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  • Posted February 24, 2014

    Maze's description goes like this: "From every corner of t

    Maze's description goes like this:

    "From every corner of time and space, sometimes people go missing without a trace. They never come back.

    Get lost in the long stone halls of the maze with the ones that find each other, form tribes, scrape out a life from rocks and sand. Their stories interweave. Maia Station is a scientist ripped from stasis, but she has no tools to test the way things are. Instead, she raises her daughter as best she can and survives. Wang Xin once had his head dipped in water, and a djinni in the water entered his eye. He sees the future, exactly as it was supposed to be if he hadn’t seen the light, but it does him no good in the life he has. In a world much like our own, Joseph comes home from a ten year high school reunion and encounters a light in the darkness. The light speaks.

    My name is Jenny. Put me in your lung. Breathe deep."

    It was interesting and made me think a little bit of Madeline L'Engle, an author I loved as a child. So, I put in a bid and won MAZE.

    I did not like it. In the least.

    Why? Because there are some serious issues with how this manuscript treats women. Reproductive terrorism and blatant sexism are ALL OVER the place. There were two rapes (one female victim, one male victim - I will give this book that much), a near-deadly assault, a mystical pregnancy or two, adultery, and spousal abuse! A man narrates a part that should have been a woman's story to tell. It seems we're supposed to sympathize with one of the rapists (the male rapist), but demonize the other (the female rapist). There is so much internalized sexism in the female characters. I THINK the author genuinely meant for the first and last sections to be good, independent women, but instead all I read was women at the whims of the men in their life. The scientist who suffered through a mystical pregnancy and ACCEPTED it as fact when she had the ability to change the course of her life from the future. The woman who worked her entire life to be self-sufficient and was then thrown out with her lover into barren wilderness for the crime of adultery, only to revert to entirely depending on her lover. Oh, and she did not marry her lover, but his BROTHER, because she got in a snit fit. And so much male gaze.

    I honestly only finished the book because I needed the complete the darn thing so I didn't have to wonder how it finished and have this book stay in my head. There is so much wrong here.

    Now, with that out of the way:

    The narrations are written in what I call internal monologue, a type of more structured stream of consciousness. I appreciate that choice. Stream of consciousness combined with the maze of interconnected plots would have been too much.

    The interconnectivity is well-resolved. Not everything is resolved, but most of it is. I appreciate that this book is not a neat package.

    The writing itself is not bad. The content is what gets me. This book needs trigger warnings. If you are at all sensitive to issues like I have listed, please don't read it.

    D (acceptable writing, interwoven plots well handled; unacceptable attitudes, terrifying treatment of women, triggers, sexism)

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