Monday, October 14, 2013

One of my favorites over the past couple of months

If you don't feel like waiting till April when Far From You comes out, The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson is out now, and it is fabulous.  Dystopian books are a dime a dozen these days, but Johnson's is original and beautiful and very much its own story.  Here's my Goodreads review:

The country that used to be Brazil is the setting for this lushly-imagined, futuristic story that blends art and technology and love in its many iterations. June Costa has grown up in Palmeres Tres, a vast pyramid city in which the wealthy live on the upper tiers and the poor live in the Verde, the green and stinking lower level whose algae produces the needed oxygen for the city. 400 years ago, the actions of men led to the Y plague, which destroyed a large percentage of humanity. Palmeres Tres was established largely as a matriarchal society, given that men had gotten the world into the mess. The queen rules with a group of Aunties, or advisors, with a Summer King and a Winter King alternately elected every five years, but sacrificed at the end of the first year. June and her best friend Gil get swept up in the latest election and are ecstatic when Enki, the beautiful boy from the Verde, is declared the new king. Enki is not the settled, discreet king that the Queen and the Aunties might have wished for: he and Gil quickly enter a passionate relationship, and when he learns that June is an artist, the two of them develop a close friendship. June manages to convince herself that she and Enki are only about the art, but as time goes on and the countdown to his sacrificial dealth draws closer, the triangle between her and Enki and Gil grows more complex. Alaya Dawn Johnson adds to a sparse field of wonderfully-written science fiction featuring people of color.
Completely original and luminous and just can't-even-think-of-putting-it-down amazing.

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