As always, I am way behind on reviews so I decided to do three mini reviews in one post since I don’t have a ton of things to discuss on each books but I still want to talk about them for a bit.
Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wending (Aftermath #1) ★★★
“The second Death Star is destroyed. The Emperor and his powerful enforcer, Darth Vader, are rumored to be dead. The Galactic Empire is in chaos.
Across the galaxy, some systems celebrate, while in others Imperial factions tighten their grip. Optimism and fear reign side by side.
And while the Rebel Alliance engages the fractured forces of the Empire, a lone Rebel scout uncovers a secret Imperial meeting…”
I read this book at the beginning of this month when I was in holidays, I wanted to read something fun and I was in the mood for some Star Wars adventures. It was the first time I read a tie-in book and I’m glad I did because it’s a fun way to experience stories in a world you love in a different format. This book received a ton of mixed reviews (it has a 3.11 average rating on Goodreads) and I can understand why, I am not sure Wending’s writing style suits well Star Wars and the book follows way too many character which made it hard to connect to them.
Also, one of the main complains I noticed in the reviews I read of ti was that this book is supposed to fill the void between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and it doesn’t really. This series is a trilogy so maybe the later books will be more interesting “bridges” between the two movies but as a standalone, Aftermath doesn’t bring a lot to the Star Wars universe. However, I found it fun and fast-paced so I will pick up the sequel sonner rather than later. (And I’ll definitely give a try to other Star Wars books!)
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor ★★★ 1/2
“In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient African tongue.
Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny–to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture-and eventually death itself.”
This book has trigger warnings for pretty much everything: child abuse, rape, racism, genocide… It’s dark and angry. If you think that its prequel The Book of Phoenix was angry well, expect Who Fears Death to be it but on steroids. I can’t really say that I enjoyed it but the more I read Okorafor’s work the more I realize that they are not supposed to be pleasant, they are supposed to make you react.
However, I don’t think that it is her best works out of the other I read this year, the pacing was completely off and because of that the ending was underwhelming: everything happened too fast and some plot points were there just because Okorafor wanted to accentuate some of her opinions (the whole trip in the desert would have been great if it had been cut to half. Reading about teenagers having or not having sex for I don’t know how many pages is a tad boring, especially when they are supposed to stop a genocide from happening. Get your priorities straight guys, please.) Nevertheless, I had really interesting things to say on the body, race and bullying and for that, I would still recommend it.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara ★
” When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.”
I saved the “best” for the last. I am currently in a reading slump and that’s because of this book. I have a pretty unpopular opinion of this book since almost everyone on Earth adores it. I found it offensive, disguting, badly written and dumb. It is was I would refer to as “ruin porn” (term used in The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi). It’s a story made for people who love to see other human being suffering because it reminds them that their life isn’t that bad after all. This book was so ridiculous it could have been a soap opera, it turned abuse into a joke and I don’t even know why I finished it. It’s more than 800 pages long and every word of it shouldn’t exist. Ugh, I’m glad it didn’t won the Man Booker last year but, at the same time, I don’t even know why it was on the longlist (and then the shortlist) to begin with. Do not read it, it doesn’t deserve your time.
Well that’s all for me today. I haven’t been posting lately because I (and when I say “I” I mean my father) finally fixed a problem I had with WordPress for about a week now. Everytime I try to log-in, this would appear and I couldn’t do anything. Now I can actually write posts and access my dashboard. Not gonna lie, it drove me completely nuts!
I hope that you’re having a good day!