Meet My New Favourite Thing | Queer Characters Fighting to End a Space War, AKA The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis

The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis Book Review

Hi friends! Eeek, it’s been 2 weeks since I posted (again). I really want to move up to a once-a -week schedule, but I just not been ~feeling it~ lately. I’ve been reading pretty slowly too, so I think I’m just feeling a little burnt out. I’ve got plenty of post ideas waiting in the wings though, so I’m sure I’ll be back up and going soon!

Anyway, today I’m popping in with a review of a book that just released on the 4th of August. I was lucky enough to actually be invited by the publisher on NetGalley to read an ARC of this book (a first for me, very exciting!). And, look, I’m a simple bookworm. I read “queer space opera with non-binary hero,” I click.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is now probably my favourite read so far in 2020. It just had everything! Reading it felt like such an enjoyable experience (aside from the typical horrific formatting you can expect from an advance copy) aaaand I finished it at 2am. Which, y’know, I generally regard as a good sign about a book. Seriously, I’m so happy I got an ARC of this because I really feel like I was one of the first people to discover this book that deserves to be The Next Big Thing.

Pip is sleeping on my laptop as I write this post ❤

The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis

5 stars

Can I give this book 6 stars? Because it was 5 stars the whole way through and then the ending brought everything up a notch. You’re now looking at my favourite book of the year, and I had the joy and privilege of getting to read it as an ARC. I also now have the despair of waiting even longer for the sequel. It ended not with a cliffhanger but by setting up each of the main characters at the start of a new journey (a far better choice, in my opinion).

The First Sister is what most Sci-Fi wishes it could be. Epic in scale, with character’s actions having far-reaching consequences, yet close and personal on an emotional level, investing you in the unique struggles of each character. Best of all, it’s queer. So queer, and so beautiful.

This world is a harsh one, of war, abuse, people used as pawns, their personal agency taken away. There are many triggering subjects (I will provide a list at the end of the review) but they are handled with grace and care – the true horror of these actions laid clear, their consequences shown. Characters confront their ignorance and problematic beliefs, learning and taking action to do better.

In the vein of my other favourite Sci-Fi, Saga , this is a book about people from opposite sides of an interstellar war coming together to end it. A bisexual woman trying to reclaim her agency from those who have stolen it, a gay Latinx soldier figuring out where his loyalties lie, and a Japanese non-binary hero who’s just trying to save the worlds. If that sounds like all you’ve ever wanted (and it does to me), then I urge you to pick up The First Sister and enjoy it in all of its glory.

Trigger warnings (I’m not an expert at doing these so apologies if I missed anything) :
Mention of previous forced sexual activity (never shown on page). War, death, character struggling with PTSD. Racism towards an alien species. Slight spoiler warning for this one (but I felt it was too important not to include): a non-binary character being forced to present as a gender they don’t identify with. If you’ve read the book and think I’ve missed anything, please let me know!

Sooo have I convinced you to read this yet? If not, what more do I have to do? Because I really need everyone to pick up this book and agree with me about how amazing it is.

Love and lemons, Abi

12 thoughts on “Meet My New Favourite Thing | Queer Characters Fighting to End a Space War, AKA The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis

  1. I was sold when you said “queer space opera with non-binary hero,” but the rest of your review sold me even further! I’m so glad you’ve found a new favorite – that’s always an exciting feeling 😀 And this book sounds AMAZING. Basically checking all of my boxes. I love the sound of characters dealing with an interstellar war but on a more personal level. I’m definitely going to be picking this one up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m glad my review is convincing! I really enjoyed the way it looks at things from a personal level – the first half of the book is mostly First Sister and Lito being totally wrapped up in their own situations and only focusing on how to help themselves. (Meanwhile Hiro – the non binary character – is missing and communicating to Lito through audio logs.) Then as the story goes on they realise that their problems are connected to this whole bigger picture and they have to choose between just saving themselves or giving up everything to fight for peace.

      It’s such an interesting moral journey to watch. I really hope you pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to see that you found a new favorite in The First Sister! 😀 Not related to the content, but I love both those covers so much! :O I haven’t been doing well with sci-fi recently, so I’ll have to think this through, but I’m adding it to my to-read list for now. 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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