February Read – PERSONA by Genevieve Valentine

For those of you who follow this blog at least semi-regularly, apologies for missing my post last week. To quote the first episode of Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana: “Busy night, busy night!!!” Or busy life, rather. I try to keep myself to a pretty consistent schedule, so I promise not to fall off the wagon very often.

I’ve been experimenting a bit with the format of this blog, specifically what regular topics I want to focus on and how to go about discussing them. I’ve done a few months of 50-Word Reviews, briefly discussing the different books that I’m reading each month. My personal reading has steadily gone up despite my insane schedule, and so I’m going to change the format for this again (and probably stick with it this time). Instead of discussing everything I’ve read, I’m going to focus on one book in particular, preferably by a lesser known or independent author since (like me) they need all the exposure they can get.

Looking back at February, the novel I want to briefly promote is Persona, by Genevieve Valentine. I actually won a copy in a draw at the ChiSeries Ottawa holiday extravaganza back in December, and I’m very thankful that the fates brought this novel to my purview. It’s a shorter novel (just a couple hundred words) and is sort of a near-future political thriller with threads of environmentalism and globalization. Totally unlike anything else I’ve read lately, but possibly comparable to the film The Interpreter, starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.

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The plot itself sounds straightforward – Suyana, the representative of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation in a pseudo-UN, faces an assassination attempt and has to go on the run, with the assistance of David, a “snap” or paparazzi who witnesses the shooting. There are a lot of twists and turns in this plot, which is very much one of those “who can you trust” sorts of stories. The political backdrop was the most interesting thing to me, as Valentine plays with a world that’s similar to the current global political system, but much more openly corrupt. There are shades of gray in every character, but you find yourself rooting for most of them anyway. Highly recommend this one if you want something different and engaging.

Other Recommendations This Month:

  • Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (#2 in the Reckoners series)
  • Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (#13 in The Dresden Files)
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
  • The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
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