I don’t write very many book reviews, for someone who reads so much. My kindle is littered with dozens of samples, and even more samples-that-became-purchases in the last year alone. In the past twelve months, I estimate I read about 20 new books, and probably re-read a dozen more. And yet my last book reviewed was (it’s embarrassing how long it took me to search this out): World of Shell and Bone, in 2013.
I’ve read some really great books in the past year, like Uprooted by Naomi Novik, of Temeraire fame. Seraphina and its sequel by Rachel Hartman. Some really clever fairy tale retellings by T.K. Kingfisher. I’ve read some books I wasn’t enthralled by, despite expecting to love it, like Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. And I’ve read some truly mediocre stuff, like Virgina Boecker’s The Witch Hunter. I didn’t review any of them beyond perhaps a star rating, primarily because I was prompted to by Mother Amazon at the end of reading.
When I reviewed WOSAB in 2013, I did it because I was possessed with the need to dissect the failings of a post-apocalyptic/dystopian YA novel – probably borne out of a desire to avoid making any of those same mistakes in my own writing. Or to warn people that a pretty cover can hide a multitude of sins. I want to make explicit that is not the case here. The Fifth Season was a good read, with solid characters and world-building. Given my lukewarm reactions to both the Inheritance trilogy and the Dreamblood duology, I was far more invested in this book.
No explicit spoilers past the cut, but some minor ones.
Sorry Not Sorry is a new series of blogs, dedicated to media I enjoy: video games, movies, books, etc. I intend for Sorry Not Sorry to open up a dialogue about the line between being a feminist and doing feminist things. The former doesn’t make everything you do automatically feminist (apologies to Lisa Simpson). The urge to close the gap between the two things is natural, I think, and ties in closely with feminists who feel the momentum of the movement flagging, attempting to flog life into it by expanding the definition of feminism so widely that it’s catching stray insects and the occasional neoliberal in its mouth these days. It has undermined the concept of subversion to the point of ridicule, where certain online circles take things like leg shaving or nail painting or high heels as a subversion of femme expectations, because they’re feminist and they’re not doing it because they have to! The average man on the street isn’t going to know that though, nor even are people you might hail as fellow feminists. It doesn’t mean you can’t do those things. It’s okay to be a feminist and enjoy watching Game of Thrones. You can be a feminist and read the Dresden files. It’s just that it doesn’t make those things feminist. Dig me?
So I open Sorry Not Sorry with Homestuck.