Review by Caissa: Don’t Feed the Trolls by Erica Kudisch (DNF)

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Don’t Feed the Trolls by Erica Kudisch
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: April 3, 2017

Rating: DNF @ 45%

summary

Gaming while female is enough to incur the wrath of the dude-bros, and they’ve come for me. Instead of fighting back, I’ve created an alternate account. Male name, male pronouns. And I’ve met this girl. I’ve always liked girls, and Laura’s adorable and smart and never gives up, and she likes me back. Or rather, she likes the man I’m pretending to be. But I can’t tell her I’m a woman without the mob coming after her too.

And besides: I might not be a woman, not really.

The truth is, I don’t know what I am anymore. I’ve spent my whole life being told how I’m supposed to act and what I’m supposed to be, but none of it feels right. And my lie is starting to feel truer than anything I’ve ever been.

There’s a convention coming up, but the closer it gets, the more I have to choose: lie or fight. But if I don’t stand my ground as a girl, am I letting the haters win?

Then again, those aren’t the only two ways to live.

tropes-tags

F/GQ Pairing
Gay and Lesbian Characters
Pansexual Genderqueer Character
Contemporary Romance
Drama
Geek/Nerd
Gaming

Warning for:
Transphobia
Physical Threats
Rape Threats
Suicide

REVIEW

This book showed promise at the beginning, so I really wanted to like it, but after a while, I just couldn’t stick with it. It addresses an important topic, especially nowadays, of cyber-bullying and online games. Props to the author for that, even if some of the messages received by the main character were pretty jarring to read.

We’re introduced to the main character, Daphne (later known as Daphnis as they figure out their identity), and their two characters in the game Eternal Reign. The book flips back and forth between each character’s point of view so much and without much warning that it got hard to follow as the book went on. I also could have done without a lot of the details about the game and the characters in it. At times the book felt more like a wiki about *insert game here* than a supposed romance novel.

The storyline of Daphnis’ transition felt weird to me. It seemed very sudden – that they identified as a girl in the game and in real life (IRL) but only wanted to change their identity to get rid of the trolls. It almost seemed like they changed who they were just to get attention, which could be seen as offensive to some. I was happy to read that their friends were supportive, though. Everyone needs that. Daphnis’ acting, however, seemed mostly irrelevant.

I also didn’t like how Daphnis’ love interest, Laura, was described. “Laura turns out to have natural hair, cut not too short, and she might be the only black girl I’ve ever met with such prominent freckles.” That line alone made me put the book down. Seemed problematic to me.

I had high hopes for this book, especially since it had a non-cis but still queer character in it. But just like the comments from the aforementioned trolls, I think it’s best to avoid it.

more-from-author

Erica Kudisch lives, writes, sings, and often trips over things in New York City. When not in pursuit of about five different creative vocations, none of which pay her nearly enough, you can usually find her pontificating about dead gay video games, shopping for thigh-high socks, and making her beleaguered characters wait forty thousand words before they get in the sack.

In addition to publishing novellas and short stories as fantastika-focused alter-ego Kaye Chazan, Erica is responsible for the BDSM musical Dogboy & Justine, and serves as creative director and co-founder of Treble Entendre Productions.

She also has issues with authority. And curses too fucking much.

Connect with Erica:
Facebook: Erica Kudisch
Instagram: hardhandmaiden
Tumblr: shitmywriterwifesays.tumblr.com
Twitter: @EricaKudisch

You can purchase Don’t Feed the Trolls from:
Riptide Publishing
Amazon
iTunes
Barnes & Noble

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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