This book is hard to put down. It has a message, not a subtle one, but the place and people are so real you won't mind. It reminded me of LeGuin's The Dispossessed. I wanted more time in their lives. Great stuff.
Emmie Mears does it again with this fun and thought-provoking story. I could not put it down. With strong characters and a lot of action this is a must read for fans of dystopian fiction. Looking forward to the next book.
I could not put this book down and when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it. I am one of those simple people who find love in all it's forms beautiful and this story tells a love story so relevant to today's' climate it's frightening. While this is not subtle in its telling it is told in such a way that the characters come alive and you truly want good for them all. In 20 years I hope we can look back on this time of our lives and laugh at our fears for our own future, maybe we can learn to fight for that future by reading the lessons in Look To The Sun.
This is a tale of a corrupt, bigoted government coming into power through tactics of fear and, of course, it resonates with me. The characters are engaging, good, and kind people that you want to root for. The world feels real on the pages. And the tension and stakes rise appropriately throughout the book.
Though a "Look to the Sun" is not really fantasy in the usual sense it reads as a modern day fairy-tale. As with every fairy-tale this story has a dark undertone with real warnings and a heavy moral.
The author gives us a made up location in a made up time where technology is limited. But, it echoes of our recent past and, in many areas of the world, including the United States, of our present.
Basically the feel of the book is a picture of what it looks like when a sinister and fascist regime slowly seeps into society before it makes its ultimate grab for power. The parallel that comes to mind the most is what it must've been like at the beginning of the Holocaust.
The story is told from the perspective of two leads, Rose and Beo.
Rose is an independent woman that works for her aunts in their tea shop and grew up consuming the book her late father gave her which is a dystopian story of its own.
Beo is a photographer with a gift for capturing candid moments, many times the fascist presence inadvertently making its way into the frame.
When the two meet, they are pulled towards each other as the world falls down around them. When every person met is one to doubt, when every friend could be a traitor, when everything known previously is no longer safe, who can one turn to and what choices should be made?
Emmie Mears did an excellent job crafting this story together. The characters are strong and nuanced, the setting is vivid, and the slow insidious creep of "moral" evil tilts the world on its access bit by bit.
I've previously read Mears' "Ayala Storme" series and, aside from the high quality, the style is very different. Where the Storme books had elements of comedy with a master of sarcasm lead, Ayala, this story is not comedic in the slightest and there wasn't a sarcastic quip to be found. However, it's filled with heart and compelling, brave characters. Love and friendship vs fear and evil is at its core.
I admit that I predominantly read lesfic or stories with leads in an f/f relationship. This book is not that. However, it's a highly inclusive book with many "nontraditional" families and genders. Main supporting characters are f/f/f, m/m/f, m/m, and transgendered. Beo also would be considered pansexual because he dates both men and women regardless of their gender identification. As you can see, polyamory is also a main theme.
As if enough wasn't going on in the story, domestic violence plus love vs. control in a relationship are also explored.
For genre, it's a mix of dystopian political thriller and romance with some mystery and twists thrown in.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story despite the ominous feel throughout. It's very well done and definitely recommend.
It took me quite a bit longer to read than I expected. I even received an advanced readers copy, yet it took me nearly a month to finish.
There are at least two reasons. Both deal with the turmoil of this month in the current political sphere. This book is a frightening possible future as it deals with the rise of fascism. That made it a hard subject to want to delve into. The general overthinking about the world caused me to not do much of anything I usually do, reading included.
But it is beautiful. Each of Emmie's books is perfect and wonderful unto itself, but they do seem to successively get better. Bolder. Deeper.
The characters have wounds (psychological, emotional, and even physical), they have depth. It is refreshing, even astounding to read about people like me (queer in more than one way). And to read about them in a way that is not directly about them or about their queerness. Because in this world, it is normal; not dwelt upon.
I think I should very much like to live in this Sanmarian.