3 reasons you may like Armistice, as told by someone who didn’t like it


It’s not that Lara Elena Donnelly’s Armistice is a bad book. In fact, for someone else, there’s a lot to like here, and so here are three reasons to try it.

It’s not often that a book comes across this reviewer’s desk that she just doesn’t click with. Even the books that I don’t always like have something enjoyable about them. But Tor sent me Lara Elena Donnelly’s Armistice, and unfortunately, in the words of all of the talent shows out there like American Idol and America’s Got Talent, “it’s a no from me.”

But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book. It’s just not the right book for this reader right now.

That all being said, I can see the positives in it, and so here they are: three reasons to try Armistice and its prequel, Amberlough.

Moves and countermoves

More often than not, espionage novels tend to keep things in the real world. Armistice does not, moving things to a fictional world with (of course) real-world parallels. No one has just one motive in their actions, and so long as you can keep everything straight (which is a task, to say the least), you’ll find that things are thickly plotted here.


Characters in this novel are not just one thing, either; some of them fall under the LGBTQ umbrella, others are characters of color, and some, like perhaps my favorite (Aristide), are both. It’s a mark in the book’s favor that these characters aren’t just there to be there, as if Donnelly were checking off a box; they serve an actual purpose to the story.


For a novel that’s mostly about spies and stuff, Armistice also has some genuine emotional content. Perhaps one of the scenes that hit me quite well comes early in the novel when Aristide sees his dead lover’s sister. Donnelly’s writing here captures the feelings exquisitely.

Next: 3 reasons you'll enjoy The Queen of Sorrow

So yes, yours truly didn’t quite get Armistice — but there are things that you might like about the novel. Give it a try.