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Month in review

Reviews
All For One by Melissa de la Cruz
Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Blastaway by Melissa Landers
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
Cloaked by Alex Flinn
Death by French Roast by Alex Erickson
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 8 by Ryoko Kui
The Drastic Dragon of Draco, Texas by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien
Feast by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller
Float Plan by Trish Doller
The Hedgehog of Oz by Cory Leonardo
In Your Shoes by Donna Gephart
Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Like Home by Louisa Onomé
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Lullaby For Eggs: A Poem by Betty Bridgman and Elizabeth Orton Jones
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier
Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Orsinian Tales by Ursula K. Le Guin
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung
Read or Alive by Nora Page
Rockridge by Robin Wolf and Tom Wolf
Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans by Russell Ginns
Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright

Miscellaneous
March 2021 Sources

March 2021 Summary

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Canadian Book Challenge: 2021-2022

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Blastaway: 04/09/21

Blastaway

Blastaway by Melissa Landers is a space based roadtrip with some social commentary woven in to make things interesting. It's told from alternating points of view: Kyle and Fig. Kyle is the non-sporty brother whose four brothers don't understand him. Fig is a Wanderer — a genetically mutated human who can withstand radiation without special gear.

Kyle and Fig meet when Kyle accidentally (but somewhat on purpose) steals his family's spaceship. Imagine a space-worthy RV. Fig wants to steel it from him for a mission to destroy a manmade sun for reasons.

Were it not for the opening fifty pages or so, I would have rated Blastaway five stars. The opening, though, has a similar over the top whiny boy monolog of Made You Look by Diane Roberts (2003). What initially made me stick around was Fig's part of the story.

Through Fig we get the social commentary. Her story is one of child abuse, human (Wanderer) trafficking, institutional xenophobia, and other things that will ring true after the Trump years.

Blastaway also sits on the road narrative spectrum, though, not where I initially predicted it would. Be warned my analysis contains spoilers. If you don't want to know how things turn out, stop reading now.

Placement of the start and end of Blastaway on the Road Narrative Spectrum

First and foremost the evolving relationship of Kyle and Fig is what determines who the traveler is. By the end of journey Fig is welcomed into the Centaurus family, thus making them sibling travelers (CC).

Their destination is home (66). For Kyle home is his apartment on Earth. He regrets taking the family spaceship and wants nothing more than to get home. Fig wants a home where she can be safe and not abused. Together, though, their goal expands to the saving of the Earth, or more broadly the saving of home.

Their route is through the labyrinth (99). The labyrinth is a transformative experience. In Kyle's case he learns that his heroes aren't the people he thinks they are (and that his father has been right this entire time). For Fig she learns that a lot of the things she's been told over her lifetime have been lies used to control her. Then of course there is the final transformation through adoption.

Had I stopped at the fifty page mark, I would have categorized this novel as scarecrow/minotaur (99) travelers, with Kyle as the scarecrow and Fig as the minotaur. The destination I would have put as the city (00), or in this case, the planet, where Kyle had wanted to see the festival to the manmade suns. The route I would have pegged as offroad (66), meaning, through space. Stopping early would have left me with the impression that Blastaway was about scarecrow/minotaurs going to the city via an offroad route (990066).

Instead, the novel evolves to be about siblings saving home via the labyrinth (CC6699). The growth of Kyle and Fig as characters and their evolving understanding of the world around them results in a different road narrative spectrum placement. The novel changes from being a standard road trip story in a science fiction setting, to being a fantasy involving sibling heroes that uses a space setting for social commentary.

Four stars

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