Rayne Millaray's Reviews > Lyra Rayne: Ground Zero

Lyra Rayne by Bryan Strickland
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it was amazing

So I'm not super into superhero books (comic or otherwise) as a general rule. I like the movies, and I love the characters. But the stories often embody a lot of patriarchal BS mixed in with narcissistic hero complexes. They tend to paint women as little more than sex objects who exist solely for the male gaze (Wonder Woman was written expressly for that purpose). As a queer woman, I don't really see myself represented in many superhero stories, which are mostly spun in a heteronormative, hypermasculine society. And the fight scenes make my eyes glaze over. I don't have the attention span for them.

Bryan Strickland's Lyra Rayne: Ground Zero steps outside of all that.

Lyra Rayne is an intelligent grad student who enjoys mixed martial arts, partying with her friends, and helping people as much as she can. She stands up for what she believes in and takes no crap she isn't owed.

Lyra works as a research assistant with her mentor, Professor Grant Hill, and his other assistant, Gerald. They're research is focused on an energy source that would eliminate the need for fossil fuels. Their world is like our world, with similar problems and political debates. Their efforts are altruistic: affordable, 100% clean energy for the entire world.

Lyra's also very human. She empathizes with people who aren't like her. She speaks up when she sees people being mistreated. She gets to the lab late more often than not. She makes questionable decisions and beats herself up when they blow up in her face.

And boy, do some of them blow up in her face. My mistakes pale in comparison to some of hers. But then she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and heads back into the fray to fight again. Every single time. Which is part of the beauty of this book, and one of its many life lessons.

Every superhero needs its origin story, and Lyra is no different. One day, the university's lab explodes, Lyra nearly dies trying to save Gerald. When she wakes up the next morning, she's got abilities most people only dream of. After testing her abilities to the limit, she realizes she now has the potential to do so much more good, and off she goes, headstrong and eager.

Bryan Strickland's writing style draws you in, winding tales that force you to confront your worldview. His characters find themselves in situations that leave you wondering what you'd have done. They learn hard lessons, and realize things about themselves that they don't necessarily like, and figure out how to keep moving forward because the only way out is through. And in the end, they come out better for it.

I didn't realize how much I needed this book.

The situations in which Lyra finds herself are harrowing. The science she works with is intriguing. The fight scenes even kept me on the edge of my seat. But Lyra's humanity is what hooked me. Her determination and gumption are what will have me waiting with bated breath for the next book.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 17, 2019 – Finished Reading
December 9, 2019 – Shelved

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