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27 Hours (The Nightside Saga) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 400 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 12 and up||Grade Level: 7 - 9|
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The book switches between four viewpoints in real-time during a 27 hour long nighttime period on an alien moon. The character's goals and desires are made very clear and each character is easy to distinguish and memorable. While the story is ostensibly an action story, it's also a romance, and there's a fair amount of sexual content in the book, although not near the levels of explicit-ness that Adult books can get to. If you're looking for some queer romance in a sci-fi setting, this book definitely fits that niche.
However, the plot and worldbuilding in this book could've been better. The plot is a bit thin: aliens are attacking humans, and the humans want answers and/or revenge. The aliens and humans have had a rocky relationship ever since the humans arrived on this moon and ended up flooding the alien's homes in the process of creating a lake. But I got the feeling that the bad guy's motivation really had nothing to do with the lake. It was more "Humans hurt us once so let's get rid of them." It's a bit hard to reconcile the aliens being intelligent, human-like and kind when the bad guy has such an unoriginal motivation.
There's also a lack of consistent foreshadowing in this book. At the beginning, we get some good hints into the character's lives, but any foreshadowing about the plot is not so noticeable. And as the plot gets more complicated, with allegiances twisting and turning in on each other, I never really figured out what was going on and, more importantly, WHY. It felt nearly like an excuse plot to get the characters together to meet up and grow as people (and get intimate with each other.)
As for worldbuilding, while I liked that the sci-fi technology wasn't that far away from what we currently have and clearly rooted in present-day Earth objects (like watches and windsurfing boards), I wish we could've spent more time in the HUB city before it's destroyed in the opening of the book. I never really understood the difference between HUBs and Colonies. Is it that the HUB cities are military centers, and the colonies are civilian centers? But that's not true, based on what we learn in the book.
Overall, a good book for characters, and just an OK book for the plot. If you want to read a book with diverse characters this one is pretty good, but don't expect too much from the plot.
I really enjoyed the world Wright builds on Sahara and the portrait she paints of its different factions--the colonists, the forest rebels, the chimera. I especially loved the brief windows we got into chimera culture. They're truly a distinct alien race that is unlike anything I've seen in other scifi, and showing their multitudes really resonated with me. The human society is also well thought out. All questions I had about how the colonies worked were answered as the cast unraveled the world they thought they knew and loved.
The queer representation is everywhere and normalized in every society, even the chimera. Wright makes clear each character's identity, and though queer characters are harmed, none are killed. There is even one canon f/f couple by the end, and one probably-canon-but-needs-a-sequel m/m couple. 27 HOURS is truly one of the most inclusive scifi books I've ever read.
In terms of racial rep, your mileage may vary. Many reviewers of color have pointed to problems with the premise (aka pitting a native society against colonists) as well as the wisdom of making a Nigerian character violent and vengeful against the colonized instead of the colonizers. I definitely see the merit of these criticisms. I have a feeling more of this will be developed in future books, but as it stands 27 HOURS has some worrying racial themes.
However, I did appreciate how Wright connected her characters to their racial identities, even though they didn't live on Earth or view race the same way we do. When a story takes place in the far future or in deep space, it's easy to gloss over racial identities and pretend they don't matter. I liked how Wright didn't take the easy way out and attempted to interrogate how these identities change after migrating to a new galaxy.
There were many times while reading 27 HOURS that I would read several pages without really absorbing what was happening. I kept suffering the reading equivalent of a sensory overload. I was able to follow the story and character arcs, but by the end of the book, I felt like I had been hit by a train captained by six kids whose names I knew, but not much else. I want to write something about Wright's writing style, but even now I can't remember anything good or bad to comment on, it's all a blur.
One thing I actually *do* recall is a weird moment where I recognized one of Wright's jokes re: the difference between asexuality and pansexuality from a viral Tumblr post. It was like seeing a stagehand get caught onstage during a play; the illusion of the story was broken. But compared to everything 27 HOURS does right, this is a petty nonissue.
Conclusions? 27 HOURS tries to accomplish many things, and on the most part succeeds! Wright has written a thrilling scifi featuring diverse characters, action, and romance that readers are craving. The worldbuilding is on point, the representation is there. Her writing just failed to grip me in the right way.
There is a touch of romance (mostly emotional in nature, nothing physically explicit), and some intertwined and engaging drama and action, all wrapped up in an inclusive novel that is well worth picking up.
Most recent customer reviews
I already had a ton of hype going into this novel, where I had the slight trepidation of me ruining it with my...Read more
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27 Hours is the first book in the Nightside Saga by Tristina Wright.Read more