The world and tasks are absurd, but no more so than any other fantasy novel. It almost feels like Mark Bowsher is poking fun at the grand fantasy tradition (but in a loving way).
You would think that writers would have moved on from the same boring tropes of the 1970s by the 2000s, but mostly, you’d be wrong
The universe is basically Victorian Britain with different names. So it’s all upper class disdain, casual colonial references, and of course an overwhelming patriarchal culture. Gag.
My first impression as I was reading it on the bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing was that it was fucking weird. My final conclusion after finishing it after arriving in Beijing is that is it really fucking weird.
I think if you appreciate the tone of Becky Chambers’ previous books, you’ll get along with this one. Not as many aliens, but another insight into the GC. I really hope there are many more books to come as I really love this universe.
There’s far less Carol vs Ms Marvel too-ing and fro-ing which was soooo nice. There’s no real story arc though to keep everything together, just random fights and villains. We also get a new Ms Marvel costume (which is the more iconic lightening bolt that we’re used to).
It’s an odd mixture of trying to be right on feminist (because its a female super hero) and just kind of outrageously sexist. If I’m being charitable, I would consider it comic effect. If I’m not being charitable, some of the characterisation of some of the male characters are awful.