Review of Activation Degradation by Marina J. Lostetter
This was really good! When I saw this was supposed to be Murderbot-ish, plus the fact that I just love sci-fi, I realized I had pretty high hopes this would be a good fit for me. While this has a bit of a similar feel to Murderbot, it is definitely different enough that it feels fresh and not just a copy. I think Murderbot fans will really enjoy this, but I also believe sci-fi fans, who like good humanity and found-family type of stories, will too.
The writing is really good. The book is about 500 pages and I only stopped once because it was 3 am and I had to sleep. There are some slower parts, but there are good action moments and just interesting scenes that really keep the story moving. I think it is a testament to Lostetter’s writing that I was hooked even during the slower parts. There was only one small part, of one action scene, that I had a little trouble imagining, but other than that, everything was very clear and the book played out like a movie in front of my eyes. Speaking of movies, I could see this making a good movie or limited series, but it 100% works very well for a book too.
I was really happy with how LGBTQ+ friendly this book was. There were intersex, nonbinary, pansexual, and gay characters and I might even be leaving someone out as there are a few side characters that I lost track of a bit. There is a side m/m relationship and there is an f/nb romance. This romance is very light, and just at the real beginning stages, but it was sweet and I was rooting for them as a potential couple.
There is a lot more that I would love to talk about but this story has a lot of twists and turns. And just when you think you might have it figured out, Lostetter says ‘no way!’ I really enjoyed the sci-fi mystery of this book and I thought it was well written and fun. This is a standalone book but I would absolutely read another book or even novella in this world.
TLDR: A really good LGBTQ+ friendly sci-fi read. Lostetter writes really well and it is easy to stay engaged even during the slower moments. Lots of fun twists and turns, and a main character that is very easy to like. Murderbot fans should really enjoy this, but I think most sci-fi fans will too. If this author writes more LGBTQ+ friendly sci-fi, I would absolutely read it. 4.25 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for a review.