Review Request Time! Today is something really different for Neko! An alternate history with strong political and feminist ties. Women are called to the front lines, and Books, Boxes, and Baubles is the FIRST blog to review it! Come check it out with us! And I was provided a free copy of Warriors in exchange for my honest opinion.
Author: Pamela Sandberg
Published: 2017/04/21 (Hopefully)
Synopsis: A virus outbreak in America leaves men fatigued while the country is on the brink of war. 1950’s housewives are called to the front lines to take over including one young mother/housewife named Lee Smith. The book follows Lee throughout her war career and life afterwards. Alongside Lee’s story is her daughter Grace’s story about being brought up in a changing world.
My Thoughts: Way different from my normal reads! (I’ve been doing this a lot recently…) Warriors, as said above, is an alternate U.S. history where women go off to fight while most men remain at home due to a virus that effects only males causing horrible fatigue. Somehow I don’t think it would be good for jet pilots or tank operators to fall asleep mid battle… Just saying though ^_^ We first follow Lee a young wife and new mother as she first learns about the virus, it effects her husband, then is drawn into the war as women everywhere answer their draft calls. How’s that for equality? Women getting drafted! Alongside Lee’s story readers are given adequate story to build up and explain what all is going on, in an alternate this is really helpful and Sandberg does a great job of keeping things lined up with our own timeline. The big difference is Lee’s universe is women’s rights on steroids! As the war ends and the ladies return few want to go back to being just housewives now that they have experienced so much else! It is a trying time as husbands and wives try to find a middle ground, which of course not everyone is able to do. Soon we have the Liberal Ladies versus the Conservative umm… Gents? (Can’t think of a c word for dudes… ). Beyond the political changes are more women in positions of power like CEO’s, Generals, Business Owners, Educators, Congress-People, etc.
In between the Lee’s story and all the on goings we also have Grace’s story. Grace is Lee’s daughter growing up in a time where women have more rights and no longer stay at home in pearls and heels doing chores. Grace’s generation is the first in this new world and she handles things pretty well taking everything in stride as she tries to figure out who she is and what her calling is. Eventually Grace decides on Psychology (Lee becomes a lawyer) and helping the women veterans like her mother. Through school, work, and relationships Grace discovers who she is, what she believes in, and what she wants out of life. Other than Ralph the Riveter (that made me laugh), Grace was probably my favorite character, though she could be a bit neurotic at times.
The most interesting part of the book though is the historical side stuff, Sandberg changes some of the presidential candidates but keeps all of the key players, even Saddam Hussein and Tricky Dicky make an appearance!, and significant events throughout American history from the 1950’s through 2020. And all the back and forth bickering a politician could crave is also present, when do the parties ever agree on anything?
Another interesting point is that the made up presidents and candidates are based on real life people like Bush Jr. and even Trump. Also while the women’s side is usually seen as the “good” guys they do make mistakes and fall to their egos just like the men as one Female President finds to her dismay.
My one issue, I guess, is that at the beginning the virus is discovered then just kind of dropped. Now I do understand that the book isn’t about the virus it’s about women rights getting a serious boost and the conflicts that arise from this, but I still would expect people to work on a cure. And why did it only affect American men? And only those who hadn’t been to Europe for an extended time? I mean, dude infect the whole planet, find a cure, and conquer the world! Neko needs more sleep… But it was just dropped, no cure, no nothing. The men seem to get better after a while but… It left me hanging and wanting more, especially from the guys opposed to chicks in charge.
Overall it was an interesting read, I just wish I knew a bit more American history to compare the two ^_^ And while I usually don’t like lots of political stuff this was a good story that could very well have happened.
If you like Alternate Histories, Feminist views, or Political stories then give Warriors a go, it is sure to be an interesting read! And look forward to more books from this new author!