LGBTQIA+, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Once & Future by Capetta and McCarthy | Review | Booksmagick


What’s it about?

Ari is the 47th incarnation of King Arthur and it is up to Merlin and herself to unify humanity against its biggest threat. In this incarnation that would be Mercer, the biggest, most ruthless company in the universe. Together with her crew – and Excalibur that she pulled out of a tree – Ari sets out on the biggest adventure of her life.


What I think about it

Gorgeous cover! Love it!!

I admit, it was hard to find my way into the story and more than once I wondered if I had accidentally picked up a sequel instead of part one of this new series. The characters had a lot of history together that wasn’t particularly well explained and it left me confused for a good part of the book. That’s why it took me a while to warm up to the characters that weren’t Ari. She obviously knew them and their shared history but I didn’t and the characters came off as a bit two-dimensional.

I loved Ari, though! She is tough, badass and doesn’t take no shit from anybody. She comes from Ketch, a planet that has been sealed off by Mercer for as long as she can remember because the Ketchians dared to rebel against the company. Ari is still on the run from Mercer.

The premise of the book is amazing! Queer lady King Arthur in space? Sign me the fuck up. I absolutely loved the queerness and the diversity in this book. There was representation across the rainbow with an ace character, bi characters, some were gay I think and the gender spectrum was more like a wonky line and the binary system does not exist in this milennia or at least is seen as a disgusting thing to avoid at all costs.

What about the Arthurian Legend?

Hm, yes I don’t know how I feel about the twist of the Arthurian Legend in space. Gwen for example is queen of a planet that has medieval earth times as a ‘theme’ which I thought was odd. Somehow I failed to combine a medieval setting with futuristic space stuff?

The plot was good and followed a red thread from start to finish but I had trouble with it all the same. Merlin explains how it comes to be that there have been so many incarnations of Arthur over time and why he and Morgana are sworn enemies but I didn’t really get it. Maybe I’m just not clever enough for this book? Their past is muddy and complicated (or not?) and I was having a hard time staying on track.


Conclusion

A book with an amazing premise that unfortunately didn’t really deliver for me. I was confused most of the time and I felt as though I was the new friend in a clique that new each other for ages and I was scrambling to catch up on their inside jokes. I had difficulties putting the medieval aspects with the sci-fi.

Absolutely adored how queerness and gender was handled and portrayed in the book and how many queer characters there were! Ari was the only person I absolutely loved! She is tough, snarky and badass. I don’t say it’s a bad book, just that it wasn’t the right one for me. If you’re into spacey queer lit, give this one a try, I’d say!


Bibliography

  • Author: Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
  • Pages: 368
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Release Date: June 3, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786076540

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