Scale-Bright (2014)

Scale-Bright

Scale-Bright, a novella by infamous internet troll Requireshate and writer Benjanun Sriduangkaew clearly shows that despite the commonly accepted opinion that her two personas are widely different, one overly acerbic while the other more mild-mannered, some personal quirks are much harder to hide. It’s a story about female characters front and center. Males, if they appear, are at best incompetent or stupid, at worst malicious.

As for the rest, the novella itself as well as the supplementary stories that takes place previously to the main novella, are exceedingly well done re imagining of old myths, reinterpreted and told with an obvious focus on how the females carve a place out for themselves, despite what society or other people tell them how they should behave and do.

Unlike the stories preceding it, Scale-Bright takes place in modern Hong Kong, and while it takes some characters and motives from myth, it tells its own story instead of reinterpreting one. If you pared it down to the essentials, you could say it’s kind of a romance mixed with a prison break, but that sort of misses the point.

It’s urban fantasy, but the writing is of much higher quality than you usually get, much more lyrical. You can say about the author what you like, but her control of language is finely honed and always fitting. The main characters journey is cliched (find out who you are, what you want), sure, but the delivery is so well done, that it’s hard not to feel with her and when the end rolls around to be happy that she got the ending she and you as a reader were hoping for.

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