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This book read very unpolished to me I thought the first section in second person was excellent visceral, taut, uncomfortable and, mercifully, not very long After that though it dragged on quite a bit with disjointed scenes, illogical actions told to us in laundry list format and just an immense amount of traumatic scenes involving men and children.CONTENT WARNING view spoiler sexual abuse rape Rampant child abuse Severe homophobia Lots of victim blaming and sex negativity Loss of lov This book read very unpolished to me I thought the first section in second person was excellent visceral, taut, uncomfortable and, mercifully, not very long After that though it dragged on quite a bit with disjointed scenes, illogical actions told to us in laundry list format and just an immense amount of traumatic scenes involving men and children.CONTENT WARNING view spoiler sexual abuse rape Rampant child abuse Severe homophobia Lots of victim blaming and sex negativity Loss of loved ones hide spoiler Outside of the first section, I can t say much really worked for me Here are a few specifics The writing It felt about the level of sophistication I d expect from a RPG gamer writing a rambling backstory of their poor, poor character Lazy cliches, overdone tropes, repetitions and summaries of things that went on rather than any realistic time spent in the heads of our protagonists made it hard for me to glom onto the story I tried to forgive a lot of this because I don t know if the author is a native English speaker, but there were so many typos, misused words and so on that an editor should have caught that I couldn t look past it The characters It s all trauma porn Everyone is torqued, everyone is a potential rapist, especially all the men who like other men I was pretty uncomfortable with the implications about gay people I didn t get to know anything redeeming about anyone, including the main character, who is supposed to be sympathetic I think because his life is so hard, but it came acrossas being around the sort of hurt person who grows up to hurt people As I was reading it, I thought this kid is either gonna end up a mass murderer or a suicide case I guess he ended up in a genocidal military, so I wasn t wrong The plot Stilted and nonsensical That s not how spying, military, ships, or martial arts work Also, spar the noun is a support beam type structure If you re talking about the thing you re participating in when you spar someone, that is a sparring match The cultures There was a lot of cringe y stuff about gay people, as I ve said The military culture didn t add up for me, and the striv culture felt likeJapanese stereotypes piled on top of each other The way abuse victims were treated also was pretty unconscionable.A shame, the opening made me think we were going to be handling a lot of sensitive issues delicately and realistically, but it kind of all fell apart rapidly and painfully The book starts with the hero, eight year old Jos, huddled in a hiding place on the space ship he and his parents call home, listening to a battle rage outside It proceeds through his capture by the pirate captain, his escape, his rescue by a man sympathetic to the alien race that Earth Hub is trying to eradicate, and his eventual growth into manhood This is a character driven story that takes place in a future universe that is well developed and real my favorite kind of read.It starts in t The book starts with the hero, eight year old Jos, huddled in a hiding place on the space ship he and his parents call home, listening to a battle rage outside It proceeds through his capture by the pirate captain, his escape, his rescue by a man sympathetic to the alien race that Earth Hub is trying to eradicate, and his eventual growth into manhood This is a character driven story that takes place in a future universe that is well developed and real my favorite kind of read.It starts in the second person, creating some needed emotional distance from the terror stricken boy, but morphs into first person fairly quickly I m not even sure when it happened.Lowachee creates such emotional reality with so few words and without the graphic violence of so many books, that I found my heart gripped with the emotions Jos was experiencing his loneliness, the frozen emptiness of abandonment, the avoidance of the real traumas of murder, dismemberment, rape and child abuse The alien planet where Jos learns his skills in fighting, computer hacking or Burn Diving as they call it is a place of beauty and peace modeled on the oriental The giant space ships are felt and imagined The torn loyalties between Earth and the aliens are wrenching The connection between Jos and Niko, his rescuer, is real and moving and we sense Jos need to be loved and valued.I didn t want it to end I m glad there are twobooks So this scratched an itch I didn t know I had, for military sci fi that I actually find readable I enjoyed a lot of the world building, especially the political landscape that provides the context for the war The plot wasn t especially original, but that was fine and not necessarily what I needed from the book However, despite a strong, engrossing start, the pace dragged significantly in the second and third parts, which wasof a problem for me than the plot, but it did pick up again at So this scratched an itch I didn t know I had, for military sci fi that I actually find readable I enjoyed a lot of the world building, especially the political landscape that provides the context for the war The plot wasn t especially original, but that was fine and not necessarily what I needed from the book However, despite a strong, engrossing start, the pace dragged significantly in the second and third parts, which wasof a problem for me than the plot, but it did pick up again at the end.This is very heavily a book about trauma and abuse Jos has dealt with a lot of terrible shit in his life, and as a result he is an angry, isolated child and then teenager He learned early in life not to trust anyone, a lesson that was repeated in various harsh ways pretty much whenever he started to have any opportunity to heal He s not a protagonist I like very much as a person, but he is one I feel for I often dislike first person narration, but Jos s voice was one of the strengths of the book for me There are some pretty major flaws to the book as well, though I disliked Evan s narrative a lot and found some elements of the book s overall tone very uncomfortable, although I had trouble putting my finger on exactly what at first I realized after I d finished the book and read some reviews from friends that while there was quite a bit of homoerotic tension, most of the actual sexual interactions between men were abusive and or manipulative Add in some of the power dynamics happening, and the book did very poorly for me in terms of queer content and characters Some good, some bad I liked the conflicting loyalties but the writing was choppy The attempts at instrospective, poetical gestures were a bit too much The end was a bit too pat and didn t really flow from prior actions decisions 2.5 stars rounded up because the world and conflict were good. [ FREE DOWNLOAD ] ♴ Warchild ☤ The merchant ship Mukudori encompasses the whole of eight year old Jos s world, until a notorious pirate destroys the ship, slaughters the adults, and enslaves the children Thus begins a desperate odyssey of terror and escape that takes Jos beyond known space to the homeworld of the strits, Earth s alien enemies To survive, the boy must become a living weapon and a master spy But no training will protect Jos in a war where every hope might be a deadly lie, and every friendship might hide a lethal betrayal And all the while he will face the most grueling trial of his lifebecoming his own man Warchild, Burndive, CagebirdInteresting series I got these because I d seen them highly reviewed somewhere of course, now I don t remember where.In many ways, they re basic military SF I d recommend them, with some reservations, to fans of Lois McMaster Bujold, maybe CJ Cherryh.Each one has a different young man as the protagonist, but they follow one timeline, and link to each other, with many shared characters.All of them are very homosensual All the young men are super cute, and there is Warchild, Burndive, CagebirdInteresting series I got these because I d seen them highly reviewed somewhere of course, now I don t remember where.In many ways, they re basic military SF I d recommend them, with some reservations, to fans of Lois McMaster Bujold, maybe CJ Cherryh.Each one has a different young man as the protagonist, but they follow one timeline, and link to each other, with many shared characters.All of them are very homosensual All the young men are super cute, and there is much tousling of hair Is the author s hair an erogenous zone It s really non stop At times I was like, Um, am I reading yaoi here At other times well, it gets disturbing That s where my reservations arise I wouldn t normally warn any reader off a book for content, but if you are sensitive about child abuse, I would not recommend the second two in this series, and especially not the third, due to explicit scenes of rape and abuse It doesn t just discuss it, but while condemning the perpetrators, it s still oddly mixed with the eroticism The first one is the best of the bunch Not necessarily BECAUSE, but it is muchrestrained and understated You know bad things happened to the protagonist, but he is in denial, and refuses to talk about them This actually makes the trauma very real and believable With the second and third, I almost felt like the author was just trying to see how far she could push itThe first book, Warchild, sets up the world Humanity has become spacefaring, and discovered a moon full of valuable resources Unfortunately, it was already colonized by an alien scientific mission Humans try to take over, and a war starts Some humans sympathize with the alien cause, and go over to their side Meanwhile, vicious starfaring pirates take advantage of the social instability, and prey on whoever and whatever they can get their hands on One of the worst of the pirates is Falcone, a former space Marine captain with an obsession with raising young boys to be his proteges and treating them in ways that leave them horribly damaged, in the process The main character here, the adorable Jos Musey, is orphaned by an attack by Falcone on his family s merchant ship, and taken by Falcone, who has plans for him However, Jos takes advantage of the chaos of an alien attack to escape and finds himself in the hands of sympathizers, who train him in alien martial arts Next, he s sent undercover to infiltrate the marines These are are kind of familiar scenarios, but the book does a great job of portraying emotional manipulation and conflicting loyalties.Burndive is the second book And kind of oddly titled a Burndive is virtual reality hacking, and there is very little of it in the book less than in the first book The protagonist here is, of course, cute He s the son of the most famous Marine captain, and a bit of a celebrity He s also a spoiled brat, and not really nearly as compelling a character as that of Jos Ryan the spoiled celeb , has a bit of a drug problem, but his bigger problem is assassination attempts his father s attempts to make peace with the aliens haven t gone over well in some circles, and some people arethan willing to kill him to get to his dad The dad takes him aboard his ship both for safety, and as a bit of a boot camp program to whip him into shape and get him to grow up a bit Space action ensues and we learnabout Falcone, the captain, Azarcon, and why he hates piratesthan aliens.In the third, Cagebird, we get to see thing from the point of view of the bad guys The protagonist here is Yuri yet another of Falcone s proteges This one hasn t run away or escaped he s become a captain under Falcone s command However, he s far from not messed up he s full of emotional conflict, and has a tendency to cut himself Of course, he s also a bad ass that will just as soon kill you as The narrative switches from showing how Yuri got to where he is, with training mostly to be a prostitute under Falcone, to the present, where military and political negotiations involving pirates, symps, aliens, marines, and the human HubCentral government are ongoing.These three books are all there are to the series but it doesn t really feel quite done The second two concentrate on Falcone s story arc and really neglect the part of the story that has to do with Niko the Warboy and the alien human conflict There s definitely room for another book here This novel is my second favorite read in 2015, brilliant plot development, careful and detailed world building without info dumps, meaningful and deeply emotionally charged characters set off an exciting SciFi This is a first novel I have read by Karin Lowachee and it won t be the last I like her style It s so easy it seems effortless The words seemed to flow of the pages and wrapped themselves around me like magic, transporting me right at the side of a wounded young boy trying desperately This novel is my second favorite read in 2015, brilliant plot development, careful and detailed world building without info dumps, meaningful and deeply emotionally charged characters set off an exciting SciFi This is a first novel I have read by Karin Lowachee and it won t be the last I like her style It s so easy it seems effortless The words seemed to flow of the pages and wrapped themselves around me like magic, transporting me right at the side of a wounded young boy trying desperately to find a small place in the universe to call his own This story emphasizes the true meaning of wealth Some riches that only can be found in a family circle A safe heaven witch gives you the absolute right to be yourself no matter what The only judgement that would come to you is in a form of criticism that is made to create, and not destroy To help you transform into a happier, better self Jos proudly showed the few small gems that he had in his heart early on The safety and the security of his parents arms A loving mother s smile, a devoted father s support Then he lost it all He lost farthan he was even aware at the time, and only had happy memories to light his way in dark cold space He was an orphan, a beautiful orphan in the clutches of evil people He was told he will be a tool to use for someone else s gain He ran He got cut down and fell bleeding into his enemy s handsThis is where the storytelling gets to shine the best of all in my eyes Who do we hate Who do we fight against in our lives Do we truly hate because that is what our heart tells us Do we really fight because we want to Or are we told from an early age what fear should look like, how hate should taste or what demons lurk under our beds We have all been there, we have all been guided by other s hand and directed to other s goals in our life It s human nature in the end, and it is unavoidable A tormented man turns into a wise one not because he fights, but because he sees both sides of the coin He walkedthan a mile in different shoes, had loved love and hate at the same time You are not told any of this, you experienced it on your skin while your mind looked in trough a young boy s eyes Something other that I truly liked is the subtle approach to sexuality in the novel On a few instances where there were moments that were sexually charged they had a homoerotic feeling but in a subtle, genuine way These elements carried a disturbing undertone at the time, not because of a sexual focus on same sex but because of the age of the characters that were involved Later throughout the novel you could pick up on somesimilar situations where the approach to same sex partners was not even mentioned as something out of the ordinary Old Roman and Greek civilizations accepted and celebrated human sexuality in all of it s glory and same sex partners were accepted, even expected in certain lives like those of professional soldiers Greeks thought a man would fight withpassion, to protect that which he loves They were right In the novel the name of the deep spacer Macedon the author used can be taken a nod to the great Alexander and his life, both private and as a brilliant strategist and a military general By not applying current buzz or social standard to her characters the author gaverealism to her story She didn t push sexuality on her reader, swinging it like a weapon or a target It was a part of her story as it is a part of human psyche I really have give credit, where credit s due and say that I am impressed with the story and it s execution It won an award, and in my opinion rightfully so As a favour to all of us that love brilliant space stories, she shouldn t stay far away from her pen at any time Looking forward to the rest Very eh It feels like mediocre fanfic, lots of turgid homosexual hints and situations but no sex , lots of melodrama, men being stoic and all but emotionless or just being manipulatively emotional Fighting but not very interesting,smoke and loud noises than than combat The worst part was the aliens, apparently they are japanese Seriously pass on this unless you are WAY bored. Oh gosh, reading this book is pure indulgence which is a strange thing to say, since it is such a brutal book with what it does to its characters, both physically and emotionally, but Also yes, the main character is a kid, but this is not YA Mind you, I would have loved this book with fourteen of fifteen eventhan I do love it now as I would not have seen its worldbuilding problems But I ve also been the kind of kid to watch R rated movies Also wtf the romance shelfing This is as Oh gosh, reading this book is pure indulgence which is a strange thing to say, since it is such a brutal book with what it does to its characters, both physically and emotionally, but Also yes, the main character is a kid, but this is not YA Mind you, I would have loved this book with fourteen of fifteen eventhan I do love it now as I would not have seen its worldbuilding problems But I ve also been the kind of kid to watch R rated movies Also wtf the romance shelfing This is as far from romance as one can get But yes to queer characters Anyway, there are plotholes, but I will gladly read a book with much bigger plotholes if it has Cairo Azarcon in it as if kindness was something you gave without expectations And the photos over Erret Dorr s bed, which totally broke my heart It took me a week to make my way through the first part that was intense I gulped the rest of the book down in a few frenzied sittings, carrying it with me in case I had some 5 minutes on the metro I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book I thought it was going to be one of those easy, cliche filled books Normally, I would be upset about being so wrong I sat down with this book and didn t get up again until I had finished Very good.