Monday, January 19, 2015

REVIEW: Ascension, a Tangled Axon Novel

Title: Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel
Genre: SF
Price: $6.99 (ebook) / $12.30 (paperback
Publisher: Masque Books
ISBN 978-1607014010
Point of Sale: Amazon Publishers site
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

I am a guest reviewer on the blog Heroines of Fantasy.  It’s a gig I paid the same as I do here, which is to say nothing.  In this case, the gig cost me something, because a review I read on Heroines of Fantasy prompted me to buy Ascension.  I’m glad I did.

The novel is the story of Alana Quick, “sky surgeon” which means she fixes spaceships.  Unfortunately, the Otherspacers have arrived, bringing radically new tech that doesn’t need fixing, or at least fixing by independents like Alana.  So money’s tight, which is a real problem given that Alana has an auto-immune disease which requires expensive medication to manage. 

Then a cargo ship arrives at the repair yard, except the crew is looking for Alana’s sister, a “spirit guide” and much wealthier.  On a wink and a nod from the ship’s doctor, Alana stows aboard, and action that lands her in the brig and a meeting with the ship’s hot blonde female captain, for whom Alana has an immediate case of the hots.  And now were up to Chapter Three.

Lots of interesting stuff happens in the rest of the book, as Alana, her sister and the crew of the Tangled Axon try to sort things out both among themselves and in the universe.  Alana’s sister, Nova, is wanted by the equivalent of Bill Gates, except this version doesn’t play very nice. 

But not only is there an interesting story, there are interesting characters.  As mentioned, Alana is both gay and has a disability.  She’s not alone in her problems – most of the characters aren’t “normal” for lack of a better word.  Nor are their interpersonal relationships vanilla – no this is a Rocky Road and pistachio bunch.  Yet the fact that they aren’t all Studly McSquarejaws isn’t beaten into the reader – it’s just there, like air and gravity.

Ascension is not a typical novel – it’s a really good one. 


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