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ummm umm

By Docmars, author of Tomorrow Girl in Bismarck

Mar 23, 2018: I guess full disclosure, this is part of a swap. Okay, so the story, I’ve read into this a bit, and I read about five chapters. Let’s start off with the good, because I always feel we should be nice. I found myself actually quite interested in the story. It’s fantasy and it’s a pretty classical fantasy in a lot of ways, and there’s a lot of appealing elements to that concept. A lot of fantasies nowadays are very reactionary. Although up to the part where I read, it was very much still setting up everything, and the quest was about to happen and all that stuff. It’s taking its time, and Tolkien could get away with that, but that’s always a worrying path, but I found myself compelled by the story more than I thought I would be, and I found myself interested, and I’ll probably continue on with it, at a super slow pace.

There’s that, and I want to praise that because the next part of the thing I want to really talk about is the big F word and the F word is "feminism," and I want to talk about it because I have issues on that regard. Let’s kind of get that out of the way, the real bad, and the thing I really didn’t like about it. I don’t know what you can do about that, but it’s there. It seems like the character Ava. The first thing I noticed when I was reading this is that it had an oddly erotic tone to it. What I’m trying to say, the opening first chapter, which I’m told is rewritten, and the one with the audiobook made special mention of the woman’s breasts and things like that. Ava’s a sex slave, and there’s I’m pretty sure, almost certain, she’s that.

You can write about anything you want, but this thing really turned me off and it kind of plays into a bigger problem I had with this is that we don’t see a lot, but I don’t like it comes to the fact that Ava is largely defined through the male gaze, and I don’t like that. Almost every other description of her is her attractiveness and her beauty and her good looks and things like that, and coupled with the fact of kind of the gross ickiness of what her position is, it really takes me out of the story. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that the author is against slavery. I don’t think he’d fight me on that. But it comes off as vaguely fetishized, but I want to emphasize that a lot of these problems are first writing novel problems, and there’s nothing wrong with erotic content in a story. That’s perfectly justifiable and okay. I think it’s not bad to talk about that stuff, even in a much more genre setting.

I just want to clarify that I don’t think the author personally is sexist or whatever. All this stuff, it’s not a state of being I guess where you perfectly do it every time. It’s more of a vague gradient that we’re all on, trying to kind of figure out how any of this stuff works. Despite what history tells us, just because one time a person does it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible for people to improve I this regard. Oh, God, none of it. I mean we all have biases, and it’s not about pretending none of that stuff exists and now we’re perfect, we’re better. It’s all about acknowledging that every human being on the Earth, no matter where you live, has this bias, and even really good people are prone to it, and it’s less about never having it and more about what you do after you have it, those sorts of things.

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