27 Hours (The Nightside Saga #1), by Tristina Wright
Description: (from Entangled Teen)
Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.
But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.
Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.
They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.
During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.
Expected publication: October 3rd 2017.
A review copy (eARC) of this book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley. Some things might change in the final copy.
So. This book. There had been a lot of hype on twitter for this book and I was really excited to have a chance to read it. Like I said in my review of Nyxia, I get quite excited about SF YA book with a diverse cast.
BUT. But then, after I was approved to read this book early on netgalley, more tweets and reviews started coming in and they started to point the problematic aspect of this book. And I agree. I specifically agree with this review by Aimal: ARC REVIEW: 27 HOURS BY TRISTINA WRIGHT / CENTERS COLONIST GUILT & HAS FLAWED RACIAL REPRESENTATION. I encourage all of you to read this because I couldn’t say it better.
This novel is set on a moon colonised by humans, at war with the indigenous species. When I understood this, when I understood the main characters were shooting and killing those chimera (also called “gargoyle” as a slur because of the way they look) I was so very uncomfortable. They are all queer teens, and my warming up to them suddenly stopped when I realised this. I even stopped reading for a while (before entirely stopping) because it was a lot to take in, I couldn’t root for them anymore and I also knew I was not the best person to review this (since I’m white.) There is a character on the side of the chimera, but it was not enough. The fact that there is not one perspective from the indigenous species and that it seems like the rest of the novel would be the humans understanding that colonization is bad is just… The same discussion that has been going on on book twitter for months.
There’s also the matter of one character identifying as asexual, but saying it like it means to not having/wanting sex, and while it is the case for some, it is not the actual definition. Some asexual person have sex, some don’t. On this matter of the aro/ace representation, I would recommend reading this review by Ren.
Basically, most of my thoughts can be found in these two reviews, so please read them if you’d like to understand more on the issues of this book.
I have stopped reading this book at 25% so I don’t feel like I should say more. The author has actually written an apology post about how some aspect of the novel has hurt many poeple, but I don’t think it is a real apology. Here’s a tweet (among many others) addressing the second part I thought was not well worded.
Obviously I am not condemning people who loved the book, I understand that is it beloved by many people, with understandable reasons. We do need more books with amazing queer casts of characters, but to me this one might do more harm than good. It’s awesome if some people felt seen, felt happy seeing themselves into this book, but I cannot personnally recommend it when so many people of color were very hurt by it. Especially in today’s society when colonialism is still a thing and indigenous people are still victims of much violence.
This whole thing makes me want to remind everyone that it is very important to listen to poeple pointing out problematic contents in book. Listening to ownvoices reviewers, thinking about why we didn’t spot some issues on our own, why some tropes are used and re-used despite the conversations, why some people are hailed for their critical reviews and other are thrown under the bus. Keep in mind that we are all poeple behind our screens and that words can hurt.
Again, thank you to the reviewers who take the time and efforts to do critical reviews of problematic contents.