ARC • August Kitko and the Mechas from Space (The Starmetal Symphony #1) by Alex White

August Kitko and the Mechas From Space is a queer space opera with mecha, so join me in talking about mecha, because holy shit do I love mecha. What’s YOUR favourite mecha?


[Goodreads Link]
Published by Hachette Book Group | Orbit Imprint

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Content Warnings:
Descriptions of blood, injury, body modification and horror, gore, surgery. Depiction and discussion of mental illness. Mentions of suicide and suicidal thoughts. Mentions of parental death (historical).

The Good
– A+ mecha descriptions
– A+ mecha fights
– Vibrant writing style
– Queer space opera!
– Very feel-good and fun
– Gus is lovely
– Gus and Ardent make a nice contrasting couple

The Bad
– Ardent’s chapters aren’t as engaging at first
– Uneven execution: some scenes are stellar, some scenes are meh
– Information provided to reader too late
– Gus and Ardent go from one night stand to instalove awfully fast
– The use of “folx” is very YMMV

August Kitko and the Mechas From Space is a queer space opera with mecha, so join me in talking about mecha, because holy shit do I love mecha.

What’s YOUR favourite mecha?

(Thank you to Orbit Imprint and Netgalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!)

First, if you look at the title and think, “Isn’t the ‘in space’ redundant? Don’t ALL mecha come from space?” I need to say WOW. Just, WOOOOW. Please set your preconceptions at the door. Some mecha are DUG UP from the GROUND.

Second: oh my god do I love me some mecha and White did an A+ perfect holy shit job describing mecha.

August Kitko and the Mechas From Space is a Queer Space Opera about some mecha who WERE wiping out humanity, but some of them turned traitor and need the assistance of musically talented humans to gain an edge over the murdery mecha. And now one of those humans is Gus.

August Kitko and the Mechas From Space is a DELIGHT. Gus is sweet, and Ardent is feisty, and their dynamic is fun. There’s some great lines and discussions about mental health and living for the future. White has a vibrant writing style and a really good eye for scenes and details. I loved loved LOVED the mecha descriptions and the fight scenes were sooo good. (And it’s hard to write a good fight scene, let alone a mecha one!)

Unfortunately, August Kitko and the Mechas From Space suffers from uneven execution. While there are tender descriptions of music, glorious mecha fights, and popstar hijinx, plus White has a great knack for humour. But there are also a few bland moments, and more than once we get key information about Gus or the world too late for it to hit the reader effectively. The central romance is a “one night stand that turned into more” plus a dash of instalove, which is definitely a Your Mileage May Vary thing. Another YMMV thing is White’s use of “folx” instead of folks. It’s something I don’t quite get: “folks” is already neutral.

Ultimately, despite any hiccups along the way, August Kitko and the Mechas From Space was an incredibly fun read, and I am 100% getting the sequels—isn’t Starmetal Symphony just the coolest series name?—and checking out the rest of White’s work!

(My favourite mecha is the GSX-401FW Stargazer Gundam 💚)

August Kitko and the Mechas From Space comes out on July 12th!

Story—★★★★☆
Characters—★★★★☆ (3.75)
Writing Style—★★★★☆
Themes and Representation—★★★☆☆ (3.5)
Enjoyment—★★★★☆
Overall—★★★★☆

Recommended For…
Readers looking for a fun, feel-good queer space opera and mecha fans!

Genres: Science Fiction, LGBT+, LGBT Sci-fi, Mecha and Giant Robots, Space Opera


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5 thoughts on “ARC • August Kitko and the Mechas from Space (The Starmetal Symphony #1) by Alex White

  1. I loved this book, but I entirely agree about the folx thing. There was no reason to make that somehow MORE neutral? It didn’t bother me enough to complain about in my review, but it did raise my eyebrows when I came across it the first time in text. The fight scenes were SO GOOD!! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this sounds so fun, thanks for putting it on my radar!! yeah the folx thing bothers me too (isn’t “folks” neutral as is?? seems very performative to me more than anything), but if everything else is as good as you’ve said it is, I’m definitely willing to give it a chance. great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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