This Will Kill That by Danielle K. Roux
Publisher: Independently published (November 27, 2019)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: This Will Kill That
This copy: Beacon Book Box Deceptive Dangers
***right now this box is still available!***
Four teenagers in a world destroyed. Nobody knows how. Children of factions of aura colors who all want to kill each other. Two females, two males. But the girls are our main interest.
First there's Amaya.
"I'm an illusion, brought up to be a beautiful decorative object in a glass case. Inspiring and admirable. And completely alone. The girl on the pedestal... You know nothing about her, other than she has a good posture and fine dresses. She can become whatever you want her to be, that's the appeal. She's a vessel waiting to be filled. She can be brave, or strong, or meek and mild. She is enchanting...and empty." She shuddered. "But I'm not really like that. I'm not. I'm just as broken as you are. And just as lost."
And then there's Rin.
“We were conquering heroes. We were gods. The thrill of those moments where everything was burning, your lips and your eyes were the color of flames. You were the goddess of death, and I wanted you to destroy me.”
My first impressions of the book were: dystopian, YES! I like all the main characters. Let’s start with a murder, always a good sign. Does that say something about me as a person???
And then: OMG NECROMANCY? Clairvoyance? Oh hell yes.
There were some teenage things.
“Everyone’s trauma is relative. Pain is pain, regardless of how it’s caused.”
And some funny things.
“Best case scenario, they are some bored weirdo who likes to mess with people for kicks. Worst case...they are some bored weirdo who likes to mess with people for kicks, then murder them.”
And some true things.
"Families can be cruel," the man agreed.
"They think they know what's best for me because they made me. As though somehow creating another imperfect monster grants you the ultimate wisdom and powers of the universe. 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.'"
And finally the explanation of the title!
"What always got me," he sidestepped a pile of refuse, "was the whole thing seemed to be about duality."
"The sacred and the progane, kindness and cruelty, darkness and light," Crowley rattled off as they made their way down another twist of littered bricks and narrow walls.
"Waffles and pancakes," Rin added. Her mind was still full of breakfast.
“Good and evil,” Crowley continued, ignoring her. “The world is built of dualities of mutial destruction.”
“This will kill that...”
This series has off the charts potential. The idea is original. The characters are funny and relatable. The dialogue is interesting. The gay romance is intriguing and works at just the right pace to be believable. The underlying structure was just missing. I got to the end of the book and still did not understand what caused the Greens and Blues and Violets to murder Reds and hate Yellows. And if that is the piece of the puzzle I'm still supposed to be missing, I kind of needed the author to tell me that.
But the mystery seemed to be something else, seemed to be what the colors mean, how they came to be, and what started the apocalypse in the first place. And if I'd come to the end of the book and knew the answer was supposed to be the purpose of the series, I'd be OK with that. But the book didn't come to a conclusion. And ending, yes. But what was the adventure here? What was the story? I'm still not sure.
Even though it breaks my cardinal rule of a book in a series and doesn't have it's own story and conclusion, it cannot stand alone, I still loved this book. Danielle K. Roux is a talented writer. I just needed more underlying structure to the book. It felt like a run-on sentence, all coming out of the author's brain in pieces, as is the writing process! But it needed some better editing to put all the pieces together in a way that makes more sense. This book makes me regret never following my passion to become a book editor, because it's all there! The imagination, the genre, the characters, and the story! It just needed a skilled hand to put the pieces together. If you read many independently published books you'll find that this is pretty common. The part that surprises me here is that a publisher didn't pick it up. Whoever Danielle K. Roux sent this to that turned it down seriously missed out.
I've read some really good LGBTQ books this year, but these two characters really hit me as the best match, I loved them together.
“I thought...this person’s hiding. I want to be the one to find her.”
3.5/5, which would be a 4.5/5 except for breaking my cardinal rule. I'll definitely read the next one.