Published by Tor (4.11.2023)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 448 pages
All her life Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she readies herself to face the Wisdom, the all-powerful, reality-shaping weapon that gave the Majoda their victory over humanity.
They are what’s left. They are what must survive. Kyr is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet. But when Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to the nursery to bear sons until she dies trying, she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.
Alongside her brother’s brilliant but seditious friend and a lonely, captive alien, she escapes from everything she’s ever known into a universe far more complicated than she was taught and far more wondrous than she could have imagined.
A thrillingly told queer space opera about the wreckage of war, the family you find, and who you must become when every choice is stripped from you, Some Desperate Glory is award-winning author Emily Tesh’s highly anticipated debut novel.
This is a hard book to review for me. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this book, because overall it was just okay. The concept was really cool, but nothing about it really stood out for me and it was a pretty mediocre space opera. I think a lot of people will love this, but for someone who reads a lot of science fiction it might feel a bit generic.
The main thing I have to comment on is the main character. It’s been a long time since I so fiercely despised a main character. She was so awful that I almost DNFed the book because I could barely stand to read her POV. I mean, yeah that’s totally the point – I get it, she’s been brainwashed as a super soldier to follow without question. But holy god. It went far beyond that tbh, because Kyr was a straight asshole. She was horrible to everyone around her. She was selfish, entitled, full of herself, had zero regard or respect for anyone around her, and she was ignorant on top of that. The ignorance can be chalked up to her upbringing and background, but everything else was just because she was a terrible person.
[Kyr] had never understood why anyone would let a sex thing distract them so much. It worried her a little that Vic was being so visibly stupid about it. She was already so jumpy and fluttery so much of the time. It would be embarrassing for all of them if she got gossiped about.
That quote was after a Vic got separated from a girlfriend she CLEARLY adored. In another part, Kyr dresses down a younger girl and her team for wasting water, which was totally reasonable – except, she went above and beyond and outright humiliated the girl. (during which there was this gem: And she was enjoying, as she usually did, being in the right. Barf.) She takes credit for others’ accomplishments and acts like they wouldn’t have said accomplishments if it weren’t for her, which is just gross. (Oh and another fun line: Kyr had tried and failed to teach her, and if she couldn’t do it, no one could.) She treated other people like shit, then acted like they were the assholes (specifically, Avi). She treated other people like shit, then was all surprised when people didn’t like her or wouldn’t cooperate with her.
She did have growth, thankfully. I never ended up actually liking her, but she at least realized she was wrong and that she was horrible to people. I didn’t really care about any of the other characters, either, except Yiso. I did love Yiso! None of the rest were particularly compelling or relatable for me.
The Majo were interesting, and so was the Wisdom, but sometimes parts of it were a little hard to picture because everything was a bit vague.
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5