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Olivia Waite is a romance author, practicing feminist, and wide-ranging dilettante.

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

General observation: nobody in this book so far is terribly likeable, except possibly the windup girl herself, but it's hard to tell because she's too busy being exploited for me to really get a feel for who she is other than Sad Sci-Fi Prostitute With Heart Of Gold And Hidden Rebellion. And my main problem with 'gritty' unlikeable characters in genre fiction is that so often authors use 'gritty' as a placeholder for 'interesting' or 'watchable.' Avoiding the Mary Sue/Gary Stu cliché by simply reversing the polarity and making everyone a miserable jerk doesn't make that representation any less shallow. 

But I'm going to keep reading on account of the white shirt lieutenant, who only smiles when she sets contraband cargo on fire. Now that's interesting.