Ida by Alison Evans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I picked this book up, for me, it was pitched as a character traveling through parallel dimensions and getting lost within the timeline of her life. Ida, is a half-Vietnamese bisexual main character, who has since childhood possessed this magical ability of supposed "time traveling". Once doppelgangers start appearing everyone she travels and following her, the story gets a creepy twist that intensifies as the story continues.
Also, we have our love interest who is genderqueer and uses they/them pronouns that are consistently respected throughout the book was an amazing thing that I rarely see done. But when I do I can appreciate it, and also to note that this isn't an issues book, it's just about two queer character happily in love when a touch of turbulence disrupts Ida's life as she knows it. Also, Frank a close cousin of Ida is transgender and so These things combine is a part of why this book is brilliant.
Onto the writing, its a bit jarring, jumpy, and confusing in the sense that most of the time I actually didn't understand what was going on for most of the plot. If you enjoy that type of writing, go for it, but personally it wasn't my cup of tea necessarily. Because of the underdeveloped worldbuilding, I kind of felt like we didn't get to have a strong sense of the setting, therefore the sci-fi element of the story wasn't as prominent as I would have liked it to be.
I just wish that Damaris and Abratros weren't seeming so unnecessary to the story, in the sense that we don't understand why they do what they do, what general power they actually work for, and who they exactly are. Whilst they were quite intriguing characters, I wish that there would either be much more character development or that they would be erased from the story at all. No in between, like there was a weird flux here.
When I saw the author's note explained that this was supposed to be a screen-play, I kind of started to understand the abrupt and random scene changes. It would be better suited for a movie, to watch and develop on the screen than in the format it was in, in my opinion.
I would describe the plot as a meandering stroll through a calm field, the intense action doesn't kick in until the very abrupt end and that felt a little bit abrupt, it felt like you got jerked uphill and left there. But overall, I do think that this is an excellent shorter/lighter NA SFF book that features so much diversity and is an underrated gem that y'all should pick up!
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
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