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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: Vicious Circle

Vicious Circle - Elle E Ire

Bear with me here, this is a tricky book for me to review. Well written, excellent pacing, and a great protagonist. This action packed space adventure starts with a knife fight and the heroine is an assassin. Basically, this is the kind of book I'm likely to give all of the stars to, but in this case I can't.


Sadly, the plot revolves around a false rape accusation. I knew that going in, because it's spelled out in the cover text, the girl "claims" she's been raped. I appreciate the warning, as if I hadn't been expecting it, this book would have just been deleted when I got to that reveal. 


I even think Ire handles this well in terms of how all the characters interact with this knowledge. But I am so done with "bitch made it up" as a narrative element. Rape is lazy as a plot device and this is even lazier - all the tension of a revenge story without having to even deal with trauma. Plus, here in the real world, where false accusations are rare, accusations of rape get women treated with suspicion and derision by society, and men can still be president.


Uh, aside from that. Pretty much an excellent book. The first few chapters are really insightful about addiction. The story is driven by a series of mishaps that allow for the introduction of interesting characters and world building.


The end feels pretty rushed, sadly. After the climactic scene, there's a lot of detail that gets crammed into exposition, which is kind of a let down after so much action. There's one large unresolved plot element, but I think this in intended to be a series. If it is, I'll probably read the next one. There's enough here that I liked, and surely the next book won't have this same issue.