My thoughts: • I was excited to read this book and was not disappointed. • This is a first book in a series and the worldbuilThis was a 3.5 read for me.
My thoughts: • I was excited to read this book and was not disappointed. • This is a first book in a series and the worldbuilding was expertly done without dragging down the plot yet allowing the reader to feel the actions matched the world. The author also left enough room so that the world complexities could be further flushed out in future stories. • So love that Older gives us the “real” Brooklyn with all of the diversity, pageantry, grittiness, conflicts of old timers v newcomers. • So glad to see an Urban Fantasy series with a diverse group of intriguing characters and the food mentions are delish. • This storyline had a freshness for me – as too often Urban Fantasies start to read the same. It has a nice blend of mystery, supernatural issues, romance and characters who feel “real”. • Carlos Delacruz is a likable character who thinks he is one of a kind – an inbetweener ( a person not fully dead or alive and can move around the human world) who works for the New York Council of the Dead to help ensure that the two worlds do not meet. While Carlos relishes in being unique it is also the source of his loneliness – he has no idea how he did and who he was while living. So when an assignment puts him in contact with someone like him – Carlos not only has an assignment to complete but a personal mission to help understand himself. • The dialogue is on-point, being witty, contemplative, wary or sympathetic as the situation requires. • My nitpick for this first book is that I wanted one of the female characters – Mama Esther, Kia, or Sasha to have a bigger role. All are interesting strong independent minded women so hopefully we will see more of them in future books. • Based on my enjoyment with this book I look forward to reading more books in the series and also look forward to Older’s upcoming book Shadowshaper which stars a Afro-Latina character. • I recommend this book Urban Fantasy readers looking for diversity with an edge of noir and realistic urbanism. ...more
My thoughts: • The beginning of the book was slow going for me as I was not familiar with some of the subtleties/nuances of the dialogue. • After I settMy thoughts: • The beginning of the book was slow going for me as I was not familiar with some of the subtleties/nuances of the dialogue. • After I settled into the story a little, it still felt a little disjointed and more like vignettes – I did not know if this was because of the translation or once again my lack of knowledge • As the author begins to tell the back stories of the main characters it was easier for me to see not only the usual exclusion and bullying that is too often associated with boarding school but some of the meaning behind the dialogue and actions. • I thought the author did a good job of showing the privilege, burdens, complexities, confusion and the cultural expectations of the ethnic designations and how it placed against the background of the Belgian and French administrators and teachers. • The primary source of the tension is between the Hutu and Tutsi but there is also the tension (and discrimination) the girls feel from the European in their country. • But this tension just simmers until Gloriosa spins a tale to advance her own agenda and brutal violence erupts and is not easily placated. • As this is a girl’s school there is also the issue of what is “beauty” and what makes one desirable. • While this book focuses on this small out of the way elite Catholic boarding school that prided itself on education those that were to be the female elite it shows how easily an outcry can fuel mob behavior that would inflame Rwanda a couple more years in the future ...more
My thoughts: • I am not much of a poetry reader but over the past couple of years I have reading a couple of poetry a year to increase my awareness andMy thoughts: • I am not much of a poetry reader but over the past couple of years I have reading a couple of poetry a year to increase my awareness and knowledge of poetry. I have always appreciated the form of poetry – to be able to say so much so poignantly in a gathering of a couple of words – what a skill. And in this regard Claudia Rankine succeeds brilliantly. • I was also drawn to this book because of the format – there is a well blended mix of poetry, vignettes, and images. This format worked well for me because it helped to emphasize the points on how pervasive racism is on a day-to-day basis for Black citizens – some intentional, some just thoughtless, some just ignorant to the hurt and stress it puts on others. • As I do poetry and short stories collections, I would read a couple of pages every day, this allowed me to appreciate and contemplate the meaning/thoughts of what was written. • Several times when reading this book I found myself smiling as I thought – yes, I know that conversation/situations and then others had be “sighing” (this was discussed in the book) as what else could my body do when reading these common everyday occurrences. • I thought that pulling any one small segment out of this book – would make a good starting point for honest discussions regarding race and citizenship and how ingrained racism is on our culture and society. • I recommend at all citizens pick up this book even if just to read a page or two for all of us to understand there are many modes of racism and all of it is harmful to those it is directed at. ...more