Review: Subversive, by Colleen Cowley

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This did not affect my review.

So I actually wrote my review for the sequel, Radical, before I started writing this one because I completely forgot it! Mistakes have been made, but fortunately they can be fixed! It’s been a while since I read Subversive though, but my opinion of the book and the series as a whole stayed the same. 😉

In a world where women barely have any rights at all, and wizards control the country in a highly unfair way, Beatrix Harper is a subtle force to be reckoned with in the small town Ellicott Mills. While working in a shop to pay for her sister’s tuition, Beatrix encounters wizard Peter Blackwell who returned home after many years away. And Beatrix’ well known stance against wizards and magic did not prevent Peter from forcing her to become his assistant. What were is intentions and how will this end?

This magical world is one of the most unique worlds I have ever seen. It reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale, with present-day technology but a government that’s way behind on people’s rights. The magic system is believable as well, with wizards requiring fuel to use magic. I can’t actually really place this book in a genre! It’s more of an alternative world that definitely could have been real if the magic system existed in our world.

The book consists out of 2 POV’s: Beatrix’ and Peter’s. This made the dynamics between the two so much more interesting! Both their POV’s were crucial to the plot and gave more insight in the characters and their motives.

One of the things I love the most in this book is that THE CHARACTERS DISCUSS THINGS. Instead of the usual fade to black technique that is used when characters make plans, we finally see the discussions and their outcomes! I’m guessing not everybody is a fan of that, so be warned because the book might come across much slower if you don’t like those parts.

And then we come to the romance… I’M NOT OVER THIS. Okay this is all I’ll be saying to avoid spoilers: the romance is unlike any other I’ve read and so is the tension between them. The way you interpret what I said is up to you 😉

I highly recommend starting this series. Subversive is an incredible fantasy book with a strong, feminist protagonist. The dynamics are complex and better executed than I’ve seen in many bestselling books.

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