Steel Crow Saga {Paul Krueger} - Pokemon meets colonialism


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43264755-steel-crow-saga
title: Steel Crow Saga
author: Paul Krueger
pages:528
format: eARC
buy it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Bottom Line Up Front

STEEL CROW SAGA is a gloriously inventive and amazing tale that follows the very end of a war and tackles themes of colonialism and grief and racism and culture and A LOT MORE. After the ex-colonies of a Imperialist not-Japan successfully win their freedom, a bitter soldier gets tasked with escorting the monarch of not-Japan back to his throne. Alas, they kind of need him to be alive so they can do treaties and such. A princess-turned-law-enforcement-agent is out to catch said prince and use him as a bargaining chip in her family's internal power struggles. So it's a race across not-Japan to see who comes out alive, all while everyone involved learns some pretty hard truths and also EVERYONE HAS A POKEMON. Everyone is also gay. I think the pokemon might be gay, too, why not.
  • Anime references: ???/10 I suck at this game!
  • Aaaaaaangst: 5000/10 A war just ended and they aaaaall got problems about it
  • Snark: 10/10 Put Lee and Tala in a room together I'm begging you, Paul.
  • Gay Ladies: 10000000/2 Okay, technically only two of them, but they count extra because they're that good. My blog, my rules.

Did you say Imperialist Japan?

  • Yes, I did, and I was SO EXCITED to see that come up because
    • 1) Yessssssss, roast those imperialist fuckers for a western audience, does not happen enough
    • 2) A story about colonialism with NO WHITE PEOPLE ANYWHERE
  • There's also not-Korea (getting the short end of every stick), not-China, and not-Philippines.
  • Please forgive me, I'm bad with names, and you wouldn't know the difference anyway. 
  • At least, not until you read the book, which you totally should do. 
  • All of these countries interacting in various ways in the post-war power struggle is MOST EXCELLENTLY done and I would read the snot out of this if it was a series

Lorge Cast

  • There's one for every not-country
  • Gotta get them ensemble points
  • They are every one of them the best, though
  • I am mad about Lee's name. Maybe names work different in not-Korea than in Korea but... 
    • I'm gonna be salty anyway. Look, it's my one area of knowledge relevant to this setting, just let me have it! 
    • But yeah, they make it clear it's pronounced with an 'L' sound. 이 does not have an L sound.
  • Okay my petty is out of my system we can carry on now.
  • BECAUSE ALSO I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE FUCK OUT OF 이! SHE'S HANDS DOWN MY FAVE. SO FUCKING SNARKY! SO MUCH 'OH, I'M TOO COLD TO FEEL LOVE' HAHA YOU THOUGHT
  • Wait, no Tala is actually my fave. SO ANGRY. SO ANGSTY. SO MIGHTY. ARGH! PAINFUL SECRETS! SO MUCH PAST! I LOVE HER SO MUCH!
  • Wait, no, it's- okay, actually those two are tied. Xiulan and Jimuro are great, don't get me wrong, but 이 and Tala and I want to, like, hug and have a beer with.

Will I read this author again? His previous novel is Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge and it looks excellent.
Will I continue this series? He's said he might revisit this world, but with different characters. Might. And it won't be what he writes next. I have a sad face.


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