Vanguard (Razorland, #4)Vanguard by Ann Aguirre
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

fulfilling my 2020 goal to read (at least) one book each month that i bought in hardcover and put off reading long enough that it is now in paperback. this one is even more of a karenfail because of how WOUNDED i apparently was back in 2017, five months before its pub date, feeling like everyone already knew about this book but me. i swear i haven’t been sulking this whole time.

i waited so long to read this book that i forgot A LOT of what happened in Horde, the book i thought was the conclusion of the razorland series. this matters because, although i remember plenty about the horribly-named deuce, around whom those first three books revolved, i remembered far less about tegan, who takes center stage here, and even less about morrow and millie and szarok, who grab plenty of spotlight for themselves.

five years is ages in YA-book-memory time, and my old brain cannot be expected to remember the details of secondary characters in some zombie* trilogy i thought was already in my rearview.

thankfully aguirre planted enough gentle reminder-nudges along the way that i managed to blunder through, and i think i 89% got what i ought to’ve out of it; connecting most of the dots i would have if i’d read the books closer together like a winner.

this fourth book takes place well after the events of the original trilogy and the world is very different—different threats, different opportunities, and the sheer amount of physical ground (or water) the characters cover here is exponentially bigger than in any of the previous installments.

aaaand, like the others, there’s a lot of love story bluck to wade through in order to get to the sea monsters and desert island survivally bits, but at least this time, ONE of the love stories is unusual enough to get me over the hump of my typical resistance to teen fiction humpin’ and even though i don’t remember szarok from a hole in the ground, and i remember only the barest facts about tegan, this is such a fine-mesh story about their experiences and feelings; two people who both feel like outsiders to the ordinary experiences of their respective people finding in each other a kindred spirit and yadda. if there has to be a love story (and by now i know that there does), this is at least the best kind, and i appreciated their devotion to their respective responsibilities taking priority to smoochin’. smoochin’ is for closers.

anyway, tl;dr unexpected tentacles

* ish


2/18/17 – oh my god. i feel like i’m always the last to know when awesome things happen. this, this is going to be an awesome thing.

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