Book Review: Amazing Grace by S.E. Sasaki
Review: Amazing Grace, Book Three of The Grace Lord Series
This is the first line of the book: “The first instant Damian Lamont realized his squad was in a shit storm was when the severed head of Private Manuel Kawaguchi crashed into his faceplate.”
I’ve been pondering on how to review Amazing Grace over the past couple of days. You may ask why? I have clearly added the first line above because I want to share it with you. Well, get ready for some ramblings…
The first scene hooked me: a dense forest, genetically-modified space marines fighting for survival and an idea I’ve not come across before: An armoured suit which puts you into cryo-stasis ready for collection should you be mortally wounded. Pure genius.
Then the second scene threw me. What is this dialogue? I asked myself. There is nothing wrong with the spelling or grammar. S.E. Sasaki has that down. But I found something was off. As the scenes progressed, I found myself comparing this story to a sit-com. Something not unlike the medical dramas popularised on television, romantic threads included. I rolled my eyes.
Fear not, gentle reader.
Because then, I met Bud. Bud is an android, and Bud showed me the light. The dialogue wasn’t off, is by design. S.E. Sasaki isn’t just funny, she’s hilarious. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a comedic book, it’s a drama with humour and the humour is both smart and silly. There’s even medical jargon, written in a way that I could not only understand it, but laugh with it. You will laugh too, you may even cry.
The characters are both satirical and three dimensional. Their dialogue is exaggerated and fun – much like the book. It has adult themes, and some dark elements – and Sasaki blends them all masterfully with her humour – which in my humble opinion is best when dark and with Plant Thing. I’d recommend this book on that character alone.
In closing; when you meet someone, you can like them or not like them in an instant. If you don’t like them, but they manage to change your mind, you will like them more than if you liked them off the bat. There’s science behind that somewhere, I remember it from college, so it must be true. The point is that this is how it was for me, I didn’t like the book off the bat, but by the end of chapter one I’d grown to love it. Looking at this is book as a satire with strong themes of intolerance and prejudice, I find it oddly comforting that it was able to change my initial perception. Who knows, maybe there’s hope for us after all?
Amazing Grace is available here at Amazon.co.uk.