Trans Liberty Riot Brigade (Brigade, #1)
How do you fight for who you are, when the government controls what you are?Andi knows being born an intersex "Transgressor" and then choosing to stay that way, can have lethal consequences. After all, surgical assignment is mandated by law. But she ain’t going to spend her life hiding from the Society, hooked on Flow, and wanking tourists just to make a few bucks. She's a member of the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade, an underground faction of Transgressors resisting the government’s war on their illegal genitalia.But it’s not enough to tag their messages on shithouse walls and sniff down the next high. The government has found their headquarters, decimated their ranks, and they’re crushing the resistance. Though Andi might be nothing but a junktard, she embarks on a desperate dash to stay alive and send a call for help before they’re all killed—or worse, surgically assigned.Andi, together with Brigade leader Elenbar, must get beyond the communications block preventing all radio transmission, which means crossing the seaboard Wall barricading the United Free States borders. It’s designed to keep enemies out and the citizens in, but amid increasing earthquakes and deadly pursuit, Andi will discover there’s a far more dangerous secret hidden deep within the Wall itself.

Trans Liberty Riot Brigade (Brigade, #1) Details

TitleTrans Liberty Riot Brigade (Brigade, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 17th, 2017
PublisherNineStar Press
ISBN9781947139
ISBN-139781947139336
Rating
GenreGlbt, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Sexuality, Intersex

Trans Liberty Riot Brigade (Brigade, #1) Review

  • Jason Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    This is a cross between Clockwork Orange and Tank Girl. Freaking awesome!
  • E.M. Hamill
    January 1, 1970
    **I received an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review**I was completely entranced by the cover, which is breathtakingly gorgeous. What waits behind the cover is also art: dark, disturbing and beautiful all at once. L.M. Pierce has created a dystopian future that's not terribly hard to imagine in our current climate, but the immersion goes far beyond your usual fare. This book is not an easy read- it took me a while to acclimate to the thick dialect of Andi, the narrator of this tale. It **I received an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review**I was completely entranced by the cover, which is breathtakingly gorgeous. What waits behind the cover is also art: dark, disturbing and beautiful all at once. L.M. Pierce has created a dystopian future that's not terribly hard to imagine in our current climate, but the immersion goes far beyond your usual fare. This book is not an easy read- it took me a while to acclimate to the thick dialect of Andi, the narrator of this tale. It relaxes and becomes a little easier about a third of the way in, or I just mastered the nuance of language. The story told through Andi's eyes is gritty, obscene, exciting, and thoroughly engaging.In the shadows of the Wall surrounding the United Free States, increasing numbers of people are born intersex, with both male and female genitalia. Those who refuse or never undergo surgical assignment of gender are known as Transgressors, second class citizens fighting and clawing for survival with other persona non grata the Society deems undesirable. Andi is an addict and a thief, but harbors a burning defiance to be who she is and not who Society thinks she should be. A resistance movement led by Andi's friend Elenbar, known as the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade - the Brigade for short- sows the seeds of rebellion throughout the slums while the Transgressors evade the authorities in order to avoid getting "snipped". But something bigger than Andi- or even Elenbar- realizes is building in the UFS, and the Brigade has gotten the attention of Society in the worst kind of way. Andi and Elenbar risk the loss of their self-identity, their freedom, and their lives for a chance to get to the rumored freedom outside the Wall.This story has a vibe that makes me think a little bit Handmaid's Tale, a little bit Les Miserables, and some 1984. I loved Andi's character, flawed and struggling and in way over her head. The book's strongest point, its immersive quality into this grim future, is also a point of concern for me. People need to read this book, and it took a long time to warm up to the slang terms and Andi's jagged flow of dialogue. It might put some readers off--and if they give up, they will miss an otherwise masterful job of storytelling and literary art. The story ends on an uncertain if hopeful note, and I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for the next chapter.
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  • The Novel Approach Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    First off, let me say that NineStar Press is becoming my go-to for LGBTQ+ science fiction. Most of my favorite science fiction stories of the year have been published by this press, and Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is another favorite. Their page is definitely worth a looksie if you haven’t already.Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is as edgy as the title suggests. Taking place in a dystopian future, where intersex people are being persecuted by the government, and the United Free States is at war with t First off, let me say that NineStar Press is becoming my go-to for LGBTQ+ science fiction. Most of my favorite science fiction stories of the year have been published by this press, and Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is another favorite. Their page is definitely worth a looksie if you haven’t already.Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is as edgy as the title suggests. Taking place in a dystopian future, where intersex people are being persecuted by the government, and the United Free States is at war with the rest of the world, it’s not surprising our protagonist, Andi, grows up in rough times. She’s equally rough because of it.The voice of Andi and the people of the time—the late 21st century—hits you within the first few sentences. The slang is tough to decipher, with an almost A Clockwork Orange feel. To highlight the setting, within the first chapter Andi’s almost raped, is repeatedly assaulted and battered, and overdoses on one of the local street drugs, Flow. And it gets worse. Between the lingo and the oppressive setting, it took me a while to pick through this story, but man was it powerful and definitely worth it.The main theme of the novel centers around oppression by society and the ways it hurts everyone in every class, not just those in the lower classes, and, therefore, is self-destructing. Through Andi, we’re certainly exposed to how the government fucks over the lower class—holy crap. Because she’s intersex, her life is pretty much forfeit from the get-go. Her body is literally illegal for her to have. She talks about prostitution, being raised by nuns, drugs, rape, and physical and mental abuse—all because she is who she is. A little over halfway through the novel, we also get a glimpse of how the government oppresses the middle class and those it pretends to support. It eats its own tail. A lose-lose for everyone, the examples bring Pierce’s message home nicely.Although I struggled with the creative diction, it was also probably my favorite part of the entire book. The words were believable and added to a feel that I was in a time and place that was not my own, despite the country being called the United Free States. I definitely had a Wizard of Oz moment.The characters were also fantastic, and remarkably consistent. They…consistently beat the crap out of each other, lol. But seriously, even though they were kinda shitty people sometimes, they stuck to their guns and I respected that. If I haven’t already made this clear (along with the warning in the blurb itself) this is a pretty violent book, and the characters aren’t Captain America, Ironman, or even Batman. Andi is a part of this revolutionary Trans Riot Brigade, but it becomes pretty clear that she doesn’t really perform her brand of social activism out of a sense of responsibility to society or goodness to her heart. What is perhaps surprising is that she does have a very strong sense of loyalty and family, even if she demonstrates it poorly at times.My one criticism of the story was that it seemed to meander off course a bit, but I must confess while I was a bit murky on where it was headed during those parts, I was still thoroughly entertained. Andi goes through significant personal evolution, so the lack of a romantic storyline or some of those other types of side plots was barely noticed by me. If this is going to be series, however, I’d like to see her form more emotional connections.Read this if you like gritty science fiction and dystopian lit, and you’re not afraid of violence and an inventive curse word or two—ha! More like five hundred.Reviewed by Ben for The Novel Approach
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  • Jaq Evans
    January 1, 1970
    Now more than ever, books like Brigade are vital—both as gritty, brutal warnings of a dystopic society not too far out of reach, and as beautiful, fierce affirmations of self-identity and hope. Put in a less obnoxious way, this book is not an easy read but it will make you feel things I think are important. Relax into the dialect and get lost in the best possible way.
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  • Jesikah Sundin
    January 1, 1970
    “I’m a—well, I’m just me. All my bits and self equaling Andi. Just Andi.” I went into this well-crafted tale understanding the words “trans,” “liberty,” “riot,” and “brigade” independent from each other. I had assumptions of what they meant when strung together.I was wrong.Dark, haunting, and intelligently written, Trans Liberty Riot Brigade shifts away from traditional gender binarism in narration to something far more complex and beautiful—a human being. I admit, at the beginning I was bothere “I’m a—well, I’m just me. All my bits and self equaling Andi. Just Andi.” I went into this well-crafted tale understanding the words “trans,” “liberty,” “riot,” and “brigade” independent from each other. I had assumptions of what they meant when strung together.I was wrong.Dark, haunting, and intelligently written, Trans Liberty Riot Brigade shifts away from traditional gender binarism in narration to something far more complex and beautiful—a human being. I admit, at the beginning I was bothered by not knowing the gender of the main character. Not because it matters, but because I’m socially conditioned to categorize human beings in this way. By the time I was a third of the way through, my brain no longer snagged on this detail.“I’m a shit junk-tard. Always gonna be. Nothin’ gonna change that.”Rather, my attention panned out to the greater issues within society: greed, control, fear, and hate. These fallacies of human nature affect everyone. Andi identifies as a junkie, a prostitute, as a Transgressor for being born without license to live, made worse by still possessing intersex genitalia—what Society deems as a birth defect plaguing Andi’s generation. The focus never deviates from the question of what defines one’s humanity and how they connect to the humanity in others. I’ll give a hint: it’s not what parts you have between your legs.What further endeared me to Andi? Slum dialect. The speech might be off-putting to some. To me it was ingenious. Here is someone most would judge as unintelligent and course. Andi reflects the base of humanity and yet shines like a progressive guiding star for the reader as we travel through the Slumlands, through the Wall, and toward the promise of freedom. Or what Andi believes is freedom.“I try not to think about what life, the Brigade, the Farm, the Society, what every part of my bein’ born’s been teachin’ me all along: freedom ain’t ever what it seems.”What an amazing and daring debut novel! I loved it. Highly Recommended to readers 17 and over. I now eagerly await book two!
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  • Sara Codair
    January 1, 1970
    The title and cover of “Trans Liberty Riot Brigade” told me the book was going to be something special. The teaser on the back was further evidence supporting that theory. The novel did not disappoint. Once I started reading, I had to finish in one sitting. At first, the slang made it hard for to engage with the character. I had to stop and figure out what some of the words meant. They were familiar enough, that between context, and remembering how my friends from high school used to talk, I cou The title and cover of “Trans Liberty Riot Brigade” told me the book was going to be something special. The teaser on the back was further evidence supporting that theory. The novel did not disappoint. Once I started reading, I had to finish in one sitting. At first, the slang made it hard for to engage with the character. I had to stop and figure out what some of the words meant. They were familiar enough, that between context, and remembering how my friends from high school used to talk, I could figure them out. They were foreign enough to feel like they were part of a true future. Once I got through the first few chapters and learned their rhythm, I flew through the book.The truth that potential future holds is the most terrifying part of the book. The dark, gritty, dystopian landscape portrayed seems all to possible in today’s political climate. There was just enough truth to make it seem plausible.The world building was good - but the main character was amazing. I always find myself complaining that the characters in some of my favorite books are too binary, but this one featured two who truly transcended the binary idea gender. I can forgive the occasional moments of preachy-ness, and the work I had to do to learn the language of the book. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat. I could really engage with the characters, and I believed the world. If I had to compare it other books, I say it’s a mix of Christina Henry’s Alice, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and George Orwell’s 1984. Read it!Note: I received a free ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rebecca Langham
    January 1, 1970
    "I ain't a man neither. I mean, what are we really?""Well...what do ya feel?""I'm me. I'm just-Andi. Whatever that means."Unique, bold and intriguing. Overall, a fantastic book. The social and political themes are woven into the story quite well, though there were some parts where I found myself wanting more. But, given that this novel is the first in a series and the author is busily working to get Book II into our hands, it makes sense some elements need to be withheld for future exploration.O "I ain't a man neither. I mean, what are we really?""Well...what do ya feel?""I'm me. I'm just-Andi. Whatever that means."Unique, bold and intriguing. Overall, a fantastic book. The social and political themes are woven into the story quite well, though there were some parts where I found myself wanting more. But, given that this novel is the first in a series and the author is busily working to get Book II into our hands, it makes sense some elements need to be withheld for future exploration.Our main character is an intersex 'Transgressor' who holds tightly onto her identity in a society that wants nothing more than to assign her to a binary sex. The world building is excellent and the narrator comes up with the most astounding, and sometimes HILARIOUS, ways of describing the places she finds herself in as she navigates a harsh and restrictive world. I love a character who swears even more than I do. There's no romance in this novel, if that's what you're looking for. This is first and foremost a speculative fiction book, which is something I personally approve of. Not that I don't love a romantic sub-plot...but I do feel that the LGBTIQ+ market for novels tends to be flooded with romance stories and, fairly often, the 'genre books' don't embrace their genres as much as they could, but rather use genre settings (eg. the future, space etc.) as yet-another-backdrop for romance. As such, I was really pleased to read a science-fiction novel that does what sci-fi is meant to do: it delves into the deepest parts of our social, political, and personal identities and holds a mirror up so we can better explore the vices and hopes of humanity. Sexual and gender identities were a key part of the landscape because they're relevant to those themes, not because they facilitate a central relationship between two romantically involved characters. Andi speaks a futuristic style of English that some readers may found difficult at first, but I got used to it within about 30 pages or so (especially when I worked out the difference between 'the brass' and a 'clunker'). The author did an amazing job of using situations, settings, and tone to help us understand the colloquialisms without intruding and just outright telling us what things meant. Two other characters (Puddin' and Boy) challenged me though, and I had to re-read some of their sentences to work out what they were saying. To be fair though, that was the whole point. Different people spoke with different dialects because of their social situations, so though it was challenging and I did get frustrated (very) briefly, it was also authentic and made sense for the context of the story. My only real quibble was that I finished the book still not really sure what the Brigade was up to, aside from being a kind of group where Transgressors could feel more accepted. I never felt clear on what their 'missions' were (aside from the graffiti/general public menace stuff mentioned in the prologue) and how it was that there could be more than one branch. This is probably something that'll make a lot more sense as the series continues and I definitely plan on reading the next one when it comes out - I'm guessing in about a year, perhaps. I recommend this book - especially to those who genuinely love science fiction and fantasy.***I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review***
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  • Brooklyn Ray
    January 1, 1970
    Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is an engaging, thrilling read that took me by surprise.The book is predominantly dystopian, but easily immersive. However, I will state up-front that the dialect and construction of the book is difficult. If you enjoy a challenging read, this is for you. I constantly found myself wanting the language to change, to become more streamline and flexible, but I also constantly found myself coming back to the book, eager to keep reading. As much as I enjoyed the story, the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is an engaging, thrilling read that took me by surprise.The book is predominantly dystopian, but easily immersive. However, I will state up-front that the dialect and construction of the book is difficult. If you enjoy a challenging read, this is for you. I constantly found myself wanting the language to change, to become more streamline and flexible, but I also constantly found myself coming back to the book, eager to keep reading. As much as I enjoyed the story, the authors choice to accent the book with this obscure dialect took me out of it. It needed to be downplayed a little for my tastes.Andi is our main character. She's dirty and lovely and takes zero shits from anyone. She's born intersex and refuses to go through the reassignment surgery, deeming her a second class citizen. Her struggle is felt on the page, it's real and visceral and I couldn't get enough of her voice (despite having trouble with the odd language). Her fight with The Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is gritty and the raw writing helped this movement feel absolutely real. I was routing for the characters the whole time. As the cast leads the rebellion and tries to find a way outside the wall, the reader is brought face to face with how big the TLRB could be and the trouble that could be brewing. The book ends on a cliffhanger, but I'm excited to continue. Andi really sells this story. Again, readers will probably be put off by the language, but my biggest recommendation with this book is just to read. Let the words flow and try not to get tripped up.It's a wonderful, impactful story with graceless, but charming characters. Five stars for the heartfelt nature, bravery and consistency. A really awesome read.
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  • J.P. Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    This was brilliantly written, with flavor and style in an imaginative world that the author immersed you in with slang and grit.I'll be the first to admit that this isn't generally the sort of book I run to read, but I enjoyed it. I struggled with the heavy slang, and some characters I never did understand, but as much as that was a problem for me, it may not be for others and I admire the authors dedication in writing like this through the entire novel.If dystopian worlds with small glimmers of This was brilliantly written, with flavor and style in an imaginative world that the author immersed you in with slang and grit.I'll be the first to admit that this isn't generally the sort of book I run to read, but I enjoyed it. I struggled with the heavy slang, and some characters I never did understand, but as much as that was a problem for me, it may not be for others and I admire the authors dedication in writing like this through the entire novel.If dystopian worlds with small glimmers of hope for a better future is your bag, you should pick this up and have a read.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    There is something so cinematic in the way that TLRB is written. The visuals are strong and the scenes are always set perfectly. The only thing that caught me off guard was the dialect. You have to be willing to just accept it as it comes in the way M.T. Anderson's Feed does the same. If you don't, you may find yourself struggling.
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  • J.S. Fields
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. I'm not generally a dystopian reader, so keep that in mind.General-Trans Liberty Riot Brigade tells the story of Andi, an intersex nonbinary teenager, struggling to exist and be safe within a dystopian society hell bent on making sure all of its residents are either 'male' or 'female'. The year is...uncertain. Somewhere not too far off our own timeline. The place is the USA, except now under a much more sinister name. Society is deeply stratified an ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. I'm not generally a dystopian reader, so keep that in mind.General-Trans Liberty Riot Brigade tells the story of Andi, an intersex nonbinary teenager, struggling to exist and be safe within a dystopian society hell bent on making sure all of its residents are either 'male' or 'female'. The year is...uncertain. Somewhere not too far off our own timeline. The place is the USA, except now under a much more sinister name. Society is deeply stratified and in some type of event reminiscent of the Outpost occurrences in 'Santa Olivia', the US border has been closed and a huge wall erected. Nobody goes in, nobody comes out. We don't get a lot of motivation for the US doing this, other than basic power hunger and control, and something about a bomb which I wasn't clear on. The set up is very 'Hunger Games' in the way the population is kept deeply in check. Of utmost importance in this country is population control, and there's a big problem, in that the female babies keep coming out with ambiguous genitalia. Most are reassigned and have surgery at birth, but those born outside a license, or to the very poor, live in the slums and form a band of revolutionaries - the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade. World Building - This was probably my favorite part. The description of the slums, and the world in general, was very clear. The language was never excessive (in terms of being beaten with adjectives), and the reader was given just enough information for flavor, without being bored to death with pages of description. I really did feel like I was in the slums, at the farm, in the wall. To the author, well done!Plot Elements-The set up was good, and the world sufficiently outlined to make it believable. The plot...wandered in places. I didn't feel like I was given quite enough information to know why people were doing the things they were doing (outside of the 'don't want to get your dick cut off' motivation, which is, in itself, highly compelling). I just never felt like I had a clear line of direction for Andi, nor for the Brigade. Yes, getting people to stop cutting bits off of babies is an excellent goal, but very large. I do know that some people prefer plots without clear direction (more of a 'character wander and explore' type). If this is you, then you will enjoy this book!Characters-Generally the characters were well done. Andi is well rounded, however distinctly lacks agency. Andi only ever seems to do things in response to other people's prodding or begging, even at the very end. I didn't see a large character arc for Andi. I kept thinking at the end, when Andi has to keep the baddies from detonating a bomb, that the character would take the lead, but this didn't happen. It might be set up for future books (from the ending it does seem that there is a lot more to do), but I'm not certain. Andi acts more like a bobber on the waves than the hook, if you're into fishing metaphors. Other characters did not suffer from a similar deficiency, and I enjoyed the secondary characters a great deal.The one thing that did trip me up was the dialect writing. Those who have read 'Karen Memory' will be familiar with this style of writing, although TLRB takes it a step further. There were some sections and some characters that I simply could not parse what was being said. Other times I became frustrated because the text was too tiring to read. If dialect-style writing works for you, this book is an excellent choice! If not, just be warned. It's worth getting through, but it was a struggle.Gender PoliticsInteresting questions were brought up in the book that are well worthy of a book club discussion. Descriptions of intersex genitalia, and variations in gender identity and expression were tastefully done, and show a strong understanding of the community. I was, however, caught on two instances of the use of 'she' to describe Andi, who several times in the book is adamant about not being a man or a woman. As there was no incidence where Andi chooses a pronoun or has a discussion about them, these two instances, while in Andi's POV (book is in first person), rang a bit false. Those are pretty minor quibbles, however, and no reason to not read the book.Overall, I was entertained and fascinated by the world presented. Fans of dystopian fantasy, and fans of queer fantasy, will enjoy this book.
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  • IW Ferguson
    January 1, 1970
    What a ride! I almost put it down because I don't like reading heavy dialect, but the dialect was readable, and I got used to it. It also took me a while to start caring about the characters. But I'm glad I stuck with it. For a thriller full of perilous situations in a sad dystopian world, this book was funny in clever ways. I kept thinking at some point she'd run out, but fresh wacky descriptions just kept coming like clowns out of a VW bug at a circus. What the heck is a hopscotch newt? I part What a ride! I almost put it down because I don't like reading heavy dialect, but the dialect was readable, and I got used to it. It also took me a while to start caring about the characters. But I'm glad I stuck with it. For a thriller full of perilous situations in a sad dystopian world, this book was funny in clever ways. I kept thinking at some point she'd run out, but fresh wacky descriptions just kept coming like clowns out of a VW bug at a circus. What the heck is a hopscotch newt? I particularly enjoyed her description of new car smell.There were a few gory parts that turned my stomach unhelpfully, but I loved when the parrot screeched helpfully and I loved the "anatomy lesson on terror."Reading this book reminded me of the Knife of Never Letting Go, except I thought the ending to Riot Brigade was much more satisfying. Considering there were aspects of this book that aren't exactly my cup of tea, the fact that it kept me up late the night I finished it is a testament to the quality of the story and the writing.
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  • L.M. Pierce
    January 1, 1970
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