Jessie's Reviews > Refuge

Refuge by J.J. Blacklocke
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it was amazing

I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I do want to note that I know the author personally, but have done my best to view the book and my opinions of it through as unbiased of a lens as possible.

That said, I loved this book; it would be unjust to say any less. I started it around 8pm on a Friday, and finished it less than 24 hours later, because I could not put it down. The world Blacklocke creates on the page is vivid and alive, filled with nuance and detail that left me filled with visions of what various locations and alien races looked like, smelled like, sounded like, WERE like. The characters were truly unique individuals, regardless of how large or small their part in the story was-- everyone matters, and it's clear Blacklocke took careful time bringing life to each and every one. There is nuance to everyone, regardless of role or race; no one is a cookie-cutter "good guy" or "bad guy," they're just regular people doing their best to muddle through situations as they arise. Some rise to the challenge and grow and flourish; others fail, sometimes spectacularly so, and the consequences of their failures are far-reaching. But never does a character feel stiff or like a simple plot device-- these are all people living their lives, and we are happening to see a snapshot of a specific time in their existence.

If you're looking for explosions and battles, this won't be the right book for you. This isn't a book filled with dramatic laser fights or high-tech chase scenes; rather, it is about the magic of encountering situations that are completely alien to you and somehow finding a way to understand and work within them anyway. This is a book about heart, about truth, about bravery, about trust. This is a story about people, of all sorts, figuring out how to best proceed in challenge after challenge. This is a story filled with small actions that have big consequences, with regular people who do their best, with difficult problems that have no simple solutions.

Refuge is a character-driven, emotion-heavy, high-stakes story full of creativity and discovery. It's a treat from start to finish, rich with detail and generous with imagination. Highly recommend!
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Reading Progress

August 14, 2020 – Started Reading
August 14, 2020 – Shelved
August 14, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
August 14, 2020 –
31.0% "I really need to go to bed but I am SO ENTHRALLED! I don’t want to stop! So glad tomorrow is Saturday— very likely I’ll devour the last 2/3 in the next 24 hours."
August 15, 2020 –
59.0% "Very displeased to be more than half done— I want more!!!!!"
August 15, 2020 – Finished Reading

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