ARC, Reviews

My New Love and Hope – A Sword in the Stars Book Review

Overall enjoyment: 5/5

Characterization: 4/5

World building:3/5

Diversity: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save the future, Ari and her Rainbow knights pull off a heist…thousands of years in the past.
Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail—the very definition of impossible.
It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face-to-face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future… “

I’m so in love with book. I loved the first book so much that I was kinda scared to fully read this one, but I am so full of love and hope. If you enjoyed the first book I’m sure you will love this one just as much. This book puts us back in the time of Medieval Europe which you would think would be a horrible time for our characters, but the authors are well aware of that and give us hope and very blunt conversations at times about gender and sexuality. This book is not subtle in its support of the lgbtq+ community and its disapproval of mass consumerism though that isn’t as much a focus of this book as it was in the last.

We have are beautiful characters back! Ari is still our headstrong hero, Gwen is still our beautiful strong queen, Merlin is still a bit of a mess and Lam and Val are still smart and as sexy as ever. In this different period we experience new yet similar problems with these characters as they grow. I just love them. I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s a ton of growth or change for Ari in this book, but we get a lot more of Merlin and where he comes from. We finally unravel the mystery of where exactly he came from. I must say that until they hinted at it I didn’t expect it at all. O.o

Not a ton of time is spent on flushing out the whole of medieval Europe, but there is still the new creation of Camelot and enough difference that I still got syfy feelings rather than historical drama feelings.

I would say this is a character driven story. Yes, there is a big corporation that must be stopped, but as with the first book we are really focused on the characters, their feelings, their pasts, and how that is all coming together to create this great story.

There is so much! We got our intersectionality! Ari is a gay woman of color, Lam is a nonbinary character of color. We have LGBT+ characters everywhere with some discussions of gender throughout. It’s good stuff. This story definitely focuses on the LGBTQ+ aspects rather than than the racial aspects, but we got hints. I love this book so much and while I should have read it earlier I think I needed it more now than I did before. If you want to read a queer Arthurian retelling full of characters of color and LGBTQ+ than I think you will fall in love with these characters as much as I did!

Reviews

Everything I Hoped It’d Be- Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Overall Enjoyment: 5/5

Characterization: 4/5

World building: 4/5

Diversity: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

“I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure. “

Review

First off, I’ve been waiting for this book since I first heard about it. I’m not really a SyFy fan, but this was a retelling that I just couldn’t ignore. I haven’t read a ton of King Arthur stories recently, but I remember a bit about them from when I had to read them in school. This book has so many elements that I enjoyed.

First, let talk about the characters. There’s Ari who is an action first, think later kind of girl. She’s an orphan refugee that was taken in my two women and has grown up under the radar. She’s a fighter with the quest of returning to her planet and freeing her people. She’s skeptical and brash and I really enjoyed it. Now, there can of course be no Arthur without a Merlin. I’m going to be honest and say that Merlin is probably my favorite character. He’s just as much as a main character as Ari in this story. What really drew me in was his past though and his memory and relationship with all the past Arthur-s. It hurts to read sometimes, but I think it just added such a great, new element to the typical Arthurian legend that I was completely taken with him. Honestly, I’m taken with all of the characters. They’re so diverse and each of them has at least a little bit of backstory and history all that are new, but also tied to past King Arthur stories. Loved it.

The world of this story is set far in the future and it takes an interesting look on what could happen to not only our world, but our whole universe if we let our love of capitalism go too far. Corporations especially Mercer are out of control in this novel and it shows through how the planets are designed, built, and controlled. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it dystopian, but if you’re worried about the power of consumerism it could maybe feel that way.

The diversity in this book flourishes all over its pages and it didn’t feel like fan service! These characters got enough love and attention that they all seemed well entrenched and important to the story. Most of our characters are characters of color as well as lgbtq+. We even have a character that I really enjoy that is nonbinary. I love these characters.

Overall, I loved this book. As I mentioned, I was really pulled in by the summary and I wasn’t disappointed.


Have you read this book? What did you think? Is it on your TBR?