Some people might be curious why, since I liked Malinda Lo's Ash and Huntress so much, it took me so long to get to her latest (as of reading, not as of writing) novel. Well two reasons, one libraries and two since this was of a completely opposite genre (modern day sci-fi with a tad bit of horror) I was a tad worried that it just wouldn't be good, plenty of people out there can write in multiple genres just fine and plenty of people don't do so well. But when I finally came across it at the library I made sure to grab it because what's the worst that can happen? Get very freaked out by dead birds it turns out, reading this and When We Wake back to back was not one of my more clever moves.....
Adaption by Malinda Lo
I'm not 100% sure what is going on here but I do remember being turned off a bit by the cover and that was part of the reason I took so long to read it. I think I know which event the cover is trying to recapture but the problem is that it's completely the wrong color (because I guess dank green makes for a better sci-fi color than egg yolk yellow) which just makes me even grumpier about it.
Summary: Reese is in a less than ideal mood, having both embarrassed herself in front of her crush David and the two of them did poorly in their debate competition and that's when things get, odd. Airports across the country as shut down as thousands of crazed birds cause crashes and even on the ground things are tense as they attempt to drive home instead. And that's where things get even stranger for the two of them....
The Good: Well it turns out that Lo is one of the authors who can successfully tell a story in more than one genre, hurray! Once we got past the creepy birds part I rather liked the story, as someone whose used to stories throwing crazy plot twists out there* I was able to figure out what was going on but never felt like the reveals were too obvious or that the characters were being too dumb in order to draw out the tension. I liked Reese as a character and I liked her relationship with David, they both felt like nice ordinary teens where ordinary didn't mean unobservant or boring
The Bad: As mentioned earlier, this is hardly a bad thing but I do not recommend reading the early part of the book at night, or during periods of the year where there are large migratory bird flocks (which is right now, oops). There is a reason for the bird craziness and that I did have a bit of a hard time swallowing, what happened happened on such a huge scale that it was just a bit too much for my suspension of disbelief (there are one or two other reasons but I can't figure out how to talk about them while still being vague so I'll just mention that I had multiple problems with it). And I must express annoyance, since this has come up in a number of recently produced stories I've seen recently, not just here, about the characters having never heard of bisexuality before. Reese at least seemed completely unfamiliar with the term and it's just, well, you're telling me that she lives in a rather liberal part of the country, a few years in the future (ie, even more progressive on the social front), and has never heard that you can be something that's not straight or gay? In a fictional setting you must get the little details right to keep the readers believing in the story and, while Reese's confusion over her identity was understandable her initial reaction to it just wasn't**.
In the end I shall give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars for being interesting yet having just enough details not quite work for me to adore it. The sequel just came out last month and I will be on the look-out for it at my local library although I doubt I'll be able to get to it before the end of the year since these things do take time.
*I mean, y'all have seen some of the anime I've reviewed right?
** I'll admit that it also bothered me on a more personal level since I'm not gay or straight, I'm asexual, which I hadn't heard of by Reese's age but I had heard about bisexuality (which I'm going to use for lack of a better term, even though pansexual might be more accurate in the end). So it was frustrating and left me going "really? Man you at least are something people have heard of, this is just frustrating!"