@Crystal D, I know Marissa Mire, indeed if you go over to fantasybookreview.co.uk you can find a review of her book Heartless that I wrote.
I have her other series and will likely start reading them sooner than later.
In terms of the disability turning into advantage thing, it has worked on occasion, but unfortunately all too often it turns into a hymn to the "awesome blind person" syndrome mentioned earlier, just like that dreadful tng episode with the deaf negotiator.
Actually that one was kind of wrong, since it basically seemed to prove that if you were disabled you needed three other people to work for you and tell everyone how awesome you were and couldn't function without them .
Again there are circumstances I can think of where disabled characters and even blind characters have some sort of advantage through their disability, but most of the time unless its very understated it feels artificial to me in the extreme.
Actually this was another area where Toth impressed me in the Avatar series, since one skill she learns which no other earth bender in the series has is bending metal, since as she senses the world around her by vibrations she can do what other earth benders aren't able to and pick up on the trace amounts of earth and impurities in metal and so be able to bend it as she wants, ----- since metal is also how a lot of the bad guys control earth benders this is also sort of amusing since there is nothing cooler than seeing tiny blind 12 year old girl punch her way out of a metal box then stand atop it yelling "I'm the best earth bender ever!" .
That was one reason I thought having a blind character in Flexible survival who actually benefited from the infection would be sort of cool.
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