Reviews: 5/1-5/6

Countdown City
by Ben Winters

This is the second of the Last Policeman trilogy. Doomsday is coming closer and Henry is asked to find the husband of his past babysitter. No longer officially a policeman, he does his best to track him down, with the help of his sister Nico. Nico tries to convince him of her secret plan to save the planet through a wild conspiracy. This becomes more relevant in the third book. This series was really fun. I like a detective who works because he believes in justice for everyone, even the dead in a pre-apocalyptic situation.

World of Trouble
by Ben Winters

Henry leaves safety and goes in search of his sister. I won’t lie, this was the weakest of the books, I felt, in part because it’s in the last days leading up to the meteor strike, but mostly because by the time he reaches her, his sister is already dead. There’s no real closure on that. I’d say spoiler alert, but it’s pretty obvious from the get go. Still, I recommend the whole series because once you read one, you’ll want to finish them all. I finished this one in a single day after finishing number two, so it’s a quick read.

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I really enjoyed this. It’s a short essay (in relation to others), but it’s a good primer on feminism. I found it very refreshing and challenging, as it requires you to unlearn some of your own internal biases. It’s a good reference to have on hand when you need a refresher, or want to look up an answer to a tricky situation. I particularly liked the way she called out Feminism Lite, the so-called feminism that still puts women second to men. I definitely recommend this book. It’s short, a quick read, but a very important one.

My Brother’s Husband
by Gengoroh Tagame

This was super cute. It was written to show changing thoughts about gay people and to challenge homophobia. Every character is written so well (and Kana, the little girl, is adorable). I really recommend this one for the art (Mike is such a bear) and the story.

Bring Me Back
by B. A. Paris

Oh, how I wanted to like this one. I really, really wanted to like it. After his girlfriend disappears twelve years before, Finn begins receiving messages that she might not be dead. But what is she back for? Oh, and he’s getting married to her sister. At first, I was just a little bored, which I often find when I’m stuck reading a male perspective, especially one so caught up in himself. Then, oh god, then the ending happened.

I’m going down to spoiler town now, so follow me below the cut only if you don’t mind spoilers. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

The mystery is mental illness. Layla, our missing gal, is actually Ellen, the fiancĂ©e, who is actually Layla. You see, when their mother died, Layla began imitating her as a result of the trauma. The real Ellen is dead. After this trauma and her disappearance, she goes back to home and becomes Ellen. It’s only when Finn proposes to “Ellen” that Layla begins to… “reemerge”. Layla wants Finn to “get rid of Ellen” using, presumably, any means necessary. It’s a ham-fisted attempt at a twist that can be seen a mile away and that’s actively insulting to people with multiple personality disorder and related illnesses. It’s overused and overdone in new thrillers and it’s terrible.

About Fleet Sparrow

Writer, Reader, Critic, Bear.
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