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The struggle to suspend disbelief

This week I've been slogging my way through a young adult fantasy novel.  It's written by an author whose earlier work I enjoyed immensely, but this time round I wasn't engaged by the story.  I've been feeling that more and more with fantasy books recently, and I've been trying to work out why this is.  Why is it that I can't suspend my disbelief, leave it at the door of the story, and get engaged in that world?
I think one reason with modern fantasy novels is their authors' determination to work issues from our modern world, like diversity and gender fluidity, into their stories.  Sometimes these #ownvoices are clunky additions to the storyline.  What the author has done is insert present-day politics and sensitivities into their, essentially, historically-based story.  But  the trouble is, often these additions feel false. They pay lip service to our current culture, rather than being a seamless part of the culture that author is writing about.  That might…

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