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  • Writer's pictureTheLittLibrarian

The Tensorate Series - Review

*I received a physical copy from TorDotCom publishers for the B2Weird Book Tour. All reviews are my own.*

I put off writing this review because it was difficult for me to formulate what to say. I spent most of my time worrying about how to convey my thoughts without offending anyone. In the era of cancel culture, simply having an opposing view to something popular has an intense backlash on the internet. While I don't want my personal opinions on the subject at hand to overshadow this book review, it does play a part in how I processed this story.

"Across four novellas, Neon Yang established themself as a fantasist in bold defiance of the limitations of their genre. Available now in a single volume, these four novellas trace the generational decline of an empire and unfurl a world that is rich and strange beyond anything you've dreamed.
In the Tensorate Series you will find: rebellious nonbinary scions of empire, sky-spanning nagas with experimental souls, revolutionary engineers bent on bringing power to the people, pugilist monks, packs of loyal raptors, and much, much more.
The Tensorate Series omnibus contains The Black Tides of Heaven, The Red Threads of Fortune, The Descent of Monsters, and To Ascend to Godhood"

A couple of months ago, I joined a book tour for The Tensorate Series by Neon Yang – an omnibus of four novellas (The Black Tides of Heaven, The Red Threads of Fortune, The Descent of Monsters, and To Ascend to Godhood) that traces the generational decline of an empire. I went into this book blind. Though it was expressed, I had no idea I was getting into a world filled with prophets, dinosaurs, assassins, and futuristic technology. What made me pick up the book was the artwork on the cover. It is chaotically gorgeous! Pretty covers strikes again! Judging a book by its cover duped me once again, but this time I'm not ashamed of it.

At the beginning of the series, the writing in the book was intricate. The details of the world pulled me. But as I continued to flip through the pages, the over-detailing started to bore me. For it to be a short story, Yang crammed in a lot of information, and I think it diluted the story's premise. It became more about world-building rather than telling the story.

Another aspect of the book I had a hard time with is the Pronouns. I found it very cool that children can choose what they want to be at a young age, but having twins as the main characters who haven't figured out which gender they fall in line with was difficult to process. I was perplexed. Both of the twins' status was They/Them, making it difficult to differentiate which character I was focusing on. Having a third option in gender forms is still a process for me, so I couldn't connect to the story as much as I wanted to. And for that reason, I ended up DNFing the book. I struggled to keep up with each POV, and I didn't want to do that for three more stories. It sucks because the storyline does sound interesting!

Overall I rated this book 2.5-stars. The Tensorate Series sounds like it could be an epic short story fantasy. But I couldn't grasp everything of what was going on. It has all the potential in the world! The premise sounds interesting, but I don't want to fight to get to the meat of the story.

The Tensorate Series is available now!

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