Jo's Reviews > Warchild

Warchild by Karin Lowachee
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Oct 10, 12

bookshelves: recommended
Recommended to Jo by: slashy people
Recommended for: space opera fans, military sci-fi fans, slashy people
Read from September 21, 2011 to October 10, 2012 — I own a copy

Being notoriously picky about what I read, I figured I wouldn't really like this book since the whole space opera genre has gotten a bit old for me. "Science" in science fiction is something of a... sore point.. for me.

That being said, Warchild is a powerful psychological story, compellingly told and emotionally engaging. It is intensely character driven, and the politics and dynamics of these characters was well enough written that I was able to overlook the softness of the books "science" (*cough* I freely admit to elitism, but don't begrudge fans of soft SF, especially not when it facilitates stories like this!)

Pros
- Engaging and real characters who worm their way into hearts when you least expect it
- Visceral drama that is deeply felt
- I loved the kickass female characters in this book, from motherly Enas to the hardass Hartford to Aki and Iratxe
- The male characters, likewise, are well rounded and engaging.

Cons
- Predictable plot line for military sci-fi
- Boring alien culture (Japanese/East Asian indeed!). If you liked Avatar's Pandora, you'll like Stiv culture, though. Gets old after seeing it done so many times before.
- Dark, dark elements such as slavery, child abuse, and even rape are mentioned and rementioned several times throughout the story. In the case of one character, it feels like it's played for cheap sympathy. For some, however, it serves to give purpose and drive.
- SLASHY undertones. Which is a pro for me but likely a con for others. Nothing happens in Jos' bed, but it gets mentioned in the story.

Overall, Jos' growth from a survivor child into a capable but emotionally dependent adolescent and finally into a resourceful and free thinking young adult was engaging enough for me to overlook the shortcomings and really enjoy this novel. It's going on my favorites shelf!
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