Reviews for Victories Greater Than Death, by Charlie Jane Anders

intothevolcano's review

Go to review page

3.0

I'm torn about Victories Greater Than Death. I've enjoyed Charlie Jane Anders' previous work, and there's plenty to enjoy here too - the heart of the book, the messaging, the diversity of representation - all of these are spot on. Unfortunately, I found the actual reading experience a bit more hit and miss. There was lots of action, but this was sometimes to the detriment of a cohesive plot or well-developed characters. The pacing felt slightly off - there was such constant building action that any resolution felt quite unsatisfactory. I felt myself getting confused as more and more characters were added, and frustrated that we didn't really get to learn a lot about anyone. That said, this was a mostly enjoyable read, and I may pick up the sequel - I'm hoping the characters will be developed further as we go along in the series, and I'm intrigued to learn more about the Firmament!
2.5 stars rounded up to 3.
Thanks to Tor Teen and Netgalley for the ARC.

juliettesroma's review against another edition

Go to review page

2.0

received e-arc via netgalley and physical arc sent by publisher

rtc

sebrittainclark's review

Go to review page

adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I've loved every book I've ready by Charlie Jane Anders, so I wasn't shocked to love this book just as much. Tina was literally born for great things. She's the clone of a great alien warrior. But when she finally gets picked up by a spaceship, it's not quite the futuristic experience she expected.

I loved the world building of the galaxy and alien races, as well as the questions Tina has to answer for herself about what her destiny really is. I think this is the best YA science fiction I've read in a really long time.

I won't spoil the ending, but it invokes one of my favorite tropes in science fiction, and I can't wait to see where the series goes next.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

ithil's review

Go to review page

4.0

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange of a review. All opinions my own.

Long story short: this is an amazing book. There. I’ve said it. It has everything I've wanted and more and I cannot wait for it to come out, go back to work, and throw it one into everyone’s hands because its what it deserves.

To be honest, there wasn’t anything in the book that I disliked, nor any weak points. I fell in love with the characters. They are diverse, charismatic and relatable. It’s easy to see yourself reflected in them, or at least, in some of them due to their struggles and personalities being fundamentally human. Even the more alien characters are relatable! It made me so happy that the introductions included names and pronouns. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, CONSENT IS IMPORTANT. I absolutely loved how characters discussed this, because it’s something I don’t get to see often but it's so damn important that I’m delighted it’s getting more representation. A big thumbs up for the author.

I enjoyed this adventure so much mainly because I specially enjoy when authors use science fiction to dig deep into human ethics, responsibilities and perspectives. The writing is amazing and you can feel the passion on it. It’s fast paced but that does not dilute the plot, as a matter of fact, I found it very easy to read, as I was absolutely looking forward to the way it was going to develop. It felt like those kind of books where you’re not so much invested on the ending itself but everything that happens towards the road that’s gonna lead you there. For me, it has the perfect balance between action packed, rich background, dreadful villains and real characters.

If you have read any of her other books, marketed towards a more adult public, you may notice, as I have, how this one was more marketed towards YA as a genre. By no means I’m saying this as a negative thing about the book, as I have thoroughly enjoyed it as it is, but if you dive into this book expecting the same as in her adult marketed books, you will find some style differences. I adored her adult characters as much as her more teenage ones, but they have different approaches from the fiction.

After reading this book, Anders has now a consolidated permanent seat in my “I will read absolutely everything” shelf. And let me tell you, so should you. I cannot wait for the rest of the series to come out!

dawnedalien's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

I really liked this story, the characters, plot, setting, use of pronouns and consent and diversity were all done very well. I felt there was a little bit missing in terms of describing the action and story line but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new Sci Fi/Fantasy read.

melaniereadsbooks's review against another edition

Go to review page

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

3.75

Thank you so much to netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for an advanced reader's copy of this book!

Can I just say before we get started, this is one of the most gorgeous book covers I have ever seen?

Tina has known for most her life that her destiny is out there in the stars--she can feel a beacon inside her, waiting to ignite when she is old enough to be picked up and taken away to her fate.  She is anxiously awaiting that day, when she can stop being just Tina and remember who she was before she was cloned into this body. But when she finally does get picked up be a spaceship with her best friend Rachael, nothing is the way she expected it to be, and she is thrown in the middle of an epic space adventure that require all of her skills and knowledge if she wants to survive--but she can't even remember who she used to be.

The concept for this book is so exciting and fun! I knew I was going to love it! A space battle of good vs. evil, reclaimed identities, and old friends and new!  I also really loved reading about the diversity of alien life-forms that Anders created in this book. There was no shortage of imagination for the non-human beings in this galaxy.  I loved the central message of the Shapers and the Royal Fleet fighting back, and I was so interested to find out what happened to Tina.

I did wish that this book focused less on all the new concepts and vocabulary and a little more on character development. I wasn't as attached to these characters as I would like to be, and though they were all awesome in concept, I felt that they were mostly a little one-note and could have used more development.   I also thought the new slang was hit a little too hard. It felt too much like new colloquialisms being forced on me and not enough like my naturally learning them in the new environment.

One of the coolest parts of this book for me was the normalization of introducing yourself with pronouns! Every single character in this book gave out their pronoun the first time they were introduced to someone---no matter what species they were! I loved that!  It even included neo-pronouns.

All in all, I really enjoyed this read! It was fun and had great queer representation and diversity.  I definitely recommend picking this up when it comes out!

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

delaraadams's review

Go to review page

adventurous funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.5

domreadsall's review

Go to review page

DNF @ 52%. This was one of my most anticipated YA releases of 2021 and perhaps those expectations contributed, but I just couldn’t gel with this novel. I did appreciate the diversity and I sincerely think this might still be a great read for a younger teen audience (13-15ish). However, between a disbelief in the initial premise and setup, a lack of characterization in favor of myriad descriptions of random alien races, and taking away the action and space oriented parts of sci-fi I typically enjoy, this wasn’t the novel for me.

Thank you to Tor and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

atticmoth's review

Go to review page

3.0

I’ll start this out by saying I’m not into reading YA books which may have affected a lot of my review. I think that if I had kids I would let them read this book and in that sense it’s a very successful YA novel but for my own tastes and biases I didn’t really enjoy it.

Victories Greater Than Death is basically like Ender’s Game if it wasn’t fash, with a little Star Trek TNG and Netflix’s Voltron thrown in. It’s a fast moving space opera narrative that’s a quick read. I was familiar with Anders’ All The Birds In The Sky, which I LOVED, though it also felt a little YA-ish, and in both her strength is her worldbuilding. The concept behind the (for lack of a better word) Big Bad is something I’ve never come across in sci-fi, and I wish she had done more with it, though it leaves a story open for sequels (no spoilers!) The story does a good job juggling lots of concepts and a pretty big cast of characters, all of which have discernible arcs, without losing the reader, and that in itself is a feat.

Something that made the prose feel juvenile was that it seemed like a millennial/gen X’er trying to approximate how the younger end of gen Z speaks, which is something I doubt even I could do (as someone on the cusp of millennial and Gen-Z). It’s a very progressive story with lots of minority representation which is part of the reason I said kids should read it, but the way it’s done feels a little hamfisted to me. For example, all the aliens introduce themselves with their gender pronouns, which made me laugh out loud the first time they did it. Maybe I’m a bad person for laughing because it seems well-intentioned… but at the same time the only non-binary characters were space aliens. It’s culturally diverse, but at the same time there’s an alien named Thot, which pretty much sums it up.

tricapra's review

Go to review page

3.0

OK, so let me start by saying that this was adorable. YA is definitely not my thing and I have a ton of criticism ready to go after this paragraph, but first and foremost, if I was a young teen reading Scifi, I would be so happy to have this. I love Charlie Jane Anders and I think she's set up something lovely here.

Unfortunately, Anders has dumbed down her charming prose in favor of something that feels at times like a parody of tumblrspeak. Maybe this tested well and it's what teens like! However, I was hoping for something more akin to The City In the Middle of the Night, which could've been accessible to teens as it was, without any compromise. I don't know who is failing her here, but I felt that she made her world/prose/book lesser in pursuit of a younger audience, when that didn't need to happen. That aside, there were some issues with pacing and exposition dumps that weren't my favorite.
The cast is super inclusive and I loved that our heroes had relatable mental health issues, and that they spent an appropriate amount of time grappling with adjusting to suddenly being humans in space. The world building was fun and I liked the repeated interrogation of the Royal Army's motives and behaviors.

I'll continue to check out everything that Anders writes, I'll pick up a copy of this for my niece when its released for sure.