There was a point several years ago when I got frustrated with YA and all the teenagers saving the world/saving the universe. Part of my frustration was that I don’t want kids to have to save the world. I got over that fairly quickly, but I remembered that feeling towards the end of Promises Stronger Than Darkness. Now I am so grateful that teens have a whole body of literature about fighting oppression and fascism.
I might get a bit esoteric, because I don’t want to get too much into the plot. I will say though that this series is binge worthy. In Victories Greater than Death, Tina starts off thinking she is a galactic hero reborn. Anders subverts that chosen one trope and continues to do so through the series. Tina gathers friends, builds community, and together they tackle the forces against them. And even more importantly, they hold each other together with love and genuine compassion. They help each other hold on to the good inside them.
The enemy calls itself The Compassion. Their desire is to eliminate the species that they view as a drain on the universe – the species that aren’t humanoid. Marrant, the leader of the Compassion is legitimately terrifying. His touch can turn you to goo, and turn love into disgust.
Anders balances high stakes with an abundance of love, even with occasional silliness. The resolution leaves the kids with more work to do, but having vanquished the forces of genocide and intolerance.
I read this as part of the #TransRightsReadathon.
CW: Violence, betrayal, genocide and it’s justifications, murder, near death experiences.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Tor Teen and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.