- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (December 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 076533450X
- ISBN-13: 978-0765334503
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,649,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Daughter of No Nation Hardcover – December 1, 2015
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About the Author
A. M. DELLAMONICA is the author of Indigo Springs, winner of the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, and its concluding sequel, Blue Magic. Her short stories have appeared in a number of fantasy and science fiction magazines and anthologies, and on Tor.com.
Top customer reviews
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The world is interesting and full of flavor. The characters are -- for the most part -- fun, if not particularly memorable. What little action there is is exciting.
The problems with this series begin and end with the main protagonist, who is quite possible the most unlikable and self-centered "hero" I've ever read. The entire thing smacks of the "Mighty Whitey" trope, where-in the protagonist must travel to this strange new land and must show all of these primitive savages not only how superior her own culture is, but how much she excels at their own culture. Whenever she does something questionable or downright wrong, she just shrugs and blunders on, confidant that everything will work out in the end. There is no character growth when faced with her own prejudices. There is no attempt to repay those she's wronged. She recklessly pursues whatever makes her feel good, and it's no wonder that the only reason she's allowed to stay is because she has a few select skills that the government might make use of to stave off war. By the end of the story, no one except for the poorly tacked on romantic interest actually wants her there, not even her own birth parents.
The writer spends an inordinate amount of time focusing on the fact that several nations are slaver societies, and how utterly horrible they are. (As if the reader has to constantly be reminded that Slavery Is Bad.) So the protagonist snoops around the estate she's on, sabotaging her birth father left and right, until finally she's confronted and shown that she's been mistaken the entire time. She leaves a scroll with her father's true name in an unlocked drawer, thereby giving anyone who wished him harm the means to do so. She accuses him of trying to marry her off and embarrasses him, then runs off without an apology when shown she was wrong. Later when she asks if he rapes his slaves and is told no, she shrugs, because he's so obviously still a Bad Man.
She feels, therefore she is right, no matter the mountain of evidence stacked against her. Her convictions are skin deep. All that concerns her is staying and studying this new world because, when asked and in her own words, "I just have to." Nevermind that the slaver societies are largely agrarian and anytime anyone eats anything that didn't come from the sea there's a high chance it came from slave labor. So long as she doesn't have to think about her actions she can use her self-righteousness to brush all of her problems aside.
The double standards in this book are staggering. The amount of time the author spent in the first book slandering those who looked down on homosexuality was long-winded, but completely understandable. I gave it a pass. But then the author turns around and demonizes the protagonist's father as a possible sociopath, as if he had any more choice in the matter than a homosexual. The protagonist then endangers the magical doo-dad that acts to balance her father's temper. (Which is leagues better than anything we have in modern society.) To what end? Just to satisfy her own curiosity.
The last third of the book then swings its focus onto the budding romance between the protagonist and the captain of the ship; The brave, perfect male specimen who (of course) has a broken past that he just can't bring himself to speak of, and will only reveal to the one woman who can soothe his ravaged soul. So he turns to the narcissist. Huzzah.
Near the end it's revealed that the captain might have been tricked by a prophecy and his own superstitious belief system into falling for her. This entire concept is given two sentences and instantly discarded, because the protagonist gets what she wants in the end. She doesn't take a step back and try to make sure he's actually attracted and not just going through the motions because of capital-D Destiny.
I don't know. I'm frustrated with this series. So many interesting concepts that are just thrown out the window because it would create conflict and drama and character growth. Can't have that now. The world that the author has crafted is wonderful and I would love to explore it further, but the main character is just so bloody terrible, and the secondary characters so utterly bland that I can't see myself following them any further.
This is a first-rate book in a series that's fresh and entertaining and intensely smart, with action, worldbuilding and characterization that are seamless, first-rate craftsmanship. Highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
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