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Maker Space (Rachel Peng) by K.B. Spangler
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Maker Space (Rachel Peng)

by K.B. Spangler

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201515,329 (4.19)1

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I do so love Spangler's work. She's smart, sassy, and fun without sacrificing character growth and distinction. This is the second book in the series and it just leaves me salivating for more. Spangler is one of those authors who I dearly wish I could pay to write a book every three months and do nothing else.

Maker Space is really different from Digital Divide. And I think that difference really helped the book rather than hindered it. Rachel, the main character, isn't suited to the murder-a-week (or book) scenario. She's smart and jumping through the same hoops over and over again would do her no favors. She wouldn't grow as a character in that setting and we - as readers - need her to, as much as the character needs to grow in order to move the books forward.

I love Rachel, both as a character, but also as solid representation. Rachel is Chinese-American, a cyborg, blind, and a lesbian. And, delightfully, Rachel is so blessedly normal. Yeah, she's all kinds of different. But she's carved out a niche for herself where she goes to her job, comes home to a roommate who won't give up that one annoying habit, and *that* neighbor. She worries about house values and dating problems. People forget she's a cyborg because she's so normal. And no one says shit about her being a lesbian. It's so beautiful and wonderful and I could read Rachel all day.

It's really good to see a totally different kind of political intrigue. The shadowy, behind-the-scenes sort of things that happened in Digital Divide are something of a reality. But events that play out very publicly, like a bombing wherein the media makes sure everything is done under the heavy scrutiny of the public eye, are also reality. Government can't keep everything under wraps and watching Rachel navigate the public and private sectors in Maker Space was a dynamic I am glad was introduced. She kind of got off scott-free in Digital Divide, in that respect. That couldn't last forever. I do so love the differences between these two books.

I love seeing a little more of Rachel's personal life (her struggles with blindness, anxiety, how to date, her roommate), but also seeing the changes in her professional life. It was a relief that the most beloved characters from the last book were back in full force in Maker Space, as well as a little more chance to get to know them, personally, as well. I do so love characters who are real and present, but don't get in the way of the story.

I love this book, just as much if not more than the last.

A+ (standard of excellence in writing maintained, beautiful characters) ( )
  rjlouise | Mar 25, 2014 |
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