Sordidez | Critical Book Review

Sordidez by E.G. Condé is a sci-fi novel from Stelliform Press that envisions a revolutionary Puerto Rican future rooted in a nearly forgotten past. Nathaniel Drenner from Independent Book Review takes a critical look at the novel’s strengths and weaknesses.

If heritage combines shared history and place, then the jeopardy posed by colonization is immense. E.G. Condé’s Sordidez unfolds in Puerto Rico, where a dystopian future sees the United States relinquishing control to China amidst political and environmental crises. The narrative follows Vero Diaz leading a guerilla rebellion, grappling with identity and heritage questions.

Unconventional Coming-of-Age:

While the initial plot echoes a typical coming-of-age story, the novel’s freshness unfolds as Vero, a transgender man, faces the enormity of his task. The storyline takes unexpected turns, with well-conceived secondary characters, such as Abuelo and Margarita, each offering a unique perspective on a troubled past.

Shifting Allegiances and Complexities:

The novel delves into political changes, with a new United Nations taking control of the island. The characters’ shifting loyalties and identities illustrate responses to a troubled history. As the plot circles back to Vero’s involvement with the new regime, the distinction between villains and heroes becomes blurred, adding layers of complexity to the narrative.

Unique Synthesis:

Condé skillfully weaves Indigenous mythology, environmentalism, identity, and cultural memory into the narrative, enhancing its originality. The prose is expressive and lyrical, capturing Puerto Rico’s essence in both dystopian and paradisical states. The novel explores joy amid adversity, emphasizing the beauty of language and the deep connections forged in makeshift families.

A Rich Yet Compact Narrative:

While the novel impressively covers substantial ground in 141 pages, some drawbacks emerge. Occasional off-stage significant actions, heavy exposition, and rushed character development leave readers craving more understanding and breathing space. Despite these limitations, Condé emerges as a fresh voice, shedding light on a frequently overlooked place in Sordidez, showcasing the costs of conquest and the challenging price of rebellion.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN:

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Stelliform PressScience Fiction / LGBTQ160 pages9781777682361

Sordidez by E.G. Condé is a sci-fi novel from Stelliform Press that envisions a revolutionary Puerto Rican future rooted in a nearly forgotten past. Nathaniel Drenner from Independent Book Review takes a critical look at the novel’s strengths and weaknesses. If heritage combines shared history and place, then the jeopardy posed by colonization is immense.…