This five-star story is written by RoAnna Sylver.
The quarentined city of Parole is burning and its citizens all have magical powers. We follow, mainly, the lizard man Regan whose memories are kept hostage by the ghostly boy Hans, and Evelyn, whose voice can be focused like a weapon. The plot revolves around finding out who Regan really is, and also to survive in a world that is getting even more hostile to them.
This was a very interesting read–and it’s fun to read something where you can’t throw a stone without hitting a non-cis-heterosexual-white-male–though it took a little bit to get into, since the narrator is omniscient. In the beginning we get disjointed bits and pieces, but they are all masterfully woven together in the very end, when we realise that everything was part of the same.
I got this book for free as part of Ace Book Club, but while one of the main protagonists–Regan–is asexual, I decided to use it for my Romance with a trans character square, because of another of the main protagonists, Evelyn. She is a trans woman in a lesbian polycule (married to two women). They are not the only ones who are polyamorous, and while the romances are not the largest part of the story, it permeates it in a nice, friendly manner. I also loved seeing Zilch, a they-pronouned person who seems to be composed of dead people in some way. The most important thing with Zilch isn’t their strange powers, but that their pronoun was never explained, never challenged. It just was, which I appreciate.
It’s a strange feeling, really. This was the first time I felt myself validated. Because of Zilch, yes, but also because Regan is asexual and polyamorous, like me. This is the closest I’ve ever come to seeing myself in media.