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Reader's Discretion Advised

...this confuses me. So...it's like tumblr...for books?

Either way, I'm mainly on Goodreads. I do occasionally come here, and also do periodically import my shelves from GR here, but GR is a more sure bet for contacting me.

Human Rights

Human Rights - S.L. Armstrong ETA: why does everyone else seem to love this story? Was there something I missed? Like, the entire plot? Or any plot? And also any sort of character development? Or real characterization, for that matter? Someone let me in on the joke, pleeeaaaase D:

soundbite review: "generic to the point of flat-lining"

I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either, and frankly, it bored me where it didn't confuse me regarding its premise. Hence, the one-star. YMMV. Clearly, seeing as so far, I appear to be the only one who didn't like this.

The writing is interesting because at first, it tries to lead you to believe that the MC/narrator voice is of a typical animal pet (dog, perhaps? There aren't really pounds for cats) by describing others of its kind as red-furred or whatever, but once the LI's cat-ness is revealed, it abandons that charade.

I get this overwhelming sense of meh about this story because I don't quite have a feel for the MC yet. At times he seems normal and I don't notice anything amiss, but then there are moments where he just seems so belligerently dense that I don't know how to handle it. It's not even counterbalanced by any delicious angsting so my first inclination is to look upon it condescendingly (yes, I know, because I'm an ass). Just...I dunno, it doesn't quite feel genuine, like moments will come up where the MC's subconscious is like, "Oh, yeah, I'm supposed to be a sheltered child sort of figure" so it's not as fully forced-feeling as it could be, but does also feel a bit disingenuous.
Or maybe I'm just an ornery, cynical bastard.

I'm at 50-something percent and rather put upon because the only purring I've seen are references to the MC's lack of ability to do so. Also, how exactly does one kiss a cat? The head shape is completely different, and then there's the matter of the split lip, and does a cat actually have exposed lips?
OH WAIT I SEE IT. THERE'S PURRING. Final-freaking-ly.

It's...well, it's a very placid piece. Shit happens and not all of it makes sense. Like that one scene with the prejudiced Guards. How the hell does the public think Humans are dumb animals? Hasn't it been clearly demonstrated that they can speak? Why is it an "I've read that" moment that they're possible sentient? Has no one bothered to do studies and shit on whether or not Humans speak and/or understand? I mean, we do those sort of studies on rats and primates and other animals. Do Felines/Canines whatever else not have scientists? I mean, Miab seemed to speak to Ewan as if he understood, but maybe that doesn't mean anything. But seriously, I don't get it. It's not even like Humans have a separate language that would make it confusing for the other races and make them think they're dumb animals.
But then...later, these other Guards clearly speak to Ewan, and aren't weirded out when he speaks back, and they have a conversation. A less than civil one, to be sure, but a conversation nonetheless.
Huh. Maybe it's like the white elitism during slavery times. Most people do understand that African Americans were, you know, people with sentience and all that jazz, but then there would be the radical faction that saw them as sub-human and whatnot.

This entire universe makes no sense. Do the not-Humans see Humans as idiots or not? Or maybe they see them as childish by nature? Sentient to a certain extent, but not capable of full intelligence? Maybe that's why they can carry conversations with them, but then "nod at their expected lack of understanding" at the stupidest times.

But then, not really. So I guess like the public secret, the one everyone knows about but pretends doesn't exist (that Humans are fully sentient and all that jazz). ...so, like slavery, but with less physical labor...?

But yeah, the story was...placid. It could have been a big political drama thriller. It could have been more conspiracy fraught with peril and intrigue and tension. Instead it was...
...placid, is the only word that comes to mind. Even when shit started hitting the fan, it was placid. Finally some shit happens, but we're not told why, which I guess I kind of get since it's from Ewan's POV and of course, no one would bother telling him, but you know, shit from his POV is pretty damn boring. And I dunno, Ewan's very passive. He doesn't do much. The only thing he really does do is implicitly initiate intimate relations, but I still think he more implied and let Jiat take action. But then, implicitly Jiat does stuff, but all we really know he does is meet with a bunch of like-minded people and hang out rebelliously.

That's it. That's why this book was so overwhelmingly meh. The MCs don't do shit. Or we're not told about the shit they do. Or even implicltly told about it. We're told it probably happens, and I guess we have to imagine it ourselves, but as far as the text conveys, nothing really happens. At all. Ever. Which is stupid. And pointless. Gah. Man. I paid 3.99 for a whole bunch of nothing? Boo

Here's the big question, though. Can Humans and Canines/Felines interbreed?