Do You See What I See?

There was something I forgot/neglected to mention in my Strange Angels review that, upon second thoughts, shouldn’t just be put aside. I didn’t initially include it because I was afraid I’d misunderstood what I’d read.

Graves is part-Asian, and that was never a problem for me. Dru’s descriptions of him, however, made me a bit uncomfortable. I remember counting three different occasions, but this is one actually made me dog-ear the page (p183, Oz edition) for future reference: For an ethnic boy, he certainly got pretty white.

This morning I hit Google to see if anyone else noticed in the book what I’d noticed.

Adele of Persnickety Snark did here: The focus on Graves race also was concerning with the term half-breed (and other variations) being used.

Jia of Dear Author did here: And speaking of reader biases, what was up with all the descriptions of Graves’s Asian features? I’d be lying if I said the reference to Graves being lucky that he hadn’t drawn the “really slit-eyed card a lot of half-breeds have to play” didn’t make me frown.

Jenn H. of Oops…Wrong Cookie did here: However, Dru’s constant references to his “half-blood” status and features are obnoxious and borderline racist. Do we really need to be constantly reminded of his half-Asian features and mathematical abilities? It is a horribly overdone cliché for an otherwise great character.

For the record, I’m a white Celtic-Australian, and have no issue with the author – she seems like a lovely lass. Dru, however…yeah, not my favourite person right now.

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4 responses to “Do You See What I See?

  1. Pingback: Twitted by TezMillerOz

  2. Yep. I totally noticed. I’m half asian so yeah I noticed! I also noticed Dru using a lot of slang words to describe other creatures so my HOPE was that this is something she needs “education in” shall we say and it was part of her rough edged character which gets addressed in a later book. I kind of wish I’d mentioned it in my review too, but I wasn’t sure if as an ARC it would make it to the final book. Reviewers remorse. Just makes me more careful to try and lay out everything that bothers me in a book next time.

    • Yeah, I thought it was odd that you didn’t mention it in your review, but I didn’t mention it in mine, either ;-) Kind of wondered if I was misunderstanding what I was reading. Thing is, I’m cool with saying “half-breed” if you’re taking about, eg. half-vampire, half-werewolf. But not cool when it involves ethnicity. Which I think means I’m racist in regards to supernatural creatures, but not human beings. Maybe because I think humans are real, but preternatural beasties are not? Should I feel shame?

  3. Yeah, it’s really in the delivery, you know what I mean. If a friend called me a half-breed, I wouldn’t care. If someone was doing it to be an ass, I’d be annoyed. With Dru, it gave me pause, but I didn’t feel any negativity from her character, just a kind of rough around the edges, doesn’t know better, means well vibe, so I guess that’s also part of it: like… hmmm… not sure about this word but not quite offended. Wondering if I should bother being offended.. I waffled back and forth on putting it in the review, but I think I should have because other people WERE offended and I wished I’d put it out there as a heads up. But Eh, whatever. Overall I DID like Dru and Graves and the book.

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