Victories Greater Than Death | Book Review

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me an eARC to review. All opinions are my own.

THE UNIVERSE IS CALLING—and time is running out.

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.

And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.

Released: April 13th 2021

I spent a good deal of the book trying to figure out what wasn’t working for me and I’m still not entirely sure.

The tone of the book is definitely more humorous than I expected, which isn’t bad, but it’s something you might want to keep in mind that this isn’t “purple prose and deep thoughts on humanity’s place in the universe” it’s “humor and trying to deal with heavy themes.”

The pacing of this book is incredibly fast paced, but also clunky in a way. Like we hit the ground running with Tina knowing and wanting her destiny (an aspect I liked) and move pretty quickly into alien’s First Contact with humans. From there the book keeps a steady pace, but we do skip around in places that kept me slightly in the dark as to how much time had passed.

If you’ve read a SFF review from me before, you know I’m a sucker for world-building and that stayed the same for this book. There were SO many alien races with distinct looks and cultures. It might get confusing, but there is a glossary of sci-fi terms and aliens in the back. I also loved that traditional Space introductions included mentioning your pronouns. And there were a variety of Space greetings with different responses. It was a nice touch!

In a similar vein, it’s a large cast. There are humans and aliens and bad guys, it was a little hard to keep everyone straight. You could also tell some characters were being shafted to give other people screen time. It was a diverse, queer cast from around the world, including the first appearance of someone identifying as a travesti that I’ve seen in YA.

There were also mixed media elements! They were able to add to the story, but they added to the weird pacing.

The one thing I explicitly did not like that I hope is adjusted in the final copy is the mention of aliens visiting Earth when the Earth was still young. Not much more is said, which still leaves the door open for Ancient Aliens, a.k.a the racist idea that early civilizations couldn’t create their monuments without help from aliens. I don’t think the author was implying that, but implying aliens visited early human civilizations, you can’t have it be a throwaway line, you have to make it clear that you’re not headed in that direction.

The more I think on it, the more I consider this a 2.5 or 3-star book, which is really a shame. I do think this has the potential if you’re a fan of science fiction, the pacing just ruined it for me.

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