Ok I have to preface this by the fact that this is a very long book that I did not finish because of issues I will explain. I haven't included a synopsis because the blurb for the book doesn't resemble what I've read - I'm assuming that a lot more happens so I will say if you don't find the beginning 150-200 pages the same kind of road block that I did, there's probably a much meatier story lurking behind it.
But I was forcing myself to read long before I stopped and for the sake of an honest review, it doesn't matter if your book becomes awesome in the last 300 pages, if the first 300 pages are too much of a roadblock to meet it. But if you can get past that road block, you may love it.
Now - onwards:
Sometimes Inclusive Ingrid wrote this book to tell us that racism/homophobia/sexism/ableism et al is bad, guys. Let me tell you how bad it is, because it’s really really bad. Have you not seen how bad it is? Don’t worry, this book makes it very very clear. Example after example, incident after incident all explained in detail. It’s a wonderful lecture on the damage and prevalence of prejudice! Unfortunately what it isn’t, is a story. Inclusive Ingrid has sat herself down and written one long PSA, shoe-horned in some downtrodden vampires and a werewolf who wants to expound on their women’s studies notes, and neglected to actually include a plot. Or characters we don’t want to cheerfully beat to death with their own sociology 101 texts.
Every conflict is ridiculously simple (partly because of Tom and Albert’s uber-martial art skills. And of course an alien society that hasn’t known conflict in 1,000 years has martial arts); every argument with an enemy feels really scripted. They reminded me of when I was a teenager and I had imaginary arguments with people who pissed me off – they would make silly arguments and I would righteously slap them down and everyone would hail me as a rhetorical god. Of course, real life never quite works out that neatly and most opponents aren’t obviously awful and don’t usually do and say things that are so easily smacked down. But that’s how every conflict was resolved, the bad guy would say or do something patently ridiculous without any regard for the consequences or whether they were making sense and then the good guy would demolish them all with a palpable aura of smugness.