This April, author partner Lauren L. Garcia released the FOURTH book in her Catalyst Moon series! We featured Book One, Incursion, as our Spring 2019 BOM.

Incursion’s original cover
Incursion’s special edition cover, featured on our ebook version

The series also includes Breach, Storm, and now Surrender. I figured that our readers might not have read the other books in the series yet, so instead of jumping to Surrender, I’m going to review Breach. Don’t worry, this review will be spoiler-free.

Haven’t read Book One? Read our review of Incursion here.

My posting schedule got a little out of wack in June, but luckily the Catalyst Moon series is SO diverse, almost every letter on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum is represented! What a great way to close out Pride month!

Trying to stay focused on Black voices? Check out our posts on Black activists, Black Lives Matter, and of course Black authors: Cerece Rennie Murphy, Alesha Escobar, Briana Lawrence, Sharolyn G. Brown.

Now, on to the review:

Not offensive to women = 1/1 pt; Features a woman as the main protagonist and/or supporting character = 2/2 pts; Passes the Bechdel-Wallace test = 3/3 pts; Artistic and/or Entertaining = 4/4 pts

Breach – this is the new cover style for the Catalyst Moon series

Breach drops us where Incursion ends: at Whitewater Bastion, the location both Kali and Stonewall had been dreading, because it would mean the end of their forbidden romance. 

Kali is relegated to the mage’s bastion, a prison despite finding old friends there. Stonewall is promoted within the Sentinel ranks, but his situation is little better — a sentinel is a lifelong position, one which Stonewall is not free to leave. Even if he does, his life has been foreshortened by the use of hematite, a drug that protects Sentinels from magic.
 
Kali and Stonewall try to stay apart, but they are soon drawn back together despite the deadly risk.
 
I liked how Book Two broadens the scope from Kali and Stonewall. Characters who are introduced in Incursion get more screentime, and we  see more of the Catalyst Moon world.
 
I also liked the extension of Kali and Stonewall’s dramatic tension. There actually are huge forces keeping them apart, and to choose each other means setting in motion something larger than themselves–no wonder they think they should just break up! But with the thralls threatening all of Aredia, and the people blaming mages, Kali and Stonewall slowly start to become braver, and ready to risk it all.

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Above and Beyond General Media = 5/5 pts

As I intimated above, this book gets full points here for the diverse spectrum of

Incursion’s gorgeous new cover

sexuality represented. In actuality, these LGBT+ characters were already present in Book One, but we didn’t know it because the story was focused more on Stonewall and Kali.

As the pool of characters expands, so do their private struggles to find love in a crazy world. It would have felt disingenuous not to include diverse romances, and yet so many authors somehow manage to have huge casts of heterosexual characters.

Not only is the representation diverse, so are the love stories. Drama knows no boundaries! And there’s no easy road to love or healing or growth for any of the characters, no matter their orientation. So beyond simple representation, there’s a richness to all the LGBT characters and they are given as much time and thoughtfulness as the heterosexual characters.

And as a side note, the series also has new covers, which show the main characters’ races. It’s always nice to read fantasy with explicit representation, and to be able to make recommendations based on that inclusivity.

Score: 15/15

Pick up your copy of Breach here. If you haven’t started the series yet, you can get the special edition of Incursion in the F-BOM Bookstore.

And be sure to check out Lauren’s website here so you can stay up-to-date on her books!

Her Story Arc Scale of Inclusivity image, a yellow number 15 inside of a pink Venus symbol

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