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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Two brothers.
Seven vices.
One demonic possession.
Can this relationship survive?

Auben Mutze has more vices than he can deal with—six to be exact—each branded down his arm for all the world to see. They mark him as a lesser twin in society, as inferior, but there’s no way he’ll let that define him. Intelligent and outgoing, Auben’s spirited antics make him popular among the o
Paperback, 385 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  520 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Nicky Drayden
May 16, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm so excited for y'all to read this book! I pushed a lot of personal limits to put my heart into this's dark, it's funny, it's a-whole-nother world created just for you, reader. I hope that you enjoy, and if you're interested, head over to my website to claim some free swag and a signed bookplate! ...more
If you like genre-defying books, page-turners full of unpredictable twists, or stories about siblings, you don't want to miss Temper.
Temper is the second book I've read by Nicky Drayden; it's just as weird as her debut The Prey of Gods, and even better. I also fear it will be just as underrated, and I really don't want that to happen, because this is one of the best SFF novels I've read this year.

Temper is set in an alternate Cape Town, South Africa, in which colonization didn't happen and every
K.J. Charles
Weird as heck. It's a SFF of the sort where magic and tech coexist, set in a religious fable about warring gods and vice and virtue, only the fable is real too. Absolutely extraordinary set up that plays with ideas in a totally committed way without ever losing sight of the (extremely flawed and real) humans at the centre of the story. Also, there is no weird-ass plot turn that this author will not take, which makes for a spectacular ride if you're happy to hang on. Set in an Africa which was ne ...more
Tori (InToriLex)

Actual Rating 3.5
Content Warning: Substance Abuse, Queer Elements, Cannibalism, Sexually Explicit Scenes

When I started reading I was uncertain how this multi-gendered, mostly twin populated world worked. There are four genders male, female, feminized kigen and masculinized kigen. Kigen are created when twins genitalia are mixed in the womb so each twin has different feminine and masculine characteristics. In the book it was described as chimeral gendering. All of the twins in this
Monica **can't read fast enough**
Temper is a book that I am having a hard time writing a review for. Drayden is masterful in her world building. She crafts descriptions in a way that I can clearly imagine cities, homes, walls, and even what the characters look like which makes the story engaging. However, with Temper I think that I may need a second read to truly catch most of what Drayden is wanting her readers to get.

The main theme in Temper seems to be complex evolving relationships. Relationships with oneself, siblings, pa
Mogsy (MMOGC)
2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m still kicking myself for not having read Nicky Drayden’s The Prey of Gods, her debut novel which has been garnering all kinds of praise, so when I heard about Temper I decided to check it out. Unfortunately though, I did not take to it as well as I’d hoped. While the writing was excellent and the premise was as imaginative as anything I’ve seen in a while, the book was much too strange for my tastes, which led it to fa
Kristen Burns
3 Stars

*I received an ecopy of this book via Edelweiss. This has not influenced my review.*

This was a unique fantasy book involving twins, possessions, vices, virtues, gods, and unexpected twists, all taking place in an African-based setting. I'm not sure if I should classify it as paranormal/urban fantasy or high fantasy or magical realism or mythology or maybe even metaphysical & visionary since it took place in a land very similar to ours in some ways but very different in others. But
Diego Domenici
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Premise: In Temper, Drayden takes you on a journey of self-discovery in a world where virtually everyone is born with a twin and goes through a ritual in which the seven human vices and their opposites are divided between the two, favoring the Greater Twin. Auben, a Lesser Twin, is our sole point of view and guide into his world and society, where religion, mysticism and forbidden technologies all play a part and all want their share of him.

Style of narration: What I really like about this book
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Its not that its a bad book. I just finally realise that Miss Draydens style isnt for me. I feel like she has amazing ability at creating this wonderful worlds or cultures. She also provides pretty solid characters, especially in both the brothers. My issue with her writing at it was similar to her previous book is plot. I just feel like it takes forever for something to happen. A case of not being a right fit for me.
Thistle & Verse
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, deities
Auben is an engaging, morally grey protagonist. The voice of Icy Blue compels him to do terrible things, but he'd done not-as-terrible things before his possession. This is a society with 3 genders, and there's a trans side character. There's a lot of conflicts in this book - Auben v himself, Auben v Kasim, religious v secular factions, etc.. Towards the end, it felt like some things got lost in the shuffle and that not every plot line was given its dues. I generally liked that I didn't know whe ...more
Stewart Tame
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
To whom it may concern: I won a free autographed copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Neener neener neener. Yes, I suppose authors and/or publishers could buy good reviews, but it seems as though it would be more cost effective to just write good books ...

An impressive job of world building! I confess that I’m highly ignorant of African cultures and history, so I don't have a clue as to where exactly reality leaves off and Nicky Drayden’s fertile imagination takes over. So we have an alter
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! What a ride! Review will be up tomorrow, fingers crossed!
Vicki Crosson
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-physical
I received an advanced copy of this book intended for review.

I loved Temper just as much as Drayden's last book, The Prey of Gods. This book has some incredibly strong world building and development of the main character, whose POV we maintain throughout the whole book. I loved the strong divisions between the rich and the poor, the wicked and the good, and I would have loved to see more from some of the other characters.

Like The Prey of Gods, I got the impression that the ending was much toug
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fearless ones
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work; Book Riot's Swords & Spaceships (2018/8/7)
"I'm not sure there ever were any rules, but if there were, they're pretty much void at this point."
One character says this to another in Temper, the Austin, Texas-based author Nicky Drayden's second novel, but it also applies to the work as a whole. Drayden writes fearlessly, blending science and fantasy, history and myth, culture-jamming endless inventions that never quite fall apart.

In her first novel, The Prey of Gods, Drayden brought us a vivid near-future South Africa (enhanced by he
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Wonder Twin Powers Activate!

The Wonder Twins' are Zan and Jayna, alien siblings from the planet Exxor.
You mean this wasn't a story about the Justice League twins?
At least that would have been an entertaining story.

First problem is this is a YA book.
Second problem it's too freakin weird.

Being weird for the sake of weirdness isn't original, creative, or entertaining.

A pair of twins going through teenage angst.
One twin is a lycanthrope
with a little bit of evil in his soul
and one a little bit of a
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
edit - this review phrases my thoughts on the book far better than i did.

i really liked this book up until the 2/3 point.. the world building, just as in the prey of gods, was a brilliant blend of sf and fantasy.

and then it just... lost me. i was super confused by the whole (view spoiler) thing. it didn't explain why he (view spoiler) all that time, and i hadn't picked up on any clues to it before that reveal (whic
Jun 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wanted so badly to like this. It has a killer cover on it and the premise sounded interesting... But it just dragged on and on and on with nothing much happening except sibling rivalry and lots of barely explained jargon. I kept waiting for something to happen that wasn't immediately followed by more exposition. I decided to stop reading without finishing. Why? Because I couldn't see the point in continuing to be bored out of my mind.
Ceillie Simkiss
Holy shitballs. This is amazing???
You can read my full review here!
Lynn Williams
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Temper is a tricky book for me to review. To be honest and upfront this didn’t work as well for me as Prey of Gods, Nicky Drayden’s highly creative debut fantasy novel. Prey of Gods just blew me away and so perhaps I went into this one with unreasonably high expectations. Anyway, not to get ahead of myself.

Why tricky? Well, I cannot deny that Drayden has a powerful imagination. The worlds she creates are stunning in scope and originality. Her stories are like a breath of fresh air and in that re
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
How do I even describe this book? It’s so strange, full of genre mixing and ideas, all stirred together into a wild ride.

In the world of Temper, almost everyone is a twin. You’re either the “greater” twin or the “lesser” twin. You see, each twin is born with a mix of seven vices and virtues, evenly split between them.

Auben Mutze is a lesser twin, about as less as you can get — six vices and only one virtue, charity. He knows his prospects are limited because of it, but he’s going to enjoy life d
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
From the initial blurb that I saw when the book was announced I was very excited to read it since it seemed like an off the wall concept. However, Temper was a difficult read for me. There were many things in the book that bothered me. I will preface this with that I am not trans or intersex (I identify as genderqueer but that’s a complicated topic). I would love to hear what intersex and trans people thought about the sex/gender system. I had several issues with it which I will discuss (and par ...more
Jo Ladzinski
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, library
Listened to the audiobook

This book takes place in a continent loosely based off South Africa, following twins Auben and Kasim. One has six vices and a virtue, the other has the opposite, in a world where these things are tattooed on people's bodies and dictate their place in society. There are family secrets to unravel and a society to dismantle, and a war between gods which touches everything they've ever known.

Parts of this book definitely went over my head and some of the discussions about ge
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I greatly enjoyed Prey of Gods and was curious for more - and Temper does not disappoint!
It took me a bit of time to get into the story, the book jumps right in and you sort things out as you go (twins with vices? Weird uncles? A god and a demon?). Nonetheless, I soon got comfortable in this world of twins and by around half the book, I could hardly put it down. All the weird, seemingly random things from the beginning come together so nicely and every detail suddenly makes sense. A few times I
Drayden writes like no one has ever told her "You can't do that." And yet somehow, it works. It shouldn't work. But it works.

Recommended to: people who like being surprised, people willing to let their disbelief not so much suspend as swoop untethered through the air in figure eights, and people with a very high tolerance for violence.
Marta Pelrine-Bacon
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story was wonderfully weird. I've read Drayden's first novel and several of her stories, and she is one of the most imaginative authors I've come across. She's imaginative and uninhibited in her storytelling. So, she jumps right into this world, and she doesn't info dump. You're in a new world, and you'll figure things out as any adventurer--as you go along. It took me a couple of pages to realize that this world has more than two genders, and her use of pronouns reflects this. This may tur ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an advance ebook to review.


Set in a world where virtues and vices are traits split between twins, people are split by class, and where a teenage boy, just coming into his own along with his brother, become gods. Incredible world building here just as in Nicky Draydens previous novel, The Prey of Gods, along with well written characters that I could not help but really fall in love with. It is most definitely a little dark, damn funny and a real joy to r
Mika Brown
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just. Wow. It's rare that an author can pull off more than one unexpected twist in a story that actually works, but every single twist in this book work really well, building from what seems like a small family story in a really interesting world to an epic conclusion.

And you can never go wrong with acrobatic librarians.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Doris Coleman
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This one was way over my head.
Oct 10, 2018 marked it as dnf
Recommends it for: Thoes looking for African inspired fantasy
Shelves: sci-fi, ya
DNF'd at 41% on 10/10/18

I really tried to power through this book but it just wasn't working for me.

The first reason for my DNF was the main character. Auben is an asshole. I aknowledge that this is a major part of the worldbuilding and plot, but I need to find the protagonist of a story sympathetic to really enjoy the story especially if it's in first person. The fact that he was an asshole made the moments we were supposed to sympathise with him fall flat.

Auben's motivations were also unclear
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in a world rich with its own mythology and traditions, Temper sets the stage for a unique speculative fiction romp. In a society where people have preordained vices and virtues split between twins, it is inevitable for one twin to be superior to the other. Tied together through a magical bond called proximity, twins need to remain close to each other or face physical and psychological ramifications, and when the lesser twins face prejudices daily, tensions run high between siblings.

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Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she’s not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required.

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