Oh boy. I really enjoy doing ARC reviews in general, but when I get to review a book that absolutely kicks ass? That's a treat. Without further adieu, here's a review of Abby R. Laughlin's The Cosmic Principle. Spoiler: It's getting 5 out of 5 spinny planets 🌎🌍🌏🌍🌎.
So. The characters from this book are going to live in my head until the planet stops spinning. I absolutely adored them. Sear is my favourite and not just because he’s a cat person. Which is to say, CAT PEOPLE. Laughlin created some fascinating sentient species in her world, and the individuals of those species shine like diamonds. If you enjoy characters that feel like real people (real cats and lizards too), you will adore The Cosmic Principle.
Same goes for the worldbuilding. What Laughlin made is a whole WORLD (multiple, actually) that seems real enough that you’d think you could visit. The politics, the geography, the history– it’s all there on the page. And it’s never infodumped out, but beautifully interwoven into the plot.
Ah, the plot. While I think the characters and world are the absolute BEST part of this book, the plot holds up its end of the bargain as well. It’s kinda hunger-games-y, but with way more found family. Which is fantastic, because I really like those underdog-led plots and this one has SO MANY UNDERDOGS. (undercats).
More into details-sans-spoilers, there were definitely moments I audibly gasped, screamed at the book, started speed reading to find out if my theories were about to come true… all the good stuff.
Also. As with every book, it took me a while to get through just because I’m a slow reader. But this story has the infrequently-given honor of me actually remembering the characters and plot and everything between reads because it’s so vivid. You know it’s a fantastic read when *I* can jump right back in.
So yeah. What a fantastic read! I didn't even mention how much wonderful representation it has: I don't want to spoil anything, but there is queerness on the page! I'm also preeeetty sure there is neurodivergence/autism rep, but that might just be me headcanon-ing. Besides, I don't want to spoil who I think is Autistic. (The who is multiple...)
Anyways I went and bought a trophy copy, because obviously the ARC came in ebook form. But you cannot put an ebook on a shelf. Tragic, but solveable.
Anyways. Go read it. Get it on ebook if that's how you roll, or nab a paperback; you can do so here. That's the british link, and the American one is here. (apparently you can also just change the .co.uk or .com to your own suffix for your country because they all have the same URL otherwise. The more you know!)