Just finished the 2020 Hugo Award winner for Best Novel, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. Character development, plot line, world-building were pretty well done. The key “science/magic” element, the “imago”, a device which embeds the memories of previous generations into the main character was creative, but not developed the way it should be. Rather than the character having memories stretching back across the fourteen generations of her “line”, it was done as a”split” personality with the immediate predecessor. A Hugo Award winner should do better.
The broader “themes” of colonialism and inclusion were, like much on the popular book charts today, heavy-handed and one-sided. The sexuality and romance threads are poorly developed and are just there to make a point rather than as effective elements of the story. Again, a Hugo Award winner should do better.
Not a “bad” debut novel for the author, but I probably won’t buy the next book which is planned for 2021.