Our first impressions of The Brangus Rebellion

Find out The Space Girls’ first impressions of SPSFC contestant, The Brangus Rebellion by R. R. Corvi.

As part of the Self-Published Sci-Fi Competition, my team (The Space Girls) has been given 25 books to read. Of this initial allocation (or ‘slush pile’), we are reading the first 30% and then voting Yes or No on whether we’d like to continue reading further. You can see our full allocation in my previous blog.

Here are the team’s first impressions of The Brangus Rebellion by R. R. Corvi. (You can find all of our first impressions posts here.)

The cover of The Brangus RebellionBook blurb

CIPA EVVY Gold Medal winner!

“The setting, 300 years into the future, is a strong character in its own right.” — Amazon review

The year is 2334. The climate-driven Collapse is two centuries gone.

Its survivors evolved The Union, a culture that has prospered in the harsh new world, in part by squashing stupidities that might trigger a global relapse. Of course, that’s a hefty challenge. People can be awfully stupid.

As a rookie cop in the Union’s national police, Lani Maxwell would normally be busy error-squashing. But she’s on probation, stuck behind a desk, counting fly specks. With patience, Lani might wait out this tedious torture and get back on track.

Alas, patience is not her style.

So, she noses into a place she shouldn’t—and into a deep and deadly conspiracy. The intrigue is stupid, she thinks. But the danger is real. It will make her life very complicated.

Or, if she’s not careful, very short.

Goodreads / Amazon

Our first impressions

Nancy: I have read approximately 30% of this book, and the plot seems to be going nowhere. No hint of a specific conflict such as an invasion from outside forces or anything. I am OK with books that take some time performing worldbuilding, but I do expect the main conflict to be announced a third into the book. There weren’t major typos and the prose felt fluid enough. But I didn’t feel any real worldbuilding outside of the ‘twp’ words that have joined the common vernacular. The protagonist named Lani does all sorts of horrible things and gets away with them every time. This is another story where the protagonist is in every essence a “good guy” villain that the reader can’t root for. The book might appeal to readers that like characters acting like edgy teenagers feeling very angry at the world for no reason and getting away with reckless crimes. (N)

Kerry: The prologue of The Brangus Rebellion gave me high hopes for this book. I loved the prose and R. R. Corvi made some good points about the dystopia that was coming and in which this story is set. 

Unfortunately the plot fell short of my expectations. Lani read like a sulky teen who was giving her parent a big FU without any thought of the true consequences of any of her actions and the rather meandering plot could realistically been set in any number of genres in any time period. I expected more from the worldbuilding after that great start. Take away the dystopian background, replace it with some other year and place and you’ve still got a bored disgruntled policewoman who gets involved over her head. (N) 

Katherine: So it made an often-referred-to concept called a ‘twp’ and expected me to pronounce that as ‘toop’. It wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t happen. I stumbled over it the entire time. Anyway, after the expository intro, we met Lani, the disgraced cop on probation who killed an outsider and is acting out. We get a flashback that shows why she’s on probation later, and it’s clear she’s trying to redeem herself by taking on a big unsolved case.

The rest of this book made me invent the term ‘sexposition’ (one word, not two), or the act of the main character delivering worldbuilding information to the reader by means of sleeping with several different subject-matter experts. I wouldn’t really have minded how she acted and slept around, if it didn’t seem like an excuse to get worldbuilding info from different people. The biggest problem was that not much happened fast. At 31% she was only just acting on the lead she got about the source of the leather, and I’d sort of forgotten what her case was besides some missing police officers.

Got to 35%, which is more like 41% when you take the appendices into account. Not much was happening, really, and she’d only just got the name of the boat after another bit of sexposition. (N)

Our verdict: Cut

Please note that these opinions are the judges’ initial impressions of only a part of each book. A book being cut doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad or not worth reading.