho, is forced to watch his sister’s failed resuscitation.

This exposition does a great job of drawing the reader in. We want to know more about this ravaged child, and what will happen to him. We’re curious about the current epidemic, which Mitchell has only lightly touched upon. But instead of having our curiosity satisfied, we fast-forward four years to a point in the story where the original disease has been cured and Idaho has long-since run away from his foster home and no longer keeps in touch with Lillith.  This confused me slightly, as we seem to have glossed over some pretty major formative years for both main characters.

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We next touch upon Geoffrey Allan, a rich, spoiled billionaire dying of cystic fibrosis.  In his desperation, he bribes a researcher to violate the ban on viral testing—a moratorium introduced as a result of the previous epidemic—to cure his CF. The cure works, but it wasn’t properly tested for safety and the retrovirus ends up being transmittable by air. If all it did was cure CF, that would be fine. Instead, it triggers a new global pandemic: the retrovirus edits random parts of the genome in individuals without CF. This results in a wave of fast-acting, contagious genetic disorders such as cancer and sickle-cell anemia.   Allan is placed in quarantine and the genomes of thousands of people seem to become unstable, constantly changing.

There are a few caveats that detract from the story at this point. Unfortunately, the shoddy research done to create Geoffrey Allan’s cure also extends slightly to the author’s own research. Mitchell refers to the new retrovirus as being based in AIDS, and never once mentions HIV.  We also have no explanation for why this new disease is suddenly an airborne problem, unlike HIV.

Science aside, Mitchell has done something very odd with Geoffrey’s character. Initially, he’s seen as a blank slate, and you get the sense that you aren’t supposed to connect with him. Instead, I found myself feeling more sympathetic to the billionaire who caused the deaths of thousands of people than to Lillith, who spends her time tirelessly trying to help the people he’s indirectly infected. By the end of the book, you’re really rooting for Geoffrey in an anti-hero redemption arc sort of way; you just feel sorry for the guy.  Her character development of Geoffrey is as wonderful as her portrayal of Lillith is not.

During the months that follow this epidemic, the economy slows down and Lillith tirelessly works her ass off to search for a cure. She’s contacted several times by Idaho—who has become an extremely elusive hacker somehow—and they help each other throughout the book. Unfortunately, we never really get a good sense of Lillith as a character. I would have loved to see more done with Lillith, but so often her ‘inner thoughts’ are bland appeals to reason, throw-off lines to develop the plot that alienate us from her character.

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As we get into the meat of the book, science nerds geek out while the rest of the readers will hit the snooze button. A good half of the 336-page novel revolves around the effects of this new disease and how scientists try to get a handle on it before it becomes a species-ending event. Eventually a vaccine is developed and is promptly distributed across the world. The book could have ended there, and it would have been a mediocre read, but for the character of Idaho.

Idaho and his troubled girlfriend, Exeter—there are a lot of odd names in the book—redeem the novel. Mitchell does such a good job getting into the head of these two that it makes me wonder why she didn’t do the same with her other characters. The entire arc with Idaho makes for an exciting experience, and this is where the book picks up some YA-style flair.

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The first time we see through Idaho’s eyes, he’s immersed himself into the internet—almost literally.  Living underground in a trailer, the kid has stuck electric needles into his body and jury-rigged a set-up to more easily surf the web. He’s the definition of a reclusive hacker, and his only visits are from his heroin-addicted girlfriend who also transports his food and supplies to him. It’s like Skeleton Man from Neal Stephenson’s Reamde. He becomes obsessed with the virus—termed AHMS—when Exeter contracts it. Through his connection with Lillith and the still-wealthy Geoffrey Allan, he’s able to obtain an entire genetic laboratory’s worth of instruments. Idaho promptly uses them to research the disease, and with Exeter’s help he finds a potential cure. Yet saving the world is not the direction Idaho goes: after helping Lillith, he begins tweaking his own genome.

Here, Mitchell’s created a great cast of counter-culture, jaded youth who are into body-modification. Idaho take their body-hacking a step further, using AHMS as the base template for him to wildly change himself. When another hacker finds out, he asks for Idaho to do the same to him, and the ‘changelings’ are formed. Here’s where Mitchell’s imagination runs wild. There are people who want spikes, people who want faster reflexes, people who want feathers instead of hair. There are drug addicts who get their brain to naturally produce the chemical they crave, leaving them perpetually juiced. It’s a wonderful portrayal of what people would do if they could truly edit their own genome. While the genetic editing seems a little powerful, it’s not out of the question that something like this could happen. I found myself thinking about the Geneva Accords and wondering if even today something like this is being done in secret.

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Overall, the book is an amazing idea that could have been better executed. The concept of changing yourself, your identity, is a powerful notion that I think we all consider from time to time. “It’s just meat,” Exeter says when she asks Idaho to form her wings.  The retrovirus, when shared amongst those who have contracted it, also homologizes the physical features of the infected. By the end of the book, Geoffrey has lost all of his identifying physical characteristics, but has gained an identity and a depth of character lacking when we first meet him.

At a few points there are some minor logic errors which detract from the plot. Geoffry Allan, an anonymous number in a containment system, is at one point referred to by name from a guard who could not have known his name. Additionally, a tragic spelling error gave us the ‘changeling plaugue’, the first and probably the only time we see the novel’s title in the text itself. Yet, despite these errors, it’s worth the read if only for the wonderful ideas Mitchell presents. The book left me inspired and excited to flesh out my own writing ideas, wanting to build off the author’s creativity!

TL;DR

The Changeling Plague combines two popular science and speculative fiction themes (pandemics and genetic modification) to mixed results, story-wise, but Mitchell’s creativity really shines throughout! For having been published in 2003, the book was also pretty ahead of its time in predicting advances in the field of genetics.

Many thanks to Matt, and be on the lookout for his review of Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince next week!!