Thank you to the Indie Ink Awards for providing me with a copy of Each Little Universe by Chris Durston to judge for their neurodivergent character category.
I am honored to have been selected to be a judge in the Indie Ink Awards first annual book competition. This book was nominated for best neurodivergent character written by a neurodivergent author. This review is being written long before you’ll be reading it in order to preserve the integrity of the awards announcement.
If I had not read this book with this category in mind I never would have thought about anyone in it being neurodivergent. To me, neurodivergent typically means on the autism spectrum but can also be an umbrella term for many neurological differences such as ADHD and dyslexia. I’ve heard the term used for some chronic mental health conditions as well such as Borderline Personality, Bipolar Spectrum Disorder, and Schizophrenia.
The character in Each Little Universe who I suppose is supposed to be representative of this category is Ziggy. However, she’s a star. A literal star from space taking the form of a human on Earth. She’s a weirdo for sure, she doesn’t have much experience being human. But does that make her neurodivergent? It’s like calling someone from another country neurodivergent because they’re new to the language and culture.
Ziggy comes to Earth essentially because she got bored floating around in space. She meets two slackabouts named Veggie and TM who readily accept her into their friend group. They consider themselves inventors and she immediately helps them with an invention that makes more money than they have made in the last two years combined.
A large, and I mean large, portion of the book revolves around this friend group playing a table top RPG game, playing video games, and watching wrestling. Now, I like all three of those things very much but I do not want to read pages upon pages describing their RPG campaign, their video game run throughs, and the wrestling moves they see on TV. That is not entertaining to me. I do not listen to those D&D podcasts or watch Twitch streamers. Apparently there is an audience for these things but it is not me.
The book is reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim with his unambitious lifestyle, loser friends, and constant want of a girlfriend without putting in any effort. These characters sit around eating snacks and wasting time until about the last third of the book or so when a conflict is finally introduced.
Other stars want Ziggy back in space, her absence is disrupting the gravitational flow of the universe. Veggie and the crew are prepared to go to the ends of the universe to keep her on Earth. The book does pick up once there is a plot to follow but it’s too little too late.
If you’re the audience for the forms of media mentioned above you are far more likely to enjoy this book than I did. I wish you luck in your journey of reading about other people enjoying things instead of actually enjoying them yourself.
2/5 stars ⭐️⭐️
in order to keep me up to my ears in books please consider using the following amazon affiliate link to purchase this product. it’s at no extra cost to you and would really help me out, thank you and happy reading!
If you like strange books by neurodivergent authors check out The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen