Author: Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Warning: Parental Abuse, Transphobia, Homophobia, Bad Flirting
This is a continuation of the story featuring the newest incarnation of the avatars of the seasonal gods and their never-ending quest to counter the devastating Chaos Seasons and protect the land of Challen. I hadn't read the previous books in the series but this one picks up after the next avatars had struggled to find each other and were now finally able to get down to the momentous task of taking over as Season Avatars from their predecessors, this time with a time traveler who remembers the villain who created the Chaos Season from personal experience.
I want to say I thought this was an okay book story-wise, but I would not recommend it. My opinion isn't because of the premise, which as listed above is appropriately epic. It's not so much because of the characterization of the four main characters and their interactions, which was reasonably good, especially considering I had missed at least one book of backstory. It wasn't even because of the main character, who I could not find a way to like. I will admit to finding the iterations between men and women incredibly hard to follow, but that is unrelated to the majority of my rant.
Reading this book was like pulling fucking teeth for me because of the gender and sex politics implicit throughout it. The book was set in a Victorian Era analog with magic, but the politics were kind of a mash-up of then and some of the crappiest stuff from modern times. I could not handle
that there was very little evidence of overt discrimination, but all of the society was still clearly structured in an extremely sexist, homophobic way. More than that, the existence of trans people was just disappeared. It felt like the worst example of political correctness, like if maybe we didn't talk about bad things happening they don't count.
Rant to follow below the break.