Reviews tagging Xenophobia

The Unbroken, by C.L. Clark

8 reviews

madamepincers's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

Incredible world building and magic system and I can't wait to read more. Only drawback for me was characters who consistently make Very Bad Choices and change their minds/seem to adhere to different moral codes at different times, but given the context, I think their confusion and issues with determining their own priorities was believable. But it happens to be a major pet peeve of mine so 👀

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dariusmortee's review

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challenging dark emotional inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

I want to start by saying I really wanted to love this book.

I did, in some ways. The message Clarke is trying to bring across is loud and clear and this book will make you feel uncomfortable as it is very confronting. The characters are very interesting and I would like to get to know the world better.

However, even though the characters were very interesting I didn’t feel connected to them. Clarke didn’t go enough into depth with almost every aspect of this book for me. The important scenes for the character development were just not it. The build up was there, but then it was gone. This, and the both (strangely) slow and still fast pace of this book did knock down a few stars. 

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izzybell's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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candidceillie's review

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5.0

literally all of the CWs for this one. It's a hard book. 

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liminal's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I love this book. The characters beyond the two POV characters were so interesting and vibrant. Love the Jackal, for example. This book is about two characters from the opposite ends of the power spectrum in a colonised city. A princess of the empire, and a conscripted soldier from that particular colony. Just one warning - don't read for the romance, while it has a romance threaded through it that is not the main focus. While this novel absolutely deals with themes of colonialism and racism, there doesn't seem to be any homophobia or biphobia. one MC is a bi disabled woman, with a lot of privilege,the other is a lesbian. There are a wide range of ages represented, including some amazing women in their 50s. The setting is broadly based on France and colonialists North Africa.

My only beef with this novel is that some key elements felt rushed, and I had to go back and re-read a few chapters. Sometimes it wasn't clear who was speaking. Also I didn't feel like Touraine got a real chance to establish her badassery before she was thrown into fish out of water. Her loyalty to the sands felt a bit stop/start but then as an ADHD person I absolutely forget groups of people that deeply matter to me so.

However I absolutely felt for her and got so angry on her behalf throughout the whole novel. There were amazing scenes that had me cheering and passages I want to go back and annotate. As a debut novel this is stellar and I would recommend to fans of the Baru Cormorant series, Sabaa Tahir, and anyone looking for queer fantasy that doesn't focus on romance. Steer clear if you're looking for books without exploration of colonialist/racism.

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entazis's review

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challenging dark hopeful mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This was just fantastic and fun even though it also hurts in a lot of places.

It's really all about colonialism, power and what it means to be a good leader. It's about loyalty and trust. But mostly it's about the lost children, stolen children, who are coming back home as a tool of oppressors.

Relationships are messy. My favorite one in this book isn't a romantic one, but a familial. The complicated relationship between daughter and mother who are unable to understand each other, who have a lot of hurt between them thanks to the colonial forces that separated them. There was one particular scene nearing the end when I almost cried, when we see the depths of pain, love and lost time.

The characters are just interesting and complex and it feels that there's no good decisions no matter the intentions. I will say that Luca irritated me a lot. But the way the author explores what it means to be a queen was really a great one, regardless of my personal frustrations. But because she irritated me I couldn't really buy into the romance between her and Touraine or at least I'm not rooting for them even though they're obviously endgame.

Worldbuilding is also rich, full of small and big details, full of history, different cultures and nations. 

All in all I really enjoyed this book a lot and I'm excited for more.

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mandkips's review

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adventurous challenging dark tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.25


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achingallover's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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