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June 9th, 2019

Book #39 of 2019: An Oath of Dogs

An Oath of Dogs by Wendy Wagner
Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Liked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This book was many things, and while I liked most of them, some of them completely didn't work for me.

It was a (very very cool) scifi book. Set on another planet (or moon, to be exact), humans had been colonizing it for 100 years or so, but it was such a harsh, foreign place, they were just starting to get a toehold. The world was so interesting and different -- evolution went the route of fungi instead of mammals. And when you realize all the potential of that... wow, there was just so much to learn and experience! I loved the world so much!

An Oath of Dogs was also a horror book -- intermixed with the current timeline, we saw how bad things were in the first year in the new world. We saw people starving to death. We saw what these people had to do to live...

This book was also a murder mystery, and for me this was the part of it I liked least. A character died before the book started, so for me personally, I really didn't care about it because the reader had no attachment to him. Unfortunately this was the biggest part of the plot.

The story also had a plot about corporate greed/eco-terrorism, and like the murder mystery, it just didn't work for me. Sadly this was the second biggest part of the plot.

While I completely loved the first half of the book, the second half (more focused on the murder mystery/corporate greed plots) dragged some for me. By the last 10%, I was (sadly) ready for the book to be over so I could move on to the next one.

The 'dogs' in the title referred to literal dogs, the animals people can become when times are bad, and sentient dogs (sort of) found on the world this takes place in.

In addition to the moon setting being great, the main characters were really outstanding, too. Interesting, believable, I really enjoyed spending time with them. The main male character was gay and vegan, but that felt natural and not just shoehorned in.

Some of the minor characters... not so much. I have trouble believing that in the future, when we're far enough advanced to be able to live on multiple other worlds, that homophobic insults would still be around. I suppose it could be true, but if we can't put hatred behind us, can we really reach this far into space?

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