Book Review: Space Unicorn Blues by T.J. Berry
Throw Star Trek, My Little Pony and all the social critique you can think of in a blender. Press the button, and voila. You’ve got Space Unicorn Blues right there.
I came across this book by accident and decided to go crazy and just get it.
With that title, how could I resist?
As always with a new book or pair of shoes, I just had to try it on right away.
The first paragraph sucked me in immediately as the protagonist enters a seedy bar where everyone is basically looking for a way out.
He enters into a game of intergalactic truth or dare in an attempt to win his spaceship back, knowing that every human in the bar will try to arrest, confiscate or report him if they find out who he is.
Among the characters we meet in the opening chapter of the book are a wheelchair-bound lesbian spaceship captain, a gorgeous trans bar owner, and an assortment of magical creatures who turn out to be aliens rather than mythical beings. And let’s not forget our protagonist, Gary. He’s an asexual, part-human space unicorn.
Most humans look down on these aliens and treat them more as a resource than as actual living breathing people.
Sound familiar at all?
By now, you probably have a pretty strong idea of the messages the book tries to convey. You should read it though. This is only the beginning.
The main cast makes it onto a ship that, when managed properly, turns out to be a self-sufficient ecosystem, but of course, human meddling has thrown its delicate workings completely off balance.
Gary and his companions embark on a crazy adventure that I’ll have to read again at some point. Just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. There’s just so much going on, and Berry does a great job of keeping the story coherent. The world she builds makes perfect sense, despite the outlandish society made up of a variety of magical aliens.
Is it a flawless book? No. I don’t think those exist and the more I learn about writing, the more I become certain of that.
There are one or two places where the narrative gets a bit headhoppy, but as picky a reader as I am, I can forgive that. The story more than makes up for it, as far as I’m concerned.
Space Unicorn Blues behaves like a box of chocolates all the way through to the end. You never know what you’re gonna get.
The minute you think you have it figured out, Berry will prove you wrong.
All in all, it’s a book I would definitely recommend.
If you decide to read it, do let me know what you think.