SWIMMING IN THE DARK was incandescent!! It is perfect for fans of #callmebyyourname and #aristotleanddante and also #redwhiteandroyalblue ! It was also my last read of February and my second 5⭐ read of the month!
The book is a beautiful and evocative story set in the early 1980s Poland. As such, the political scenario is quite an intricate part of the narrative and it also shapes the thoughts and actions of the characters. The story is told by Ludwik Glowacki a Polish man living in America. The whole novel is actually him reminiscing about his past, and more so, as if writing it for his former lover Janusz. Janusz is addressed in the second person and it really made me remember Call Me By Your Name. Ludwik’s story starts from when he was of 9 years of age and met and fell in love with his neighbour Beniek, a Jewish boy, to his early 20s romance with Janusz.
The book’s central themes include Ludwik’s realisation of his sexuality, the way he deals with it, especially in a society where this is frowned upon, and thus, the aspect of shame associated with it; discovery of his selfhood as well as the tumultuous political times of Poland wrought with various trials for the people.
There is a beautiful sense of the bittersweet that envelops Jedrowski’s writing. I am entirely in love with it and am looking forward to a follow up to this fantastic debut. The way the author has portrayed the conflicting feelings that Ludwik has for Janusz because of their differing political ideologies etc, is also great. With such a lyrical prose and tragic undertones, this was a truly unique read, that will leave it’s warmth with me, like a dying hearth of fire, for a really long time.
Publisher: Rock the
Boat, an imprint of Oneworld Publications
Publication date: 6 June
No. of pages: 470
From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder An alien warrior with anger management issues A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.
a review copy from the publishers in return for an honest review. Opinions
expressed in this review are completely my own.
saying, if the cover does not make you pick up the book itself, then I’m sure
the synopsis will. Aurora Rising is an adventure story, set in space, one that
is bound to keep you turning the pages on and on, eager to know what happens
next. I was literally at the edge of my seat when I was sitting and reading,
and had to actually sit up in attention, when I had been lazing on my bed while
reading. Such is the writing of this powerful duo. I finished this book in like
5 hours and I went crazy throughout!
never been a fan of sci-fi, to be honest. So many of us are not. But Aurora
Rising has completely made us switch sides! Although this book is so often described
as a SIX OF CROWS set in space, the only similarity I found was the presence of
this crew, where each one is so very different from the other. Through all the different
characters in this bunch, we see similarities in what each of them faces. The leader
of this team in known as the Alpha and he is Tyler, the golden-boy. He misses
the Draft because he is rescuing a girl frozen in time. So basically instead of
having his pick from the best, by the time he returns, the ceremony is over and
the other Alphas have picked the cream. Throughout the story, we see the inner
conflict in Tyler – he regrets that he was missing at the Draft but then again,
he was rescuing this historically significant person in their universe. Later on,
he is conflicted as to whether be the good pupil he has always been and follow
the orders of his superiors, or to do what he believes is right.
is also Scarlett, Tyler’s twin sister who is bold and flawed and yet is so very
caring. The brother-sister bond that these two share is so much beautiful to
see. Their love is always shining bright between them. And may I just say how
wonderfully charming she is? Scarlett is the Face of the group, the diplomat
basically and is an amazing people-person.
we have the Ace – Cat. She is a very passionate person I feel. She hates with
all her might and she loves with all her might. Her love is real and made me
choke so many times. Her character arc is very relatable – her feelings towards
Aurora change from hate to respect and I love that the authors have made her so
bold. Women are too often subdued anyway.
is literally the girl out of time. She had been cryogenically sleeping, you
could say, for 200 years, without ageing. And now, her dilemma and confusion as
she comes to terms with her new surroundings and learns more about what happened
to her that has led her here, is heartwarming. Her behaviour is funny and so
very awkward at times with the rest of the team and I couldn’t help but laugh
at so many parts. Her character arc is also significant in this story and
although I think there could be more to it, I look forward to the rest of the
books in this series. She is a person of our times and the references she makes
were like Easter eggs to me. Especially Middle Earth!
the alien (that rhymed!) is also another team member. He has always felt different
all his life and his struggles with it – underneath all that sarcasm, is slowly
revealed throughout the story. Zila is a character whose back story has still
not been properly explained in the book and I am very curious about her, I admit.
I look forward to reading more about her.
Kal is oh0my-god hot! If you have a thing for the tall, dark and brooding,
handsome kind. Especially, elfin-handsome kind! Aurora describing him as
Middle-Earth is so relatable and that is how I imagine him too. And may I say
that I am an absolute fan of the mate trope!
writing felt very interactive in nature and the reading just flowed for me. I am
absolutely in love with this duo’s writing and so I think that I am slowly going
to pick up and read all of their books. The world-building was also very
fascinating and made me stop and wonder myself, how it would feel like to stay
there – after remembering that I was not actually in the story. There’s humour
and the characters are so fierce in their natures, it was a fast-paced ride of
a read! The plot was very strong and the inclusion of multiple POVs worked
wonderfully with it. When there are so many characters, having multiple POVs
often make the story lose its beauty but in this case, it only gave more depth
I loved this book and I rate it a solid 5/5 stars! I know this review sounded more like an ode to these amazing complex but lovable characters, but god! You all need to pick it up ASAP!
About the reviewer:
Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam,
and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She
publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction
etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the
NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines
etc. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .