Read: 26 January, 2019
I came for the lesbians and the living ships, but I stayed for the complex discussions of personal autonomy, reproductive rights, and identity.
There’s a danger, when a setting is this strange, of losing the reader. And, certainly, there were a few horrifying moments – like when a character gives birth to a cog made of flesh and snuggles with it as though it were an infant (oh hey there, visual that will almost certainly be haunting my dreams for a while!) – but providing us with Zan, a character who has lost her memory, helps provide some translation. Whenever I was horrified, Zan was horrified, too. Whenever I had questions, Zan asked them.
I’ve long had a fondness for living ships (at least as far back as Lexx), but the idea that the humans physically give birth to needed parts was a new twist. More than just a twist, actually, because Hurley integrates it into a running theme of interconnectedness.
Parts of this book were difficult reading, particularly the alienness of the setting, but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. I also think that this is one book that will stay with me for a long, long time.