This is a fantastic and powerful read that grabs you right from the beginning! I did not read this right away because I thought... Muslim Superhero? Ummm riiiiiiiight, and then I said to myself, oh gods a book that speaks against the violence of muslin women... OK I am against it but do I want to read a book about it in the guise of a superhero novel? So I put it off, BIG MISTAKE! I read the author's other pieces and realized I may have jusged to quickly so Christmas Eve I gave myself an early present, picked it up and read, read and read and I was unable to stop reading till I was done. And at the end of the book, with my mouth open, I kicked myself for not giving the book when I first received it!
This is not just a superhero story, this is not just about the plight of the Muslim women, this is not just about ... well it is about a lot of things! Ms. Tyler has not pulled any punches - misogamy, religion, greed, corruption, abuse, and right off the bat - rape. As a rape survivor so many times when I read a rape scene it is handled without care, full of gratuitous violence, and most of the time times sloppy. This did not even trigger me except for moving right to feeling righteous and wanting to get up and fight!
Where is the superhero you say? Recai Osman, son of a billionaire in Elih, Turkey. After attempting to help someone, he finds himself beaten and left for dead in the desert with the city no where in sight. Taken in and cared for by an elderly Jewish man with the help of his daughter. After recovering, resting and some true enlightenment (you have to have a superhero mentor)Recai is back in the city, though still recovering when he has a run in with a corrupt organization which changes everything and dark local hero was born... THE SANDSTORM! I giggled a bit but it was so well done I just could not help myself but ohh and ahh a lot. The action did not stop here.
Villians? Other than the organization RTK and those involved, there is Dayar. We love to hate her and we love her just a little... and have a tiny bit of empathy because of being a woman in Turkey. She believes she can lead in a world of men in a culture that is not ready for it. I was enamored with her and I applaud Tyler for presenting such a bleak world faced with such heroics by Dayar and the rest of the characters. Dayar is someone to watch, at the end of the book what she is left with, what she coveted has been stripped away. Where will be find her and Racai next?
I loved the book, I only have a few issues. ONE, it was TO DANG SHORT! TWO as I write my review (which I swear I had written back in December) I realize I am still waiting for more, book two needs to be written soon. To say this talented transgressive author has shown herself to be versatile is an understatement (see the rest of her offerings). What I love most about this author and her stories is she does not hold back, she has no problems writing "bungee jumping" tales... she takes risks and each time she does, they blaze a trail, as this one does, with talented and the brightest of lights.
This is not for everyone, there may be a it to much in your face realities but I still would recommend it to anyone who wants something out of the norm from an author not afraid to take chances. OH! AND it has a fantastic Q&A with Pavarti and book club ?'s to boot?!!