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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: I am Princess X

I Am Princess X - Cherie Priest

A book I enjoyed, but needs two caveats. 


First, not sure about the audio book version. There are sections of comic book pages strewn throughout this. Which means a listener will miss both the art and any narrative elements carried by that art.


Second, this is marketed as YA and I'm not at all certain it is. The cast is the right age, but it doesn't feel like the emotional context, the plot, or any thematic elements are particularly YA. And the writing is . . . I don't want to say simplistic, and I don't mean this a slight, but . . . geared towards a lower reading level? I'd put this on the upper end of MG. 


Again, I don't mean that as a slight. I read a lot of middle grade every year. It just seems like this book is really missing it's potential audience if it's not being shelved where 6th graders are looking. The specific way the cast mistrusts adults and how they think about gender are just more MG than YA>


Or maybe it's aimed squarely at the YA age audience who doesn't like YA.


Whatever. This is a fun ride. It initially looks like a mystery, and for the protagonist it is. But all the solutions are squarely in her memories, which we don't have until she connects the dots. I often grouse at that sort of puzzle solving, but here it works. Here it's another way of exploring the friendship between two characters, and it really works. The adventure also hits a lot of places I've been to in Seattle, so that's neat. 


A good way to spend a few hours on a sunny, I'm glad I picked this up. I think I'll wait until next year to give it to my niece, but she'll definitely be getting it sooner rather than when she's the age of the main character.