Content Warning: Mentions of suicide, abuse, violence, natural disasters,
Shattered was really easy to get into, even with the info dumping to build the world. It's too bad the world building still left me wanting and unable to see a clear series stem from it. Otherwise, it was amazing. It was an exciting, quickly read bright spot in an otherwise very stressful and busy work week.
Wonderful superhero escapism grounded in reality with a happy ending, character growth, romance, and justice.
Lena is an Unlikable Protagonist...
with a chip on her shoulder, ensconced behind walls with an attitude and consciously manipulative. She's an unhappy, suspicious cog in a terribly corrupt and unjust system.
She's got flaws, scars, and deep personal issues. Her job doesn't help matters much, though it's the one thing she excels at.
She's like oh so many Alpha Males in books that many, including me lament. Only on the surface though. Lena's faced relatable discrimination and isn't a whiny fuckboy.
Shattergirl describes Lena as androgynous (or was it the other way around?), but they both came off as butch to me, which says a lot about my preconceptions and provided a nice huh moment.
Lena and Shattergirl have similar buff, badass appearances and physique without trashing traditionally feminine or girly coded things. This is something I had to work on for awhile as I was totally a Not Like Other Girls when growing up. Oh, painful hindsight., stop kicking me already!
I didn't spot any hypocritical baggage but since I'm recovering in this area, I can't say with 100% confidence that I didn't miss anything.
POSITIVE Science and Intelligence Portrayals
Much science fiction springs from fears, extremes, and warnings. Superheros have plunged down into the muck with the rest of us with muted colors and questionable ethics.
Shattered does not follow this trend and I couldn't be happier. It's such a relief to read a novel where scientists are positively portrayed without elitism.
They're actually doing science to expand human knowledge and improve the world. They don't look down upon others that didn't succeed in traditional schooling, instead being curious and appreciative other experiences.
Now, imagine a world led by scientists picked based on intellectual wit and stamina, willingness to learn and listen to grow, that revealed in banter and debating to find the best possible solutions....
Too bad it got blown to smither-fucking-reans. Instead, we're stuck with sniveling used-car salesman politicians, conspiracies, media spin and hype. Maybe, just maybe though we can get there though...
Science fiction, particularly superheros, have lost a lot of hope lately revealing in the dark and gritty. I was admittedly one of them. I'm so over it right now. It's been too dark for too long. I'm tired.
Bring me possible, probable happiness that I don't have to second guess with visible puppet strings attached.
FYI on the Sexy Times
There are erotic passages, but if it's not your jam, it's easily skippable.
While I'm not a fan of perfake sex in novels, I've become less vocally bitter about it. It helps that I'm reading less heteronormative fiction, TBH.
I've gotten used to amazing muscles, out of the world orgasims, Earth defying physics and stamina and it's far more permissible with these two characters. However, I draw the line at not reacting at all to unexpected physical differences and instinctively knowing what to do and being amazing at it. That's just not fair.
It came off too sudden and tacked on like an alien has to have something different about them, so ta-da!
Maybe my standards will adjust with more alien fucking in my fiction but it seriously jerked me out of the moment and made me roll my eyes.
Happy Ending Without Sugar Coating....
The published romance genre is defined by the happily ever after (HEA), but often I find the traditional HEA trite and shallow. Not the case with Shattered. It didn't leave out any "But whatdabout...?" questions that would leave them in jeopardy.
It IS happy and warm fuzzy-feeling and mature. There are so many different kinds of relationships that are sorely missed in fiction, IMHO. I just want to hug everyone involved and cheer at how it all turns out.
About the Author:
“Everyone deserves a hero. For all the girls, big and small, who don’t neatly fit into society’s boxes—Shattergirl is yours.” – Lee Winter
Lee Winter has worked as a newspaper journalist in almost every state in Australia for the past 28 years. In that time she has covered everything from courts, police, news, television, features, been a humour columnist and sub-editor, and of late, a newspaper glossy magazine’s deputy editor. She has won national awards for her writing and adroit headlines. When her newspaper was sold and laid off most of the staff in November 2016, she made the decision to test the waters as a full-time writer.
Prior to that she has written two books for Ylva, the Goldie-winning, Lambda finalist The Red Files, a newspaper-based mystery; and the Australian underworld crime noir Requiem For Immortals, also a Lambda finalist (finalist in Lesbian Mystery category winners will be announced in New York in June 2017). When the idea of a superheroes collection came up, Lee jumped at the chance to write a novella (Shattered) about a disaffected superheroine on the run and the woman sent to track her down. This blew out to an almost-novel at just under 70,000 words!
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Other books from Ylva Publishing I Loved:
- Under Parr by Andrea Bramhall: Mystery Starring Lesbian Detective
- 4 stars for Defensive Mindset: Contemporary Soccer Lesbian Romance
- 5 star review for Here’s the Thing by Emily O’Beirne
- 4 Stars for Points of Departure by Emily O’Beirne
Ylva Publishing Can Be Found:
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This review was originally posted on The Layaway Dragon