Dagger by Steven Dos Santos
Can you say f*ck yea?
There are tons of things I totally loved about this book and if i could spend all day talking about it if you let me but here are some things that just really stuck out to me:
Dagger himself was gay and I wasn't completely sure if he was Latino but I totally cannoned him Latino. Both his friends were Latino so it only felt natural picturing him that way too. Maybe it's because I'm Latina as well, but I love reading Latino/a/x characters in Speculative fiction.
2. The Twists
Oh the twists! There was a twist I honestly didn't see coming and my mouth stayed dropped for several pages trying to pull myself together. Why did you do this to me, Steven? Why???? Lol. I am forever dedicated to Dos Santos's plans to take over the YA Speculative fiction Realm, one story at a time because he is just that dope! I can't believe it's taken me this long to read any of his books.I totally have The Culling on my bookshelf and that book needs to get read like now!
3. The World Building
The world Steven set up reminded me a little of that secret force of B613 in Shondaland's Scandal, with a little Kim Possible, The Famous Jett Jackson and Supa Ninjas all in one neat little package. If any of these shows mean anything to you, you will totally get what i mean. Dagger works for D.U.S.T, a super secret governmental operation that handles missions in the "Supernatural". At first I wasn't sure I was going to completely get Dagger because this was the first book I ever picked up with a heavy Espionage theme. But you don't have to "get" spies to "get" Dagger. It's really just about a regular teenager who goes through what we all went through at one point. he just happens to be a fly ass spy on the low and is pretty damn good at what he does.
How can I say what I loved about this book without mentioning how much I loved Dagger. He was nothing short of hilarious and his voice is genuinely real that I totally pictured my cousin(who's also a queer male) in this character. Dagger is really snarky and sarcastic, two combinations I totally love in a character and the way he describes the objects of his affection? It's like he stole the words right out of my mouth,lol.
5. The Cover
Can i say how much I love this cover?
This is why I cannoned him Latino because the guy unapologetically looks Latino....That is all.
*Click me to buy =)*
What I didn't connect to as much:
This book was almost perfect minus one detail I wouldn't have even commented on years ago when feminism wasn't a huge part of my life. The use of the word b*tch. Dagger said the word a lot and I don't necessarily think he said it with bad intentions as B*tch has been a word reclaimed by many and doesn't always carry around a stigma the way it used to when people say it now. For example, I grew up in an urban neighborhood so calling someone your b*tch can mean friend depending on the context, I'd be a liar if I didn't occasionally use it in that context but I still cringed with how many times he said it. It was a natural part of his speech and like I mentioned before, I don't think he said it ill-intentioned or to be oppressive, but I still took of a very small 1/4 point for it. But please don't let that stop you, This book overall was a very quick read for me and I read slow like molasses. I think I finished it in less than 4 days, Hands down, the fastest book I read all year. Trust me fellow book bloggers, you will not be disappointed!
Actual score 4.75 rounded to 5
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Buy/Pre-Order Dagger here or click the Cover up above!