Dystopia, utopia, we still haven‘t learned…

Bannerless (The Bannerless Saga)Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was ok. I was really curious to find out where post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction by Carrie Vaughn of „Kitty and the Midnight Hour“-fame would take me. And it was ok, nothing more, nothing less. Nice world building, nice character development, nice enough.

I liked the society she invented along that Coast Road and the idea of earning banners. Intriguing, even. I liked Enid‘s backstory and watching her becoming the person she is in the story‘s present. But that was about it. The mystery held little interest for me and the solution was meh. I could have put this book down pretty much at any point in the story and wouldn‘t have missed it.

The ending felt a little rushed. I will very likely not continue this series.

Part of this were reminiscent of the Book of the Unnamed Midwife.

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Low below the sea

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of HopeLow, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I did not like this. Set in a really interesting world, but without the foreword I would not have had a clue what was going on.

Diffuse, undefined artwork that was sometimes almost impossible to decipher. I kept looking at some frames, unable to figure what I was supposed to be seeing. The only part I truly liked was Stel and her son swimming underwater in their suits, looking at water creatures.

The story was not uninteresting, but felt disjointed. A lot of deep-sounding thoughts and and pop philosophy, that made me feel as if someone had robbed the self-help section of a bookstore and had regurgitated it all onto these pages. I found it very tedious to read.

Plus I didn‘t like any of the characters. One-dimensional. And some of them were difficult to tell apart. Old-fashioned depiction of scantily clad women—as another review put it, why must the women always be half-naked, while the men get clothes? And why do Stel and her daughter look alike in their three tiny triangles of fabric, with one of them presumably being twice the age of the other?

So, not going to continue this series. 2 low points…

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Short, not necesarily sweet

The New MotherThe New Mother by Eugene Fischer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The girls were spayed. That is the only word for it. Four sisters, the oldest five and the youngest barely two, with dirt-crusted fingers and baggy t-shirts, huddled next to a police van. They are identical in the way of twins; different sizes but, excepting perhaps some scars and birthmarks, their bodies are the same. The picture of them standing together next to the van is like a textbook illustration of early human development. And hidden under their shirts, carved low across the belly, the one scar they all share.”

I have read dystopian fanfiction, where all women on Earth died and what the repercussions of that could be. This is a different take, similar scenario — women can procreate asexually and essentially bear clones of themselves, without any male contribution.

Interessting idea and the author poses some fascinating questions to his set-up.

Winner of the Tiptree Award.

Story is available for free at https://medium.com/@glorioushubris/th…

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