Travel Documents 54: The Girl Who Twisted Fate’s Arm

The Girl Who Twisted Fate’s Arm: A God Complex Young Adult Novel: The Road Demands Tribute

George Saoulidis  
Genre: near-future, cyberpunk, F/F, Corporate control

 Link To Buy

The Dust Cover Copy

Synthetic Intelligence.

Biker Amazons and Celebrity Singers

Sons Of Anarchy meets The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in this coming of age dystopian novel.

When the daughter of Greece’s premier singer fails to sing as expected, she finds out about a biker group of women. But will she manage to find the elusive Orosa, the bikers’ motovlogger, when all she has to go on are random street-sightings of criminal behaviour, when her family is opposed to her following this path and when her dad’s employer wants to keep her as she was for marketing purposes?

Do you want to know what’s next for the voiceless Aura? Do you wanna meet the Amazons? Then read this coming of age story in a world where fate is quite literal.

WARNING: “The Girl Who Twisted Fate’s Arm” contains drug use, low inhibitions, bilingual cursing, British spelling, European political correctness, a ton of stuff given in the metric system, worship of made-up corporate gods, Greek mythology reboots that are more heretical than Xena: Warrior Princess, references to male and female body parts, drinking, abuse, murder for hire, attempted murder, gangsterism, narcissism, transhumanism, LGBT characters, diversity, Dionysian orgies (alluded,) Greek folk music, fictional celebrity BTS, reckless driving on bikes, firing of guns (the kind that shoot people,) and the story of a girl who’s just trying to do what she wants in life.

The Deets

The Scene

Worldbuilding

I’m going to be honest: I was really excited to get into this one. It had everything I like; action, adventure, LGBT characters, mythology and neon. And the cover is gorgeous.

…annnnnd I ended up being let down. So, heads up, this review will explore what I liked, and point out the things I found seriously problematic. We’re told to say something when we see something; I did feel I needed to say something here.

Now, the world building? That’s pretty fascinating. Ancient gods are using new tech to feed on the worship of humans. Conceptually the story is interesting. A cross between Altered Carbon and American Gods in flavor with a Greek twist, the concepts of intersecting corporate and divine power and their influence over human lives are engaging. The gods of Olympus are fed by the likes and views given to their action-reality shows, to their indie action clips, to their highly produced music videos. They’re fed by their stock price and their sales spikes. They’re creating new versions of their own favorite avatars, such as the Amazons. New heroes and demigods are being raised up. And people are getting messed up. It’s a really neat premise.

The Crowd

Characterization

Sadly, the characters fail the premise. Badly. The main character seems to be a young lady who wants to break free of her gilded cage. She wants to ride a motorbike with the wind in her hair for Artemis rather than singing for Dionysus, and I find that admirable. But she strikes me as a bit of a milk-water miss beyond that yearning, easily swayed by the actions of other characters. The motorcycle-riding, camera-performing Amazons who ride to raise the viewership for their Goddess are more like action-movie extras than fully fleshed characters, and their behavior towards one another is casually dehumanizing and abusive, with regular insult and corporal punishment dealt out to members of their team. The attitude is supposed to make them tough and gritty, but for me it made them cliche. The characters involved feel a bit too stock in general, with little to differentiate from the pulp tropes of their genre.  That means when the characters cry for one another, it comes off as bad acting. The snarkiness and random cruelty thrown in seems to be there to try to add a Coyote Ugly vibe, but it mainly made me dislike the characters as a reader. Yeah, biker chicks. Yeah, terrible price for fame. Sex. Explosions. Guns. I’ve seen this movie.

Writing Style

The style used to tell the story was what really wrecked this book for me. It’s sold as a young-adult coming of age story. That’s definitely the wrong category. There’s sex. Graphic sex. And not always fun sex either. There’s repeated and slightly greasy use of the word ‘clitirous’. And the understanding of female sexuality and how the female body works…eeehhhh let’s just say it really needs some work. It was one of the sex scenes that finally decided me to write this review. Writers everywhere, please. When you’re writing women, if you’re not in a female body, ask somebody who is about it.  Poor writing about female sexuality isn’t just frustrating. It continues myths that are dangerous to women.
No. Being threatened without consent does not turn women on. No. Being dominated without consent is not sexy. Enough said.

Beyond that, I believe the writing may have been translated from Greek, and it’s got some glaring typos that I heard even in the (very well performed) audiobook. I mean, props for the hard work, but when I can hear typos in an audiobook that’s kind of a problem. These typos were things like the wrong word used, or the past tense used rather than the present and vice versa. A line edit would have been a good idea.

The Moves

Plot

The plot wasn’t bad, per se…but it wasn’t fresh. It felt like someone crossed the DNA from a few movies and let them mutate for a bit. The scene pacing really, really needed to get fleshed out and cleaned up. I felt less like a reader than someone who’d dodged a bad accident in traffic by the end: confused, discomforted, and a little dismayed. As so many Fast and Furious movies have, Girl fell into the trap of cramming action scenes together and thinking that, strung together, they’ll be a plot. Um…not really.

Overall Rating

Eh…if you reeeeally need some nasty gods, nasty sex and car chases, have fun. Otherwise, just go watch Altered Carbon.