Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly

book cover of Armistice

While Armistice was good, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Amberlough, the first book in the series. Where that book became compulsive reading as the sense of impending doom built up and up and up, this one kind of lacked that suspense.

Despite that, I’m continuing to enjoy this trilogy as a deeply political example of spec fic. The first book was set, basically, in a city heavily based on Weimar-era Berlin. This one fleshes out more of the world, with most of the action taking place in the nearby-ish tropical country of Porachis, although most (if not all) of the characters are still expats or refugees from Gedda. Without wanting to spoil too much for anyone who hasn’t even read the first book (!), this one focuses more on politics at the diplomatic level, as well as resistance movements and their need for arms. There are three main perspective characters, of which it’s the new one, Lillian, whose chapters are probably closest to the “spy thriller” vibe I got from the first book. Cordelia makes a triumphant return from the first book, having undergone even further character development since then and becoming someone very compelling, imo. Aristide is the third POV character, and probably does the least of them, but he has his moments.

Overall, while I feel a bit like this book was a “bridge” between a more exciting part one and (hopefully) part three, it still has its merits. If you like politics or are interested in 1930s history, or even just in LGBTI representation, this should be an appealing and somewhat unique series. At least at the moment I write this, the omnibus edition of the series is only $2.84 on Amazon AU(external link), which is the kind of price where you might as well buy it even if you’re not sure whether you’ll ever work through your TBR pile enough to reach it. It’s pretty good.

Books in the Amberlough Dossier series

  1. Amberlough
  2. Armistice (you are here)
  3. Amnesty


a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.