Book Reviews, LGBTQIA+, Nonfiction

Note To Self by Connor Franta

31443393

When I read A Work in progress I was surprised by how much I was able to get out of it. I’m always skeptical with memoirs written by younger people. Especially someone younger than I am if only by one or two years. I was again impressed by Connor Franta with this second book.

I like the way Connor tells a story. He has an open and honest feel to him. He states his opinions without them feeling like he’s trying to force you to agree with what he feels. He can look at moments of his life and in reflecting on them pull out a lesson that he gained or wish he knew at the time. He has a wiseness that is beyond his years.

Plus there is the photography. The photos in this book were extra striking. Like I wish I could take photos as good as the ones Connor takes. In some books with photography. The photos are glanced at and you move right on to the writing. I really stopped to look at the photos here. Especially when they linked in really well to the prose or poetry Connor had with it. By the way, Connor’s poetry was excellent in this book.I would read an entire poetry book from him. I was so there for it.

A lot of what Connor talks about in this book is really relatable for me too. I’ve talked about an experience that many queer people have in common in the past that Connor also addresses here. Having your first relationships, romantic or otherwise, in much later years than your straight peers. Possibly because you weren’t out or because you weren’t in an environment with anyone else to start those relationships with in your high school or college years.

Connor talks about experiencing that here and I could definitely relate to the way he talked about it. He wasn’t out in high school. He came out in the last few years. It’s a different experience just because of where you are in your life.  The emotions involved in those first relationships and the way you approach people you are interested in changes for people over time.Plus the way you experience break ups and heartbreaks. Connor experiences a major breakup while writing this book.

Connor experiences a major breakup while writing this book. The emotional devastation he experiences is written about in such a grabbing way. He’s just honest about what he was feeling and you can tell he hoped writing something would help him. I think anyone who has experienced a breakup that really affected them can relate. The poetry and photos in that section shined even more. This is a book where I could not contain my emotions as I read. I let out a bit of a scream at one point because I was relating and empathizing too much with what was happening.

Connor also talks about his experience with depression. He talks about his first time going to therapy. I love seeing people talking about these experiences and letting people know it is okay to do that. I think a lot of people don’t like the stigma associated with things and are afraid to talk about their problems. Some people are afraid to try therapy because of some of that stigma. I always appreciate seeing this in books. Loved seeing a real person talk about their experiences with it.

This was another excellent book from Connor. Excited to see what he does next. Just started listening to his curated music playlists on Spotify. They are so good. Plus, I am now checking out his Instagram whenever I can because those photos are just too good. Wishing him the best in his next few years. I hope he is able to keep growing and learning from life.

 

Advertisements
ARC's, diverse books

Assassins: Nemesis Review

29618750

I didn’t know what I was getting into with this story but I must say I enjoyed it quite a lot. Not at first. I tried reading it a while back and wasn’t able to get into it but I think now was the right time for it.

It’s a crazy action packed story. We’ve got espionage and assassins galore. You really get thrown into it in the first chapter and need to read past there to allow things to settle before getting back into action. Blake is going through all of it pretty suddenly and just making their way through. We are along on the journey with them.

Blake is not an Assassin. I believe the first book followed someone raised to kill. That is not Blake. Blake is after the people who put the hit on their father but not fully ready for the harsh realities. The uncomfortableness when they first shoot someone is the first indicator of that. They continue to shy away from violence when the people around them are more prone to using it in missions. it was interesting to see these spy operations through Blake’s perspective.

I liked that inclusions of talk about sexuality just happened. It’s part of life. You don’t need a reason to make Blake genderfluid or intersex.This book has an intersex protagonist without being about being intersex and I love that so much.They just are. We don’t need to put too much more focus on it than that in this story. It’s just part of Blake’s life. I think that was the best way to go with a plot that had so much going on already. Staying committed to the plot and to the character by showing all that is a part of them.

Blake identifies as “mixed race, multiethnic, allergic to more things than I want to name, intersex because of partial androgen sensitivity syndrome, expressively genderfluid but mentally agender, and panromantic graysexual.” Blake states what her/his pronouns are at the time and we keep going. I like that a lot. Also, Daelen and the others asked so they wouldn’t misgender her/him. They cared and it was really nice.

I was excited to see a romance blooming for a genderfluid character as well. I could ship Daelan and Blake. Not sure if I do ultimately but I could. I feel like the connection is surprisingly strong and well-written. They just meet right at the beginning of this and it works. It’s really only a thing I’ve started seeing in books I read this year for genderfluid characters. It’s also a romance with a gray ace character. I loved that so much. I felt like it was presented well. It made me so happy.

I loved the characters and the way that the author handled them in this so I’m really happy I’ve had the opportunity to read this. I fell like it’s something I could reread. Also, I have to say that the Shakespeare nerd in me got real happy about some things in this book. Shakespeare references will get me every time.

Book Reviews, diverse books, YA

The Hate U Give Book Thoughts

32075671

Angie Thomas delivers a fresh and extremely real story here. I feel like this is a book that so many people could benefit from reading. It could be timeless. Many important discussions can be had from the book. This book ties into current events and I feel like it’s a book many people can really get something from. This book really makes you feel things.

I also have to say that Thomas does an amazing job at taking us on this journey. Such a variety in scenes all handled really well. It’s pretty straight forward. Here’s what’s happening. Here is what Starr is feeling. It works. Starr witnesses a friend who is unarmed get gunned down by police. It’s intense topic. There are scenes and moments where you feel so frustrated for Starr and what she is going through throughout.

Thomas finds moments to fit in humor that works really well. I can go from being frustrated by Starr and her situation. Feeling frustration for her family. Anger over the reactions of some people. Then have these moments where things are lighter. I can laugh along with Starr. Part of that was how relatable Star situation was. How similar Starr’s family and friends were to people in my life.

Starr is s relatable to me throughout this book in many ways.  Hiding parts of yourself depending on the group you are hanging out with. The vulnerability Starr feels in certain situations that weren’t that different from some things in my past. Her connection and love for her family. Her relationship with her boyfriend Chris. The emotions she expresses as she deals with loss. Sometimes I felt like I related to so much to what was happening.

I’ve talked about crappy YA families this year on too many occasions. The family Dynamics in The Hate U Give are amazing. I could not believe how much time we were getting to see the way this family worked. An unconventional family maybe but it’s a family that was relatable to me so many times throughout this book. You have a group of people who are not perfect but they take care of each other and love each other. You can feel the love coming off the page. There is nothing Starr’s parents would not do to protect their kids. You don’t even have to be a blood relative to them for them to treat you like family either. I loved that.

The sense of community at times in this story was amazing. Moments where you saw people really coming together like a family.Even with their differences.  Even when they’ve been fighting for so long. There are these moments that were beautiful to see.

I loved Staar and Chris’ relationship.I felt like there was such a nice arc for it in this. I saw the way they struggled and related to some of the things they struggled with. I’m in an interracial relationship and even if my experiences were not exactly the same as Starr’.Some definitely were. I have family who talked down about black people who decide to date someone that is white growing up. Off hand comments from family growing up caused me to be a lot more cautious than was good for me with revealing many things about myself. While seeing the way Starr took that in and made decisions based on it all I could do was nod along because I’ve been there.

This story is one of the most real stories I’ve read in a while.I love that this book had a   13 publishing house auction, I love that people knew this was a book that needed to get out there. I hope this book continues to get so much love. If you haven’t picked up this book I definitely think you should. I highly recommend it.

Adaptions, Comics

Runaways Cast Reaction

No secret that I love The Runaways comics by Brian K. Vaughn.It’s about a group of kids who find out their parents are supervillains. They deal with the shock that their parents are criminals and killers.They sacrifice someone every yea when they meet up.The kids reaction to finding this out is to Runaway. Of course, they also find out some of them have abilities as well. I love the characters in these comics. They are precious and deserve protecting.They also are one of the more diverse teams including a lesbian character in the original team and a love interest for her later in the series.

Marvel announced that there would be a tv series based on the comics coming to Hulu a while back. Recently they announced the casting and I have to say I’m really excited for it. I think it’s a great casting overall. I actually need to get Hulu when this comes out and I don’t want to do that. Brian K. Vaughn is acting as the executive consultant to the series so I really feel like this series will be amazing.

Rhenzy Feliz plays Alex Wilder. A child prodigy with no actual powers. His parents are mobsters.

Starting off with Alex because he’s really the leader of the team when it starts off. Alex is so dang smart to be honest.I’ve wanted to cosplay as this character for a while. There aren’t enough black characters in comics that I identify with. His plot doesn’t go exactly the way I wished in the comics. Still, I always admired his ambition and the way he leads the team to take down their evil parents. This actor is not very well known. He hasn’t been in too many things. I’m hoping he brings something great to this role. Alex has a lot of depth and changes throughout the comics. His character does some things that are questionable but the team would not be what they become without Alex doing all that he does. He definitely has an edge to him like his parents. I’m really wondering who they will cast as his parents. I feel like they are two of the better villains. Maybe because they have no special ability. They are just badass mobsters.

Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes, The coolest girl in the world. She has purple hair.Her parents are time travelers from the future. She gains a telepathic link to a dinosaur.

Gert is probably my favorite characters. I’ve never watched anything with this actress in a main role. I’ve seen her play side characters in some Disney shows. I hope they keep her hair purple in the show and that she really brings all the qualities I love about Gert out in the show. I think she will. The actress is Latinx which really feels like we are getting two Latinx superheroes on the team.  That’s awesome! Gert doesn’t have powers herself. She has a dinosaur named Old Lace. I feel like that is a big deal for her aat points in the comic. At one point in the comic, she talks about being a person that keeps people with powers in check.It felt like something a batman like character might say.She’s smart and loyal.She’s strong on her own. She can be confident on her own.She’s more distant from the parents prior to finding out they are villains than some of the others. She always had the intuition to know something was off with them. I’m really hoping good things for this character in the show. Plus this is such a great opportunity to show some body positivity. I really hope they don’t pass that up entirely.

 

Gregg Sulkin plays Chase Stein, whose parents are mad scientists. He steals one of his dad’s inventions (Fistogons) when he leaves with the other Runaways.

I have seen Greg Sulkin act in so many things from Disney shows and movies to his role on Faking it. I’m wondering what he will bring to playing Chase. Chase isn’t one of my favorite characters but I do think there are layers to his character that could be really fleshed out through good acting choices.I definitely think Sulkin’s a good actor. Chase deals with a lot because of the pressures his family put on him but once he runs away you don’t really see references to that again in the comics very often.  I’m hoping Gregg sulkin gets me to really like the character in the show.

Virginia Gardner plays Karolina Dean. She discovers that she is an alien and her parents were actually evil alien invaders.

I love this character and am pretty happy with this casting. I think Gardner will do a great job. I’m really wondering how they are going to pull off her alien powers.I hope they don’t scale it back too much if they have to do that. She also better be a lesbian like she is in the comics.They can’t take my favorite lesbian alien away. I will abandon this show if they change that. She doesn’t really have a romance until later in the comics but I hope the show gets another season to enact that romance. I’ve always loved Karolina’s relationship with Xavin who I talk about quite a bit in my last Runaways review here.

Lyrica Okano is Nico Minoru. She casts spells with a staff she gets while fighting her mother.She’s a witch.

I love Nico Minoru in the A-Force comics. I don’t like her much in the Runaways comics. I love what she can do. Magic is always fun for me. Her particular magic has always been interesting. She can only use a spell once and never again. That means she needs to really stay on her toes and think of new ways to get things done. her character just has the messiest romantic situations, though. over and over again.She has a hard time dealing with her parents being villains. Especially after her mother sort of tries to kill her in the comics. It will be interesting to see how the show handles that. Really happy with this casting, though. She definitely has the look for Nico.I honestly think they got this perfect. Been trying to find Lyrican on social media and struggling so if anyone finds her send the link my way. Following most of the cast on twitter now.

Allegra Acosta is Molly Hernandez (Molly Hayes in the comics). She is a mutant with super strength and glowing eyes occasionally.

Such a good casting. I absolutely love that she is Latinx in the show. I was surprised when I saw the name change but very happy about it. I feel like the comics are pretty diverse as it stands but I always welcome more diversity. Great decision in my opinion. I don’t think they can make her a mutant because of issues with X-men and Fox.So I’m wondering how they will explain her powers. Especially since her parents should have the same powers. Will they make her an alien like Karolina? Maybe they will link it to Inhumans or Hydra? They can really do something interesting with it. Molly is the youngest member of the team in the comics. I’m wondering how old the Molly that Allegra Acosta will be playing is.

Alright, that’s it for the casting and my gushing over my love of the characters. Really hope we get more than one season. I’d love to see Victor Mancha and Xavin come into the show. More diverse characters and great story lines. Especially with Xavin often changing genders. Also, hope we get a Cloak and Dagger crossover even though the upcoming Cloak and Dagger show will be on Freeform. Tell me what you think of the casting. Are you as excited for the show as me?

 

Comics, LGBTQIA+, YA

Runaways Complete Collection Vol 2.

22237291

I enjoyed this volume of the comic but not nearly as much as the first one. It’s a brand new direction since the parents are dealt with in the first volume. There are arcs here that I really loved. I think the general direction and who the big villain is for this volume wasn’t the greatest for me. I feel like this needed more focus to really work like the first Volume does.

I liked the new additions to the team.Victor Mancha who is Ultron’s son apparently. Not sure how that happened still. Pretty sure that makes him related to Vision, though which is really cool. I’m pretty sure they will meet in a crossover between The Runaways and The Young Avengers. I’m excited to read that.

Victor Mancha (Earth-616) 002

Then we meet a shape-shifting Skrull named Xavin. Xavin is there to find Karolina who they are supposed to marry. Karolina is a lesbian and I thought it was so interesting that Xavin decided to just turn into a girl for her. I felt like Karolina and Xavin had a big arc in this. it may have happened a bit too fast but I’m interested to see where it goes.Also love that Xavin is black when in human form. This is a pretty diverse cast. Xavin changes gender often throughout the story.The pronouns used in reference to Xavin changed because of that. I’d love to see how they handle it.I hope the upcoming show based on the comic gets to the point where Xavin will be introduced.

Xavin (Earth-616) from Runaways Vol 2 25 004

I love Nico Minoru in A-Force. In the Runaways, she just keeps getting worse right now. I really can’t warm up to her character at all. I’ve read further than this volume by the time that I’m writing this and her actions after what happens at the end continue that. I really don’t get why she acts the way she does. They also really need to figure out something for her magic to be useful again. Her method in A-Force is really fantastic.

I wish Gert/Arsenic was more confident in her body. The bad guys seem to consistently call her fat and I just want her to kill them with her Dinosaur. She goes through a lot in this volume. I think she’s such a strong character and puts up with so much.She deserves more. Her relationship with Chase comes out of nowhere in the first volume for me. I think there were some great moments between them in this. I still can’t find myself to really like Chase, though. He makes a lot of mistakes here.

The end of this volume was so sad. I’m jumping into the next volume. Don’t want to linger with what happened here too long. I want to see how the team handles it going forward. I feel like they won’t fare well.

Quote1 Most people in life don’t have great power, and the few that do are almost never responsible with it. The people who have the greatest responsibility are the kids with no power because we’re the ones who have to keep everybody in check. Quote2 – Gertrude Yorkes to Spider-Man

 

 

 

ARC's, LGBTQIA+, YA

Dreadnought by April Daniels

30279514

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but between her father’s dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny’s first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.

She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley Arc of April Daniels debut novel Dreadnought. Dreadnought follows Danielle Tozer. Danielle accidentally stumbles upon a superhero and villain fight and ends up gaining new powers and the body that she has always wanted.

Danielle has a lot of self-doubts that she has to contend with throughout this story for a large part of it. A large part of that is because of the way her father treats her and always has. You can see how the way Danielle thinks about herself is linked to her father pretty early. When Danielle thinks she’s stupid for something she did or isn’t good enough to be a hero. It’s because that’s the way her father treats her and what he calls her often.

Danielle has some really strong moments in this story where she stands up for herself.Really early on. She is able to stand up for herself against the legion of superheroes.When her friend starts treating her differently. Then still can’t do the same with her father. I thought it was such an interesting relationship to see play out in this. She’s really been emotionally abused by her father for years and you see how much it affects her life.

The superheroes in this story have great names. Wonder how April Daniels came up with some of them. It’s a really great assortment of characters even the ones we don’t learn much about. I do wish we had learned more about the heroes in the legion. I really liked a few of them.Magma and Doc Impossible are the best. I loved them. I want them to be my mentors, please.

Danielle has such a great hero journey in this. It follows the motions of things you see in a lot of origin story comics for heroes. Her first big time-saving people is really amazing. I was so happy for her as she was doing it. You could tell right then that she should be a hero. Not because these powers fell into her lap but because she wants to help people. It’s kind of the reasons she got her powers in the first place. She’s not a person that can walk away when someone is hurting.

She also had some great team up moments with Calamity that every hero needs to have.Patrolling and investigating. She goes one on one with someone who has powers. She consistently is learning, getting better, and saving people throughout this. All while still having that self-doubt for a large part of the story. She doesn’t allow herself to feel like she is as special as she is.

The claiming of superhero colors was such a powerful moment in the story. I recently wrote about how the claiming of one’s name can be important in a review of a different book and I felt like Danielle’s finally deciding on her superhero colors and superhero name was that moment in this story. She’s claiming who she is.

There will be a second book and I’m excited to see what challenges Danielle faces next. Also really want to see where Calamity goes after what happens at the end of the book. More people should read this book and make fanart if you can. I can’t make fanart but I want to see fanart for this book so badly. Definitely, pick it up.

 

 

 

LGBTQIA+

Outcome: LGBT Portraits

Related image

In 2014 Photographer Tom Dingley set up his #Outcome project – to photograph LGBT people with the attributes of their everyday life – their work, or their interests; and holding a picture of themselves as a child.

The message was, no matter how hard it is growing up, no matter who you were, you become who you become, and you are amazing. Several well-known people are included.

Two years and several exhibitions later, this is the Outcome.

First, I want to say that I’m glad this project happened.The overall message definitely came across. I think the thing I loved the most about this project is how diverse the participants were. After the first few I was concerned I wouldn’t see that but I definitely do see an attempt. They try to show how diverse LGBT people are in the book. Show that we come in a variety of colors, shapes, ages etc.

Image result for outcome tom dingley

Another thing is that I learned about some popular LGBT figures in the UK. It showcased some people who are doing great work currently. I was able to research them and follow them on social media or their websites. I want to be more knowledgeable of what great progress is happening in other places when it comes to things LGBT. I feel like some of the people I follow from this text are helping with that.

Things were choppy in the eArc but I figured it out easily enough. I love the concept of the photo project and how it is executed. Each or most of the participants have a picture from their childhood in hand.gave me a very hopeful feel. It’s not easy for everyone growing up and that felt like a ‘you can get past it’ kind of thing. It probably helped that I think everyone was smiling. If I had the physical book I’d flip through to make sure but I don’t think I’m wrong. It was really nice to see.

The people in the book come from such a vast amount of careers. Politicians, actors, writers, dancers, activist, etc. I felt inspired by many of the stories and they weren’t even that long. It usually was just a short piece and the photo. I think that’s how I know it’s a great project. A cohesive feeling it gives you. You matter. You can get through the rough times. You can be who you are and be happy.

I definitely want to get the physical book when I can. It would be a nice book to have out for if a guest was over and decided to flip through it. Not sure if I’d recommend a kindle version like I read because was choppy and a bit confusing. However, it is manageable if you want to pick up a digital copy onstead.Also, mine was an ARC so it may be better formatted for Kindle use now.

ARC's, LGBTQIA+, Uncategorized, YA

Of Fire and Stars Review

25164304

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

I read it all in one night. This story gets to the action really fast which surprised me.Denna is sent off to a Kingdom to meet the man she’s been arranged to marry since she was born. This new kingdom is currently in a struggle with people who have magic. It’s preparing to persecute magic users. Denna has magic herself and must hide it from her future husband and his family. Then there is a magical murder Denna wants to solve along with the sister of the prince she is supposed to marry.

I have to say I loved Mare and Denna’s friendship and how it developed into real feelings. Denna and Mare are electric together on the page.

The mystery of who the killer is is and what is really going on with the magic is great too. Loved Denna’s slow acceptance of herself as a person with magic. It was beautifully written. It’s something that makes up who she is. Something she doesn’t want to reject but has to. So many parallels there for so many things.

There is a death in this book that surprisingly affected me. I was still thinking about it well after I finished the book.Still am right now. There is a type of side character I see killed off too often recently so that may be why. Won’t say much more because it would be a spoiler but it was a bit of a brutal way to die.

The magic in this book really jumps up toward the end. That makes sense because Denna really has to hide what she can do throughout. I just wish there was a bit more magic than we got actually. I love magic in books.

As a person who loves some of Tamora Pierce’s fantasy worlds I really gotta say this reminded me of them but way more queer. I was very happy with this book. Highly recommended. Excited to see where it goes from here and definitely hope the next book has more magic in it.

Gay romance

Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert

29536941

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected.

I read Wrapped Together during the A Very Merry Readathon and really enjoyed it like I have with many other Annabeth Albert books this year. This was a part of the Portland Heat series. Each book is a standalone following different characters. This really got me interested in reading the rest of the books in the series.

The couple of characters we follow have a history together that is a little messy. There are misconceptions they have to dance around. Hollis is the character whose perspective we follow throughout and a lot of the time he annoyed me because I couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t let Sawyer in more.

Eventually, I could see that Hollis is stuck in a lot of ways. he hasn’t moved on from a tragedy in his family and hasn’t shifted in personality either. Because of this, he doesn’t see how much Sawyer has changed or even entertain the idea that Sawyer has changed.

This story had a good infusion of flashbacks. I’m usually not a flashback fan in stories.I liked the pace of the relationship developing. Hollis and Sawyer get into BDSM lightly and that was cool to see them explore that together. I do think the slow burn is worth it once they can figure things out together. Also loved the parts involving any of their family.

This is a nice story where someone needs to find their holiday spirit again. I really enjoyed it. The epilogue was cute even if it was a bit much.  Definitely, recommend you check out this book and more stories from Annabeth Albert.

 

LGBTQIA+, YA

Timekeeper by Tara Sim | Book Review

25760792

 

I really enjoyed this book. It’s Queer lit in an alternate Victorian era. There were some negatives I’ll go into first. It took a while for things to kick off when it came to action and the mystery. I also wasn’t interested in some of the mythology about time and earth creation. There were chapters dedicated to learning about Aetas and Oceania. I felt like those broke the flow too much, unfortunately. I see why the info may be necessary for a future book in the series but didn’t feel it fit in well here. I’m still giving it 4 stars even with those issues I had. I’ll tell you why.

I just really liked the main character.I liked following Danny on this journey. Danny is dealing with grief over a father he hasn’t completely lost. It’s like his father is gone but he still has hope that he will come back and wants to do something about it but he isn’t allowed to.That’s a lot to deal with. Grief is shown in different ways in this story.Danny, his mother, and other characters as well. Danny is in a frantic state through a lot of this then also has to deal with some PTSD from an accident prior to the start of the book. I also thought the portrayal of Danny’s PTSD was interesting. I just found his character compelling.

Danny and Colton’s relationship was really good. I thought their moments together were really strong and beautifully written. I couldn’t help but smile at the pairing. Those moments where their relationship was developing kept me reading. It got me to the point where the mystery and action really kick off. I didn’t mind as much that the mystery of the clock towers and protester and everything were slower because Danny and Colton filled the time to me. When the Aetas chapters broke the flow for me Danny and Colton fixed it.

I liked Daphne as a character. She’s dealing with being a minority in a way that not everyone can tell but then also ways that people see right away. She’s the only female clock mechanic we see in this book I believe. She has to deal with the way people will perceive her in her place of work and for her work. We only see a taste of it but you can tell these things happen a lot. She also is a biracial girl who can pass as white. You see her constantly trying to bridge gaps and struggle to do so. I almost wish we could see more of her story because I found her character really interesting.

After a certain point, I was really pulled in and wondering how will things end. Can they get a happily ever after out of this? Part of that was the love of the characters. The story also just happens to pick up after a certain event in the book. The stakes are raised and you have to know how things will end up.

I love the detail Tara Sim went into with this. This alternate 1875 London was really cool to read. The thought process that had to go into what kind of technological advances made sense in this world. Also, how women in society or homosexuality in society might be different or the same in some ways for this world. So, I loved reading the information on The Timekeeper’s London in the back of the book. Really puts some thoughts I had in perspective.

I liked a lot about this but I’m not sure where things will go in another book since I think there are plans for two more. The little hint at possible future problems at the end didn’t make me too excited for the next book honestly but I’ll probably still pick it up.