April 17, 2019
Hugo Reading 2019: "The Belles," by Dhonielle Clayton
Beauty is being comfortable and confident in your own skin. ~Iman
This book did not work for me at all. The worldbuilding was thin and made little sense, and the characters were shallow and petty. For example, the author called her fictional world Orleans, and while I understand she was riffing off New Orleans culture, this had the unfortunate effect of throwing me out of the story each time I read it. I couldn't figure out if she intended her world to be a secondary fantasy or a post-climate-change future Earth with magic. The characters also failed to engage me. I gave this one a hundred pages, but I have far too much reading to do to push on with something I'm not enjoying. So: next.
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