Friend of the blog, Jessica Burde, offered the following SciFi Romance Review and I’m happy to share it with you. You can find Jessica on twitter @jessicaburde.
Ascension is the story of Alana Quick, a dirt-sucker engineer who longs to travel through the Big Black. When a battered tramp freighter comes looking for her sister, she stows away, hoping to convince the captain that she earn her place on the crew.
At first, Captain Helix is only interested in Alana as a tool to blackmail her sister, the premier spirit guide in the galaxy. Attitudes thaw as Alana proves her worth when the crew of the Tangled Axon needs to confront a plot that frames them for the death of an entire planet, and an inter-dimensional madwoman who will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.
As straight science-fiction, this is a fast-paced and enjoyable read. The setting is unique and the characters well drawn and enjoyable. But for this reader it was the subplots that made the story shine.
Alana Quick isn’t your typical kid-on-a-farm who goes off seeking adventure. She is a skilled engineer who is facing the death of a dream, as a progressive autoimmune disease cripples her with pain and will eventually make it impossible to work the ships she loves. Jaqueline Koyanagi does a beautiful job of exploring exactly what life is like for someone suffering from a silent disability. As much of her love of space, Alana’s need to find a way to afford the expensive cure – without mortgaging her life to an interstellar corporation drives her in her journey.
Alana’s illness brings her into frequent clashes with her spirit guide sister, Nova, who seeks to ‘shed her body’ – slowly starving herself and destroying the health that has made Alana envy her. Nova’s patronizing surity that all would be well if Alana would just do things the way Nova does adds fuel to the sibling conflict.
Of course (this is a romance after all) sparks fly from the moment Alana and Captain Helix meet. Initially their conflicting goals (Alana, to protect her sister and save herself, Captain Helix to blackmail Nova into saving a member of her crew) pits them against each other. When they eventually find themselves on the same side, the passion grows quickly – at least until Alana learns that the Captain is already involved with the ship’s doctor.
Can Captain Helix and the good doctor convince Alana that love can be shared among more than one?
Can Alana and Nova find a way to save each other?
Can the crew clear themselves of the frame that has the whole galaxy believing they are mass murders and planet killers?
Alright, I’ll drop the Saturday morning cliff hanger shtick. But seriously, it’s a good book that tackles some difficult topics while telling a fun and engrossing story. I highly recommend it.
E-Book Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Trade Paperback Publication Date: December 4, 2013
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Prime Books / Masque Books
Blush Quotient: Pink
For More Info: http://www.jkoyanagi.com/
This book was provided as an electronic advance reader copy (ARC) by the author in exchange for an honest review.