When Ann McMan offered to send me a free copy of Aftermath and asked if I’d review it, my first thought was, ‘But I was about to buy it anyway’ and my second thought was, ‘Then again, free stuff is way better than not-free stuff.’ And my third thought was, ‘Ann McMan wants me to review her book!’ That’s like getting invited to sit at the cool kids’ table!
But then I told her I didn’t really do reviews, because I’m not very good at doing things that normal people do. “But,” I said, “I can do something like a review.” And she was like, “Okay!” and I was like, “Great!” And I’m pretty sure neither of us knew what I meant by that.
So this is my sort-of review of Aftermath, which is actually not like a review at all. In fact, I don’t know what this is, but it will include drawings of things that may or may not be relevant.
If you like lesbians and myths and/or books about lesbians and myths and also things that are awesome, I’d like to recommend the book The Dark Wifeby the lovely Sarah Diemer.
Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want–except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice.
Zeus calls Hades “lord” of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny.
But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself. The Dark Wife is a YA novel, a lesbian revisionist retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth.
One of the things I love about reading Kindle books is the popular highlights feature. Some people might find it intrusive or creepy, but I find it fascinating.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s basically this: If several people liked a specific section of a book enough to highlight it, the section shows up on your eBook copy as underlined. If you click it it tells you how many people highlighted that section.
What I find curious is that the general population very rarely highlights the same portions I do, but it’s still really interesting to see what other people find important/moving/inspiring/what have you.
I’m currently reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Yesterday, I highlighted the following section:
I don’t yet know what this power feels like. But this is surely what it looks like, and I think I’m beginning to understand why those ancient women had to hide in caves. Why our parents and teachers and suitors want us to behave properly and predictably. It’s not that they want to protect us; it’s that they fear us.
No one else highlighted it (or at least not enough people). However, a good number of people highlighted this:
I’ll never have what she has—a beauty so powerful it brings things to you. I fear I will always have to chase the things I want. I’ll always have to wonder whether I’m truly wanted or whether I’ve just been settled for.
Anyway, I thought it was interesting what other people relate to. I really love this book (thanks again, Lyan).
Here’s another character name poll for you, because I like polls:
Thanks to everyone who has contributed name suggestions. I have added a few I like to my list of possible character names. I’ve got a lot of characters to name, so all help is appreciated.
Well, there’s probably many, but here’s a few books I’ve read that maybe you haven’t. I really like all of these books for different reasons and you may not like them as much as I did, but that’s okay. Just throwing them out there.
If you’ve read them all already then I’ll try harder next time, I promise. (Also, you’re awesome and maybe we should be best friends).
(Note: These aren’t in any particular order. Just typing them up as they show up on my Kindle dashboard).
1. Roses & Thorns by Chris Anne Wolfe – This book is a lesbian retelling of my favorite fairy tale: Beauty & the Beast. The other day I discovered that it was finally available on the Kindle and I did a little dance around the apartment.
A greedy father. A beautiful daughter. A faceless noble. With a word, Aloysius bargains away Angelique’s future for a hefty bride-price, and no one, not even Angelique’s beloved mother can save her. Angelique is taken to a strange and marvelous estate where she is befriended by Culdun, her Liege’s fey companion. And though Culdun hints at darker forces, Angelique is drawn to her host and ever so slowly, she wins Drew’s trust. But old fears and an older curse resurface, threatening to drive them apart and banish Drew into an eternity of loneliness. Will Angelique’s growing love be strong enough to save her Liege? Or will she flee once the secret is revealed?
2. Rymellan 1 by Sarah Ettritch – This book and its sequel, Rymellan 2, are both available online at the author’s website. I bought both on the Kindle. I’ve not yet read the sequel but I really, really loved the first book and think some of you will enjoy it, too.
Lesley and Mo can’t imagine life without each other. If it were up to them, they’d settle down, raise daughters, and lead happy, fulfilled lives. But they live on the planet Rymel, in a strict society that selects life-mates for its citizens and executes those who violate their life-bonds.
Girlfriends since their teens, Lesley and Mo know they should break up but can’t let each other go. They dread the day the state summons them to meet their selected mates.
Meet Lesley and Mo when they’re young adults in love and follow them until their time together runs out. Will they do what their society expects of them, or will they sacrifice their lives for their love?
3. The Secret Trilogy by Francine Saint Marie – This is three whole novels in one and will keep you busy for a long, long time. Unless you’re K, and you manage to gobble it up in a single weekend. In 2006 this won the LAMBDA Notable Book award. It’s been around for a while, so I’m sure it’s not unfamiliar to the masses. If you’ve never read it, though, I recommend it.
High-profile psychiatrist, Dr. Helaine Kristenson–AKA the “Love Doc”–is not just talented and beautiful. She’s the leading authority in the field of psychosexual relations and the bestselling author of the how-to bible, “Keeping Mr. Right.” Professionally, the esteemed doctor deals with secrets of the heart everyday. Privately, she even has a few of her own to keep her busy…
Straight-laced chief investment strategist, Lydia Beaumont, is not just talented and beautiful. She’s a consummate professional and headed to the top of the corporate ladder at financial giant, Soloman-Schmitt. Professionally, she has no secrets to speak of. Privately, she’s just unearthed one that’s going to rock her world a bit…
Bedazzling neophyte, Venus Angelo, is not just talented and beautiful. She’s a self-made millionaire ten times over again and on the fast track with her high-powered career in corporate finance. Professionally, she’s a dedicated and driven perfectionist. Privately, she’s full-blown enigmatic and somewhat reckless. And she’s got way too many skeletons in the closet…
Savvy and seasoned investment banker, Delilah Lewiston is not just talented and beautiful. She runs the largest and most solid bank in the world. Professionally, she “speaks softly and carries a big stick” and doesn’t trade or take stock in any secrets. Privately, however, she’s safeguarding a couple of gems…
Controversial super-model, Sharon Chambers, is not just talented and beautiful. She’s the highest paid poser on the planet. Not to mention the most spoiled and temperamental. Professionally, her life of debauchery and conquest is an open book, about which, she really doesn’t give a damn. Privately, though, even she’s keeping a few secrets. But that isn’t going to last…
Sex, love, money, lawyers, reporters, action, adventure, intrigue and blackmail–what’s YOUR secret worth?
4. The Stepsister Scheme (and the rest of the Princess series) by Jim C. Hines – I wrote about this series last year, and I can’t recommend it enough. While not as strictly lesbian as the other books on this list, there is a lesbian character (one of the fairy tale princesses), and she’s awesome. They’re all awesome.
What would happen if an author went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for his plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with Charlie’s Angels? What’s delivered is The Stepsister Scheme—a whole new take on what happened to Cinderella and her prince after the wedding. And with Jim C. Hines penning the tale readers can bet it won’t be “and they lived happily ever after.”
5. Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey – I love this book. I mean, I love this book. I fangirl over this book sporadically. Sometimes I remember that its sequel is coming out in November and I simultaneously spaz out from excitement and twitch from the pain of having to wait that long. Did I mention I love this book? I do. Loup/Pilar forever.
Departing from epic fantasy (Kushiel’s Dart, etc.), Carey sets this powerful near-future tale in Outpost 12, a small town trapped in a buffer zoneshielding Texas from pandemic-stricken Mexico. Two half-siblings chafing under General Argyle’s military rule make very different plans to beat the status quo. Tom, the son of a soldier, lives at the gym, where he trains in boxing and hopes to win his freedom from the town by defeating the general’s boxing champion. Loup, who has inherited her escaped father’s oddly engineered genes, joins a group of church wards called the Santitos, a tight gang of vigilantes who masquerade as the local saint, Santa Olivia. Carey’s fans will enjoy meeting another strong, fearless heroine with special powers, while new readers will appreciate the tight focus that intensifies the depth of character and emotion.
Bonus: Mystic Women of the Realm series by Robbie Collins – I was kind of obsessed with this series for a really long time and it’s pretty much all I could talk about. My friends would try to initiate conversation and I’d be like “OMG I CAN’T CONCENTRATE ON YOUR PROBLEMS BECAUSE SAN AND JANDRA’S LOVE IS SO PURE AND TRUE!!!” Yeah. I can’t talk about this series without turning into a 13-year-old fangirl and spewing a lot of nonsense and barfing rainbows. I just can’t. Anyway, these books are a crackfest, I’ll say that. And also, while the series starts with The Women of Woden, it’s really book #2 (The Mystic Women of the Valley) and beyond that I love with the power of 3 billion winged unicorns.