For the first time in my life, I can say I felt embarrassed reading a book.
In my time I've read some nonsense, but the sheer ignorance the author displayed in “The Queen of All That Dies” was cringe-worthy to say the least. It came to that point where I couldn't even laugh at it anymore. What made the entire experience bad was all the opportunities the author had but missed to research some points that she chose to incorporate as vital elements of her story. What made it worse is the fact that majority of those were common sense.
If you ever wondered how to write a cheesy fluffy romance novel, then try to unconvincingly disguise it as politics and intrigue, thus proving you are absolutely clueless about either subject, then by all means, read this book, it will give you some excellent pointers.
The world has been divided to eastern and western hemispheres by a horrifying nuclear war. Serenity Freeman is living in the burned, barren landscape of the Americas. She lives underground in a kind of military base, with a handful of other survivors. Food is scarce, there is no sunlight. A true post-apocalyptic world. You get the gist of it, now listen to this....
She is an ambassador's daughter, and in the new world order where every move could mean the difference between life and death , the author chose to apply ancient distribution of power; inheritance, rather then merit as Serenity is called to attend with her father a meeting with the dreaded King Lazuli to negotiate the surrender and survival of an entire hemisphere. I thought OK, maybe she's a badass, highly educated diplomat with mad fighting abilities. The author simply chose to say this, “Next to my father I've learned useful skills.” - what those were, we never discovered. Another thing that stunk to high heaven was the described condition of Canada and Central America. As the author said herself, the things are so unsettled and dangerous there and a ruling government was non existent. Yet, here is this girl, surrendering a territory nobody has any control over...... Seems legit.
In the midst of all of this incredibly clever stuff , the author launches herself in thinly veiled backhanded praises of just how beautiful Serenity is. She is so malnourished from hunger everybody is suffering from, yet her friend feels sad for her and the look of her hipbones and her collarbones. Never mind that her friend is starving just like she is. Just so we know our MC is super thin guys. The supporting cast keeps subtly hinting how pretty she is, while she selflessly laments her life and having to wear a dress in front of the King, because she is above and beyond superficiality. Oh, and she has a scar, so I guess we were expected to believe she is above vanity as well. To all of those still not getting it, this is the part where the author pretends that all the frilly, trivial nonsense is actually a sign of incredible depth of character. And, if you wish to continue reading this novel, this is the part where you pretend to believe her.
But fuck it, even that isn't bad on it's own. It's the science....
Most of the developed countries on this planet possess nuclear weapons. Most of the undeveloped countries possess them also. There are a shitload of nukes around, and no matter how turbulent our world becomes, or how violent, nobody ever seems to use them. Why do you think that is? Majority of third-graders out there have an idea. The times of 'Little Boy' are far behind us and most of today's weapons measure in yield up to fifty times more. One single blast from those things and the fallout would encircle the entire Earth in a matter of days. If more then one bombs would detonate we would face a nuclear winter, engulfing the planet in a cloud of smoke that wouldn't lift for decades. Nuclear blasts and radiation are apparently magical in this book. A bomb strong enough to level DC goes off, our heroine survives it in a basement, not a bomb shelter....but a basement. She steps outside after a couple of hours with no ill effects whatsoever, she simply strolls away. Many more bombs detonate, across TWO continents covering one half of the globe, razing the soil, making the atmosphere toxic, and our heroine simply prances around in a dress and heels, waiting for a flight over to Europe. No hazmat suits, no precautions, no Geiger counters, no decon, nothing.
On top of being magical, the radiation is extremely polite too, as it stayed where it was originally dropped, as Europe continues on with life unscathed, and lush as always. As our Serenity says, the sky is even bluer there...
Just think about it... This colossal stupidity is the backstory of the ENTIRE novel. I mean, ignorance on a subject is easily rectified by a little research. If you don't feel confident enough, perhaps don't feature the elements of that subject as carriers for your story. Some time spent with Google at least could save you a shitload of embarrassment. I simply couldn't go trough this story with a straight face, because the author tried to portray serious characters going trough an incredibly hard life, by saying things that make no goddamn sense at all. Cringe....just cringe..