Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm conflicted about this book. On the one hand, it's entertaining and brilliant. Nerd references aplenty (Isaac wears a brown coat because of the tenth Doctor AND Firefly!), super cute spider who bursts into flames and eats candy, POODLE/CHUPACABRA HYBRIDS, magicians who can pull objects from books, and little genius details like a vampire who controls his symptoms via an insulin pump full of holy water?
I know what you're thinking. "Jen, this is all the things you love! Why is it not 5 stars!"
Because the love interest is a magical creature from a book who is biologically unable to not serve an owner and shape herself (and her coloring? like, wtf?) to their personality. Granted, the book acknowledges it's messed up and she says she's okay with it, but I still felt super uneasy, never really sure how it was going to be handled. (But it seems like there might be polyamory in the next book, which is good, except one person involved isn't 100% enthusiastic about the situation)
Because it uses the word "autistics" as a noun. As in "I can't read autistics." It's REALLY not that hard to say "autistic people."
Because being crazy is bad and makes you a villain and you can't possibly be a good person and also hear magical voices.
Because the main character was disabled at the end of the book, or a magical metaphor of disabled, but he got magically cured. So cured, in fact, that he lost his former scars in the process of becoming perfect again.
I mean nothing against the author in any way. This book is amazing in a lot of ways. It's just... I don't know. Maybe I've been spoiled by reading too many diverse books by diverse authors who are really sensitive to what it's like to live in an allocishet white abled male world?
(Also, spoilers for the automatons, but if you're going to do a big "omg, these murder robots were once people!" reveal, maaaybe don't reference Doctor Who so much beforehand. I was absolutely imagining them as Cybermen from the beginning and the reveal lost a lot of the shock value.)
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