#panic by Luke Jennings

caitsidhe's review against another edition

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wasn't really working for me

sharonleavy's review against another edition

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adventurous dark tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


"I don't trust him, I don't trust her, and I don't trust my fucking husband"

- the words of Alice Temple, world-famous actress and star of TV's popular sapphic sci-fi series "City of Night". Fans of the show adore Alice and her co-star Hayley, and we meet four particularly dedicated fans who have set up a private online forum to discuss the show. 

Kai, a trans guy from Australia, has little family support apart from his sister, Robyn. 
Ilya, a Russian cadet, hates life at the base where his fellow cadets are abusive. His home life isn't much better, with his sister joining The Legion, a far-right group gaining support worldwide.
Dani, a UK trans girl, works in a fish & chip shop and lives with her Dad, an ageing comedian, and his new partner, who doesn't really understand Dani. 
Jaleesa, a boxer from the US, is nursing a crush on a woman she spars with while feeling down about dropping out of med school due to her Dad's opoid addiction.

The four are a tight-knit group, all really supportive of each other, and don't let anyone else in - until Chloe, Alice Temple's personal MUA, asks to join - she claims that Alice needs help. Help from real fans, real supporters. 

So begins a worldwide, fast-paced mission to get the four to a convention in the U.S. - but when they do arrive, they realise that things are much, MUCH worse than Chloe suggested - and they quickly decide that the only feasible option is to go on the run - and take Alice with them. 

This was bananas. I cannot convey to you accurately enough HOW bananas this was - but I thoroughly enjoyed it, once I just went with it and stopped trying to overthink. I liked the friend group, I liked the storyline, I liked the action aspects - did it all makes sense? Of course not. Was it in ANY way logical or believable? Nope. But I enjoyed the nonsensical chaos of it all the same. 

I haven't seen many positive reviews, and I think that's unfortunate, because I really did think it was well crafted. There's a scene involving Ilya and his fellow cadets that really turned my stomach, and I'd question the need for its inclusion at all, but other than that I enjoyed it for what it was. I fully believe that certain fandoms would absolutely take things to this point, and I also (unfortunately) believed the levels that a far-right vigilante group would stoop to. 

Fun, fast-paced, don't take it too seriously, just enjoy the chaos of it. 

Thank you to the publisher for the ARC via Netgalley.