This book was so weird! And yet, I liked it more than I liked her first book, which I just never gelled with. I’m not sure that I liked every bit of this book (hated some of it, actually) but overall it was interesting.
It takes place on a tidally locked planet (a planet that doesn’t spin on its axis, so that one side is always in dark and the other in light). The planet is called January, and humans migrated there hundreds of years before on a generation ship. They have inhabited the only place on the planet that is livable: the prime meridian. The night side is too cold, and the day would boil any human alive.
There are two narrators: Sophie, a resident of the highly regulated city Xiosphant; and Mouth, a smuggler whose crew moves goods through the dangerous landscape between Xiosphant and rival city Argelo, the city that never sleeps. Sophie, who is meek and taciturn, is thrown out into the cold night by the city’s authorities, but instead of dying is saved by and makes friends with the planet’s alien inhabitants. Mouth wanders the hostile planet trying to find meaning, after the death of the nomads that raised her.
I won’t spoil anything from there. I’m just going to end this review of very weird but ultimately likable book by stating the thing that I liked best about it, and the thing I hated the most. The thing I liked best were the Gelet, the alien natives of January, who live on the night side, and have a really, really interesting culture and way of life. The thing that I hated the most was Bianca, Sophie’s friend from college, and the person Sophie inexplicably loves the most in the world. She is extremely unlikable. Selfish. Petty. Vain. And it made me think less of Sophie the entire book that she loved Bianca so much.
Glad I read this one, will keep reading her books. She seems to like to change things up. This book was incredibly different from her first one. I’m curious to see what she comes up with next.
[3.5 stars, rounded up]