Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong. Science fiction.
A Hunger Games knockoff with a 90’s cyberpunk movie vibe. An ambitious failure of a book. I had fun reading it only because I kept reminding myself not to think about anything. So I don’t regret the time I spent reading it, but I’ll also say: you can do better.
When Calla turns to go, Anton follows her silently. Out of her periphery, she can see that his eyes are pinned on her intently. She wonders what he’s looking for. Guilt? Delight? Perhaps she should feel guilty, if only to prove that deep inside, she is good and redeemable. But each time she swings her sword, the feeling that sits heavy in her rib cage is not guilt. It is a jarring sensation that tells her this is wicked, but wickedness is tolerable. Good kingdoms don’t need good soldiers. A good soldier dies on the battlefield and lets the people cry for him. Good kingdoms need loyal soldiers, terrible ones. Calla is killing people to save them, and before San-Er put its wall up, when Talin fought its war with Sica, it was the same. Lives thrown into the fire, sacrificed so that millions more at home could carry on safely.
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