Saturday 4 June 2022

Book Review: High Times in Low Parliament by Kelly Robson (LGBT/Fantasy)

Title: High Times in Low Parliament
Author: Kelly Robson
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publication Date: 9 August 2022
Pages: 160
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy/LGBT
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Lana Baker is Aldgate’s finest scribe, with a sharp pen and an even sharper wit. Gregarious, charming, and ever so eager to please, she agrees to deliver a message for another lovely scribe in exchange for kisses and ends up getting sent to Low Parliament by a temperamental fairy as a result.

As Lana transcribes the endless circular arguments of Parliament, the debates grow tenser and more desperate. Due to long-standing tradition, a hung vote will cause Parliament to flood and a return to endless war. Lana must rely on an unlikely pair of comrades—Bugbite, the curmudgeonly fairy, and Eloquentia, the bewitching human deputy—to save humanity (and maybe even woo one or two lucky ladies), come hell or high water.


It's hard to know how to start with this review. The blurb drew me in, as it sounded like an interesting premise and a story with plenty of action, but it failed to meet my expectations. The world building was minimal and I had so many questions about the setting and background of the tale that were never satisfactorily answered. Lana never captured my heart as a character; I found her annoying and her relationships with Bugbite and Eloquentia unconvincing and forced. And by the time the book ended, I couldn't see what the point of it had been, as the story never seemed to really go anywhere and I never once felt any tension or excitement over the potential flooding of Parliament: the stakes just never felt real or came across well. I am giving this book 2.5 stars. There was potential in the idea, but I think a longer page count with more detailed world building, deeper development of the characters beyond drug-taking and flirting, and a little more action and tension were needed to see that potential realised.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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