The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson
ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.
Publish Date: 4/10/2018
Vi has lived her whole life a diminished since her twin died so young. Her whole life she has spent tampering down her temper and envying all the twins, not because of the privileges they have, but for the wholeness they have. Bo is a singleborn and soon to be named heir to the throne of Asklad. Their lives somehow intertwine despite the fact that Vi is headed to a life of servitude and Bo a life of luxury.
This story wasn’t much like anything I read, however, that doesn’t mean it was the best thing I read. The biggest feat this book provided was a complex world that I haven’t seen in any other book. Unfortunately world building isn’t everything, and the lack of a plot that actually created the desire to continue the book had me wishing that the story would just get on with it.
The pacing was a little off kilter, as sometimes having multiple POV can cause. There were times where one character had several chapters dedicated to their voyage over, while the other character has little mention to the same voyage. Too much time was spent on food. I’m not joking, there were so many moments in the book where the author spent a lot of time describing the food they ate. While it adds to some aesthetic appeal in the world, it didn’t actually add anything to the actual story.
The Alskad empire provided quite a bit of world building. There is a rich history that we are briefly introduced on that explains why everyone, except the select few chosen to rule, is born with a twin. I wish it was explained a bit more thoroughly the ramifications early on what the loss of someone’s twin can cause, not just the fact that they are called a dimmy, looked down upon, and at some point succumb to a rage. I did love the idea of the connection that the twins could feel from each other and what it meant to the relationship they had and how it built them as a characters.
I think one of the biggest points this book offers is a world where there is LGTBQA+ rep that naturally flows. Because a singleborn can be born from anyone, not just an already established royal family, it was not stressed for royal relationships to be hetero to provide further heirs to the empire. With that understanding, the culture of the people seemed to be open to whatever orientation someone chose, without batting a lash or making a big deal out of it. It was simply a normality.
Another aspect that was woven in was the old-fashioned male/female roles were reversed. Jobs such as “papergirl” or the captain of a ship being a woman were just a few ways that emphasized the point of the traditional male dominate world was not coalescent with the one featured in the book.
Bo-Though he was such a naive little brat, his intentions are good, so he falls into what most may consider the cinnamon roll category. The entire time I wanted to slap his hand and tell him to stop being so trusting and put him in my back pocket for safe keeping. His vulnerability made him sweet and likable.
Vi-This girl has the fierce loyalty that everyone wants in a best friend. I enjoyed reading her character arc as she went from a girl focused on just surviving to a girl with a mission.
Blonde Redhead – Spring and by Summer Fall