Sh3lly 's Reviews > The Book of Etta

The Book of Etta by Meg Elison
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I read this for the 2017 MacHalo Group Reading Challenge.



Review also found at Dust Off Your MacHalo blog.

Spoilery items below... I'm not giving away any key plot points, but... eh. Just a warning. You must read the first book before attempting this one. One hundred years has passed. The fever plague that targeted women has mostly fizzled out. Instead of 100% infant mortality, it's now about 15% that live. Many mothers still die in childbirth, but slowly, slowly, babies are being born again.

There are still slavers, who kidnap females, sell and use them. There are still "hives," where a single Alpha female wears the pants and several men do the chores and clean house to earn the privilege of being a member of her household (an interesting reversal of gender roles).

There are small villages and colonies who more or less successfully survive, growing gardens, hunting, raiding, and living more or less peacefully. Those places are still few and far between.

In this book, our main character is Etta. She was born and raised in the same village the Unnamed Midwife found and lived in until she died. Etta was supposed to be a midwife, but chose to be a raider. She has never fit in with the ideas she grew up with. If you don't breed or try to, you are looked down upon.

When Etta goes out and raids, she becomes Eddy. She binds herself like the Unnamed did, and becomes a male. As the book goes on, we find out that it isn't just for protection, but because Etta has known she was Eddy since about puberty but didn't consciously realize it for many reasons.

The author, in my view, continues to deal with gender roles and sexuality in interesting and challenging ways. She questions labels and several characters cannot be defined or put into tidy boxes as our society loves to do.

I love this about these books. This book is just as dark and gritty as the first. There are new obstacles in this post-apocalyptic world. There is a crazy warlord who keeps a lion and tiger on chains by his throne and is taking over many areas. There is a group of Mormons who have totally prepped and seem to be rocking the survival thing until you look a little closer. Etta runs into some other strange groups... really, this book has plenty of WTF moments. Ha!

It basically checked all the boxes for me. I couldn't put it down and it broke my feels. Etta/Eddy was freaking awesome. I probably already said too much. If you don't mind books that are a bit disturbing (and yeah, this book has a lot of what some might view as triggers) and might put you out of your comfort zone, this is for you. Just read it.

Buddy read with the MacHalo group.

Review for Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere #1).

Original post:
Devoured in one day. Amazing. Etta is one of my all-time favorite characters. Made me cry. Could not put it down. WTF-ery abounds. Better than the first one. Review to come when I can think.

Book #3, The Book of Flora? YES PLEASE. NOW.
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Reading Progress

May 13, 2017 – Shelved
June 26, 2017 – Started Reading
June 26, 2017 –
59.0% "I think this one is even better than the first one! I sense the shizz is going to hit the fan so hard, argh. I may devour this whole thing in one day!"
June 26, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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 Simply Sam ツ Oh wow! I'm really excited to start this one now. Awesome!


Choko Hahaha!!!! Whatthefuckery abounds for real!!! Wow!!!! Thanks for reading this with me, Shell!


Mindy LOL! Well I guess I'm late to the party again! Stoked you liked this one so much. I peeked last month and almost couldn't stop reading, so I can understand how you read this in one day. :D


Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜ I can't wait for this review! You're putting us at the edge of our seats with this one!! Guess I have a book to add to my reading list for next month.


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* I love this series so stanking hard. I'm glad you loved...and yes FLORA!


Sh3lly Choko wrote: "Hahaha!!!! Whatthefuckery abounds for real!!! Wow!!!! Thanks for reading this with me, Shell!"

You're welcome. We were both traumatized. Although I think you might have been a little bit more than me? lol

:P


message 7: by Sh3lly (last edited Jun 27, 2017 03:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sh3lly Mindy wrote: "LOL! Well I guess I'm late to the party again! Stoked you liked this one so much. I peeked last month and almost couldn't stop reading, so I can understand how you read this in one day. :D"

Are you going to read it soon? Or the rest of it? I really loved it, as you can see by my giving it all the stars! :) I hope you do too!


Sh3lly Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜ wrote: "I can't wait for this review! You're putting us at the edge of our seats with this one!! Guess I have a book to add to my reading list for next month."

Have you read the first one? Start with that one, if not. I'm going to try and come up with a review tonight or tomorrow. I just don't even know what to say. Still!


Sh3lly Shelby *trains flying monkeys* wrote: "I love this series so stanking hard. I'm glad you loved...and yes FLORA!"

YAS. I can't believe she wrote two awesome books as her first! I can't wait for Flora's! I just devoured these.


Sh3lly Simply Sam ツ wrote: "Oh wow! I'm really excited to start this one now. Awesome!"

Can't wait to see what you think!!!! Hurry! LOL


Jessica Shelly, so right on!! Excellent review. Happy we got to read it together!!


message 12: by Karen ⚜Mess⚜ (new)

Karen  ⚜Mess⚜ Yep, I'm reading your emails. Hence this message is dated two years after your review. TBR for sure! Thanks, Shelly.


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