Terminal Alliance
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ibsn13: 9780756412746

This book is a joke and not a very funny one. It fails completely in its stated goal of being funny.

The tonal clash between the comedic intent of the author and the violent story centered around a group of janitors trying to stop a genocide is jarring.

The characters are nothing more than caricatures and this is a trainwreck waiting to happen given the inclusion of a comic relief autistic character.

His stereotypically autistic behaviors are the punchline of every “joke” involving him and it’s infuriating. Like genocide, slavery and other topics covered in this book, autism is not inherently funny and the way it’s tackled in this book is insulting.

Is the inclusion of a character who reads as autistic inherently bad? No, of course not. It depends on how the character is written and how the author treats them.

For example, Terry Pratchett writes stereotypically autistic characters in his Discworld books (see Thief of Time and Going Postal for some obvious examples of this). But he gets away with it because these stereotypically autistic characters are surrounded by other oddball characters in stories that celebrate being different and celebrate people seeing the world differently than others.

This is the complete opposite of the hate crimes Jim C. Hines commits in this book, where he’s constantly punching down, pointing and laughing at the autistic character he’s chosen to include in his book.

Clearly this book isn’t for me and that’s fine. Humor can be very hit and miss, and this book is missing a lot for me.

If I wasn’t such a stubborn raging autist, I definitely would have dropped this book like a ton of bricks off a cliff instead of finishing it like an absolute clown.

But here we are.