Book Review | Like the First Moon Landing

Like the First Moon LandingLike the First Moon Landing by Matthew J. Metzger

EBook

Published Apil 13, 2020

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Such a beautiful LGBTQ story about identity, relationships, acceptance, struggle, questioning, confusion … all of those terrible things we all deal with, but even more so as an individual who doesn’t feel like the labels of the world quite fit who they are … and does it even really matter? Does a label matter? Should it?

Beautifully written and beautifully emotional. It reads more like a story of self and relationships, placed against the background of space and suspense, than a true sci-fi fantasy adventure.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“Stranded and injured in deep space, Maggie McLean has one chance at survival–the ship drifting off her starboard side, refusing to answer her distress calls. The ship the whole universe has been looking for.

Maggie most of all.

The Swift vanished without so much as a cry for help. There have been endless conspiracy theories, from aliens to government corruption to wormholes leading to other dimensions, but one thing was certain. She was gone, with all two hundred and thirty-six crew members on board. Including Maggie’s wife.

Maggie’s going to figure out what happened come hell or high water—but she might not like what she finds.

What I liked

I flew through this book in the series of a few hours time … and it felt like minutes. This book captured my attention from page one and never let me go.

The story was a beautiful representation. A story for anyone struggling with identity … especially those struggling with gender identity. It brings to light the various labels we find throughout the community and asks the question … are labels truly necessary? Or is it enough to just be “you” and loved for “you”? This story also brings up relationships – why we hold on to them, and when it is better that we let them go. As a whole, this is a story that makes you question and makes you think … and this world needs books that force us to do just that.

If we’re being honest, not a lot really happened, but the suspense that Metzger was able to paint across the entire setting was brilliantly done. Even with little action taking place, I was constantly on the edge of my seat, and consistently engaged.

And the writing … absolute perfection.

What I did not like

I wasn’t completely hooked on the relationship between our two characters as I felt like I could have been. That being said, it quickly grew into something that felt very honest.

In Conclusion 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was very excited to find that Metzger has plans for a second book in this series. I went into this book thinking it was going to be a stand-alone, of which it is not. Thank goodness … because when I read the final sentence of this book I audibly shouted “What? You can’t end it there!”

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy reading about the internal struggles of ones self.

 

Book Review | Until All Curses Are Lifted

49898821. sx318 sy475 Until All Curses Are Lifted by Tim Frankovich

 

Kindle Edition, 438 pages
Published August, 13 2019

2.5/5 stars

This book is a glorious winged beast leaping from the nest before it is quite ready to fly.

In short … underdeveloped.

This story was every bit of promising, every element that makes up an incredible story was present … almost. Where this book fell short was in the writing. I honestly fell like this is a problem with not enough revisions, not enough editing, and not enough people being critical with their reviews. Which is actually quite tragic … because this story, this world, these characters … are all incredible. Not to mention a unique magic system which is hard to come by in this day and age.

The Story

You have Marshal and you have Seri. Basic chosen one scenario on both ends. Mashal is cursed through no fault of his own and has a back-story that I’m sure we can all pretty early on guesstimate. Seri wants to be a mage … the first female mage … the first female master mage … but we don’t every really get much about her as to why … or as to why she was chosen as an acolyte. All of these things are just expecting the reader to accept and move on … which I do not like. But we will begin with some positives.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“The laws are enforced by magic.
If you break the law, you’re cursed.
But the rich and powerful twisted the laws to allow for… exceptions.

Marshal has been cursed since birth for his unknown father’s crimes. When he discovers he’s also heir to immense magical power, he must flee for his life. His half-brother wants the power for himself and has hired an assassin to pursue Marshal and his mother. No one has ever escaped from a curse, but it’s the only way for Marshal to be truly safe.

Seri wants to become the most powerful mage in history. But the magic that holds the world together is failing and no one knows why. While the ground itself shakes, someone begins murdering mages. In danger from all directions, Seri must learn how to use her unique abilities before everything falls apart.

Neither of them know they are being watched from another realm…

What I liked

Unique, whimsical, intriguing.

I enjoyed reading this book, although I had to turn off the critical reader parts of myself in order to do so. Surface level, this is a wonderful story. Extremely enjoyable even with all of it’s flaws. I cared about the characters … even though I felt like their stories were underdeveloped. I enjoyed this world, even though it lacked spacial descriptions to set the atmosphere.

I will say that the one thing that was not lacking was the magic system. Extremely unique and very well explained. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the story.

What I did not like

As I mentioned, this book lacked something in almost every aspect of the writing. It was doomed to be always “almost”. The dialog was not great, with much of it being unnecessary and even cringe-worth at times. The characters could have been pushed a little more, especially supporting characters, all of which fell extremely flat. Because the secondary and supporting characters were underdeveloped, the relationships between the characters felt flat as well.

I think Marshall’s side of the story was a little more successful over-all. Seri’s story had a lot of plot holes that, again, I feel could have benefited from letting this whimsical story marinate a while longer before publishing.

In Conclusion 

I enjoyed the world and the story, but I am saddened by the potential this book had and did not achieve.