Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.
Solid action, and great pacing, but sadly few female characters.
Even more so than the male gazey first 30%, the near absences of women in this universe is disappointing. Yes, yes, this is a book where men get paid to punch men for cheering crowds. But come on. There is a women's league, which we know because we meet exactly one member, who has a nice if only briefly on screen arc of her own. Only one reporter we meet is a woman. Only two marketing people we meet are women, and one of those is the love interest (and the only prominent character in the book who is a woman). The universe has one female cop. And if I mention two moms and two fans, I've mentioned every woman who appears in the book....
It's been a while since I've read something where the protagonist was actually a hero. Not any sort of antihero or reluctant hero, but a decent guy who wants to be the best at what he does, and what he does is hit people. Have I ever read that kind of book where that guy was both the main character and not white?
And this protagonists journey is an excellent filter to examine the very real xenophobia of today.
So, fun, and refreshing in some ways.
But more of the same in others.
I liked a lot about this. I'd love to try another book by this author that is less of a sausagefest.