Sunday, August 21, 2016

#NAAugust Week Four, Day 21: Beyond The Contemporaries - The Olive Conspiracy by Shira Glassman

Hosted by Books Are My Fandom
So a few posts might be a little different this week, but only because I'm a HUGE lover of speculative fiction, that some of this week's books may be reviews.

The review will tell you better if you'll like it than me giving a bunch of reasons. I am a huge spec fic lover, so sometimes when I'm in a reading rut, I'll read like 10 spec fic books in a row and get my mojo running again ;p

I received this book in exchange for a review a few weeks back from the lovely author, and to be honest, it's like nothing I've read before.

I literally mean that, as a person who naturally gravitates for narratives like mine first, then branch out when I'm looking for something outside my narrative(hence why I'm on that Percy Jackson life).

One of the biggest reasons is because the book's setting is a Jewish fantasy setting, and I didn't even know those existed. I know how important a book like this is, I've just never actively sought one out before. 

I actually one one of the books, but I just haven't read it XD

Anyhoo, one of the hugest thing that appealed to me was how queer the book is. I literally just finished my rewatch of The Legend of Korra, and it reminded me of it in the way where the female representation was so dominant in the book.

We weren't just given one really good female character, but like, a thousand(exaggerating here...) a bunch of them LGBT+,  and not all white like I expected.

I really think I should backtrack(as I would suggest for others for stronger clarity), as this is the fourth in the series, but just based on the female queer rep alone, I won't have any problem doing so. 

I haven't even gotten to what the book is actually about, because I was so impressed with the representation.

If you're familiar with the Mangoverse series, you'd already be familiar with Queen Shulamit. I don't know how she was in past books, but her character was so inspiring in Olive Conspiracy! 

I do feel like it's a love story more than anything, but there are a ton of twists and turns for the major subplot(I'm trying not to post spoils, it's really hard not to because the book is short :p) and with the fantastical setting of Perach as a backdrop, there's a huge fantasy feel =)

I loved that there were trans characters(one in particular) because I don't read many but would like to, but would prefer positive rep. And they were older. Not that I'm against young characters, but after that Korra rewatch, I realized how much I'm appreciating age diversity among casts of characters.

I'll spoil one thing, but only because it's super important:

It's an LGBTQ+ story, a f/f at that, with an actual HEA. No corny ass lonely lesbian/queer women tropes here!

It's also got a sense of humor, which I absolutely love in SFF, so I'd highly suggest reading the very first book "The Second Mango" and dive into the series from there =D


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