LGBTQIA+, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

The Disasters by M. K. England | Review | Booksmagick


What’s it about?

Nax, Rion, Zee and Case didn’t freshly washed out of the Academy and are waiting for their shuttle back to Earth when the station is attacked. The teens barely make it out alive but everyone else on Ellis Station is killed. Well, except for the traitors who are now trying everything in their power to silence the witnesses. The washouts are the only ones who can stop a sinister masterplan.


What I think about it

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I loved it?! Like, it was amazing!! When I first saw the cover I absolutely had to have it and then I found out it was supposed to be LGBTQIA+ and I was pumped for it to finally arrive. As soon as I started reading I was drawn into the story. There was no lengthy introduction or build-up, the book starts with the attack on Ellis station.

You meet Nax, Rion, Case and Zee who just washed out of the Academy, their hopes to travel to the colonies in deep space crushed. The atmosphere is not great to begin with but within a few hours the four teens go from space school washouts to being scapegoated for an attack that killed everyone on Ellis station.

The set-up is kept classical: a group of youths are thrown together into a situation they have to work together to get out of again. At first they are cautious of one another but over the course of the first near-death-experience they slowly start to build up trust.

What I loved about the book

Ok, forcing myself to put some order in this review because I feel like I’d ramble on and on without making any sense.

  • Diversity

OMG, this book is so diverse!! Anything else would have been unrealistic and bland. There are people from all over the planet coming together to train at Ellis Station Academy which is located on Earth’s moon and the chance that all four of the washouts are cishet whites is marginally small. Makes much more sense to have a diverse crew. Loved it!! And yes, this book is LGBTQIA+! ❤ It wasn’t the focus of the narrative, the characters just happened to be queer and I need me more books like that! Nax is bi, it came up, it was acknowledged and then the crew moved on. Don’t worry, he is not the only queer character in the book but I don’t want to give away too much 😉

  • The characters

I loved all of the main characters which is unusual for me, usually I pick the most broken in a group set-up and declare them my favourite. 😀 Here I loved them as a group and how well they worked together. All of them are scared, have no clue what they are doing but they know they have to do the right thing. Nax is freaking out half the time because of his past in the pilot’s seat and a lot of his inner monologue is him trying to calm down and tell himself positive things over and over. I found this a welcome change from all the tough and badass characters YA usually has. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are badass, just in a different way. The characters are described realistically, they have layers, feelings and emotions and also their reactions to being framed as space terrorists are realistic. Case for example battles anxiety and there are several scenes where the others have to calm her down.

  • The writing style and humour

I can dig a book about queers in space that is well written and has some humour in it as well.

  • The book as a whole

I don’t know why but the book made me feel comfortable? Is that an emotion you can have? The entire book was filled with action and death and danger but I felt safe while reading? Like, some books are so dark and oppressive it’s more difficult to read them but with The Disasters I could just enjoy the narrative without having to fear that something so terrible would happen that I wouldn’t be able to sleep afterwards.

Which aspects didn’t I like?

I think there was a teeny tiny bit too much action in there? The characters have barely time to catch their breath and one dangerous scene follows the next. I’m sure it was done on purpose to show that saving the world is not easy and a lot can go wrong and not according to plan (they are too late so often!). So, in conclusion, too much action but I guess you don’t have time to rest when the existence of a lot of planets is at stake.


Conclusion

The Disasters is a fun read with a lot of action, well-written characters and loads of diversity. I am still in awe at how cool this book was? If you are looking for a fast-paced, humorous read that draws you in and doesn’t let you go, then The Disasters is your next read.


Bibliography

  • Author: M. K. England
  • Pages: 352
  • For Ages: 14 and up
  • Publisher: Harper Teen
  • Release Date: December 18, 2018
  • ISBN: 978-0-06-265767-1

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