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ARC Review: Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders

Victories Greater Than Death (Universal Expansion #1)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This has an *awesome* cover, but just wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The writing was more juvenile than I usually expect from YA and while there were things about it I liked, there was nothing about the plot that drew me in. I was mostly just bored and hoping I would get through it quickly.

There was a large (too large) cast of fascinating characters, with varied and interesting backgrounds. And I loved how they introduced themselves with their pronouns as well – that was cool. But there were so many – especially the kids from Earth – that it got confusing trying to figure out which was which. They just kept blurring together in my mind.

My biggest problem with the novel was the main character, Tina. She’s supposedly an experimental clone of a heroic and well-loved captain, but she doesn’t have the captain’s memories (though she does have an encyclopedic knowledge of things her human self has never heard of. Basically she’s Captain Kirk. She’s reckless and impulsive, can’t take orders, and generally makes more problems than she solves. Her new knowledge is just enough to improbably save her from every scrape, which gets annoying. I think it was her who really turned me off to the novel from the beginning when she’s impatiently waiting for her beacon to activate and take her away.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing an e-arc for review.