Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Disasters by M.K. England

Rating: ★★★ | 8 hrs. 33 min. | Science-Fiction | Harper Audio | Release Date: 12/18/2018

Nasir “Nax” Hall dream of becoming a pilot and moving to one of Earth’s space colonies is quickly dashed when he washes out of flight school on the first day and is sent packing with three other failed students. But instead of going back to Earth, this unlikely group of strangers find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy and on a high flying journey around the galaxy to save the universe.

I don’t always think you should give a book extra points just for diversity but I’m honestly not sure a book like this would have existed pre-WNDB. It’s a space adventure story with teens of color across the LGBTQ spectrum that is not a struggle narrative. I think this book is perfect for those looking for that representation. England creates a set of characters who we meet are at their lowest points and shows them grow beyond their "failed student"label. On a character level, this book is really interesting.

However, on a plot level The Disasters didn’t work for me. The front cover blurb is from Mackenzi Lee so I was ready for that same fun epic adventure feeling of Gentlemen’s Guide but it never came. I couldn’t buy into in the storyline and I kept blanking out while listening to this and I think a lot has to do with the stakes. The stakes in this story are literally the entire universe and it felt too broad for me to really invest. I  also think the story would have benefited from having POVs from characters besides Nax to open the world up a little more.

The audiobook narrator, James Fouhey, is one of my favorite narrators but this was not my favorite performance of his. I don’t think he quite captured the rhythm of the dialogue and banter England was creating. Also...there is a British character and the accent work is not great.

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