June 10th, 2016

Book with cat: space2

Books 28, 29, 30 of 2016: Warchild, Burndive, Cagebird

Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Rating: LOVED (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I wish two things right now: I had some higher rating than 'LOVED' (I've only used the all caps version of 'loved' once before), and that I had been able to write this review after I finished the book instead of a week and two books later.

This book was AMAZING. A week and two books later, it's still in my head stronger than any other book has ever been before. If I had paid an author to write a book perfect for me, this book would have surpassed even that.

Unless you hate dark books or books about child abuse (all forms of abuse, including sexual), I highly recommend that you do not click the below links. Don't spoil yourself. Go out and buy this book, then read it for yourself.

Brief overview: Set in space, pirates attack an eight year old boy's homeship. All the adults are killed, the kids are taken as slaves by the pirates to use in their crew or sell to other crews. The pirate captain keeps one boy to train. The book follows what happens to that boy over many years. It's chilling. Realistic. Dark as hell.

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Seriously, if you listen to any recommendation of mine, listen to this one. Unless you don't like dark books or stories where kids get abused, get this book.

I don't usually link to other reviews, but I worry I didn't do Warchild justice, so here's a better written one than mine.

Burndive by Karin Lowachee
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Not this book's fault, but I went into this series thinking it was going to be about the two main characters from the first book. It's not. Every book in this series is about different characters and what they see/do/think/feel during the war. This book was about the son of the captain of one of the humans' deepspace battleships.

Because I loved the first book so deeply, and I thought this book was continuing it, I was so disappointed to find out it was about different characters. Also, I strongly disliked (to the point of hating) the main character of this one, so I had a harder time enjoying it.

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Like Gaslight Dogs by the same author, the title of this book was very odd. Burndive is the world's version for hacking, and there was next to no hacking in it.

Cagebird by Karin Lowachee
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Disclaimer: I didn't finish this one yet, but I wanted to post all three reviews together. I have around 8% left to read, and I will be finishing it, but I highly doubt anything in the end will change my opinion of this book (unless the main character in this one stumbles across the two characters from the first book making out in some dark corner).

Cagebird starts out much like Warchild did: A young boy's home colony is destroyed as part of the war, and he (eventually) ends up in the hands of a pirate. Because of that, this book really worked for me at first, and I had high hopes for it. (I love plots about brainwashing and trust issues, not to mention age and power differences in relationships.) Unfortunately, it veered off into quite a different direction than Warchild did.

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The author has a few more (3? 4?) books planned in this series, though her website makes it sound like the Gaslight Dog series has her attention right now. If she does publish more in this series, I'll read them, but I suspect I'll get more enjoyment by just rereading the first book over and over.

In my longing for more of Warchild, I hit up AO3. While there were only 20-something fics for the series, and only half of them were about the characters of the first book, almost all of those 10-ish fics were quite good. I enjoyed them all, all the voices felt accurate, other than one. (Wish I could link them and rec them directly, but I was reading in anonymous mode on my iPad, since I had no net access.)