cover image Julia, Skydaughter

Julia, Skydaughter

Robin Wyatt Dunn. John Ott, $5 e-book (105p) ISBN 978-1-940830-08-7

Dunn (Last Freedom) immediately captures a reader’s attention with a burka-wearing 12-year-old who has “Batman wings” and refers to her alien satellite aide as Robin, but the constant infusion of 21st-century references into the dystopian 25th-century setting distracts from the plot of this novella, which fades quickly after a strong opening. Julia wants to change the world by infiltrating Earth’s corrupt ruling patriarchy, using the very system designed to subjugate women. Her attempt to bring freedom via alien technology doesn’t go smoothly, however. The revelation of the true power behind the throne is clichéd, forcing Julia, like so many other heroes before her, to question all she’s believed. Though Julia starts out with a great sense of agency, she’s increasingly maneuvered by outside forces as the chapters lurch from adventure to philosophy. Trying to examine both revolution and moral quandary in a handful pages, Dunn fails to bring either concept to a satisfying conclusion. (Oct.)