Bitter is a prequel to Pet, and it’s slightly unfortunate that some of the important details from Pet have now slipped my mind, because I think that would’ve helped significantly in finding my feet again in the world. Bitter is Jam’s mother, and this covers the period leading to the upheaval that made Lucille such a utopia for Jam. It makes more sense of Bitter’s reactions to Pet, and the world which Jam and Redemption live in.
I didn’t love it as much as I hoped; it felt very topical, particularly when a character loses an eye during a protest, and for the first half of the book seemed mostly to be a chronicling of current events in lightly fictionalised form. Then Bitter finds her magic, and things open up, giving us access to more of the background of Pet: the angels and the takeover of the city.
It’s a really quick read, and I enjoyed the background it gave to Pet, but it didn’t quite speak to me in the same way, even though I fully understood Bitter’s insecurities and fears. Maybe that’s part of why I didn’t get involved as much!