Arctic Wild is about second chances, new adventures, and the dynamics of caring for each other. We meet imperfect people where their lives unravel, and watch them unfold beautifully into who they really are. The story honours learning to accept help and asking for what you need –physically, emotionally, and sexually. It's more about that journey than it ever is about the plane crash or being stranded together.
- love girls or the tv show Younger
- are interested in the book publishing or publicity industry
- want a book that's definitely in 2019 --with dating apps and influencers in book marketing plans
- want to read women in business being bosses and also super kind and supportive and generous to each other
This is a book for you.
Fair warning: Unlike basically every other Annabeth Albert book, the military plays a very small role in Arctic Sun. Griffin's got a bit of a limp due to an injury from his time in the military, and we're told that he has surgery scars and burn scars on his back and shoulders when River notices them, but there's no discussion or conversation about it.
Told from two perspectives: Layla, a bi pathologist PoC who loves her wife and kids but is uncomfortable inside suburban life, and Nat, a blue-haired, genderqueer composer who runs charity that supports young queers. Nat and Layla are metamours who are uninterested in being friends. And the dislike between them is amplified when their strange and mysterious magician lover, Meraud, goes missing mid-spell, leaving only clues for them to find him. When they eventually they decide to work together, (For example, when they pose as an engaged couple to get into a church meeting and "Nat attempts a cisheteropatriarchal smile" Lol) they find a joy in each other that turns the ending into something that --while not romantic-- is totally totally sweet.
It's worth it alone for the excellent descriptions of what a real life house and headspace is like while raising young kids, but there are also AWESOME queer side characters that I hope we get to see in future books! If you're looking for a Romance arc, this isn't gonna hit the spot.. but it's delightful and charming and feels like a drop in the ocean of good queer content. It's the perfect read for an evening spent by the fireplace.
Content warnings: there's a couple mentions of Meraud liking to be tied up, marks on his wrists. It's never explicit, just flashes of memory relating to it. Nat was a foster kid, and we hear from some of the people at his charity, mention of what life as a foster child and queer youth in the foster system. There is also at some point a corpse discovered, that is believed to be Meraud but it is not.
I don't mention it in every description, but all of these are queer. There is literally one hetero romance in here and I am not sorry. So if you're like me and you're like "Oh that book sounds great, you know what would make it greater? If it was queer!" --now you already know that it is. :)
I am not particularly fond of anthologies; in fact about a year ago I decided not to read them anymore. I don't enjoy the inevitability of being pulled into and away from characters, emotionally investing in them and then being told to move on. But I've been wanting to read a Nathan Burgoine book for a while, and was promised a collection of unabashedly queer stories with (videogame reference alert) easter-eggs scattered like jewels between them, and so I simply had to read Of Echoes Born.