Truth of the Divine by Lindsay Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Here's an SF book that I didn't expect to go the direction it did. And then it really committed to it.
I'm actually rather impressed.
So it's still taking place about 15 years ago in an alternate where Bush Jr was ousted and Cheney took over, aliens are walking amongst us, and whereas the previous book really pushed the linguistics and the rather nasty terror aspects of being played by both sides (human and alien) in a strange all or nothing game of rights, this sequel focuses almost entirely on mental illness.
I loved it. I mean, yes, there was politics and the proposals of limited rights for the aliens, some of which ask for asylum, but it's the mental health of our young MC and the somewhat broken alien that has linked itself emotionally to her that takes over most of the page-space.
As the author says in the beginning, this book might trigger anyone who suffers from PSTD, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and even anorexia. I think it's worth noting that it's done very well, gives us all the right amount of anxiety and the horrors of power-differentials in relationships, and let's not forget the despair.
The fact that it mostly happens to our human MC doesn't overshadow the fact that the alien has it, too, and I think the whole thing worked very well. I was invested throughout the novel and the plot was solid with increasing stakes, but in the end, I thought it was mostly all about character development.
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