Sucker Punch by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Anyone who has kept this series knows they can expect a certain amount of craziness of one kind or another. If you've kept up with these books, you know that the first ten-ish books were classic awesome UF that's bloody, interesting, and quirky. From then on, the books continue in this vein but take on a decidedly different personal turn. I'm talking about the polygamy.
I'm one of those that appreciates the message without not particularly caring about the cause. Sure, you can love whomever you want, with as many as you want. Check. But I kept with the series mainly because when all the earlier strict UF police procedural, thinly-veiled commentary about sexual activism as vamps and weres was said and done, the stories were just FUN, FAST, and FURIOUS and often OTT when it comes to the action and magic bits. To me, they were the gold standard, and when LKH focused on that, I was always as happy as could be. I wasn't in it for the neverending sex or the full-stage production of multiple deep relationships that made my head spin and my care-o-meter break.
So many of these middle books broke my care-meter. But the great stuff was great, so I kept going.
Fast forward to today. I think LKH is changing direction, or DID change direction in the main plot and concern, for this book. I was used to her focusing on sexual issues for so long that I almost missed how she had become TIMELY in a different way.
Legal Rights for the people who are disenfranchised. I'm talking about systemic racism. Injustice at its very core. What if there is reasonable doubt, but custom (in the guise of law) dictates that you must treat a whole people like animals?
In this case, it's literal. It's a wereleopard who must be "put down" but there's serious doubt that he did it. Anita has gone through this kind of thing too many times and it just happens to be this case that nearly breaks her. She pulls out all the stops to save him, calling in the calvary, and I actually appreciate this.
This isn't a book that's all about the blood and guts, raising zombies, or playing dominance games (much). It's about taking that first and hardest step toward JUSTICE when you see that there IS NONE.
And like reality, there are no easy answers. There is only the fight.
As for the sub-plot with Olaf... well... we can't win everything, but I appreciate the fact that there was NOT a total overabundance of millions of romantic partners this time. In fact, there was practically no sex at all. It was pretty much... a RETURN TO THE EARLY DAYS.
Me, personally, I LOVED the early days. With the timely new focus? I love this one even more.
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