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sandstone78

Wiping Dirt off my Heels - Jacqueline Koyanagi's Ascension

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Nov. 17th, 2013 | 10:16 pm

I first became aware of this book around the end of June, when sites like SF Signal posted the cover and summary:

Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually-advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. Maybe her boldness will land her a long-term gig on the crew. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. The chief engineer thinks he’s a wolf. The pilot fades in and out of existence. The captain is all blond hair, boots, and ego… and Alana can’t keep her eyes off her. But there’s little time for romance: Nova’s in danger and someone will do anything – even destroying planets – to get their hands on her!

The blurb made this book sound like this book is a light, romantic read, but that's misleading- there is indeed a romance, but this is a book that doesn't shy away from complex issues like disability, poverty, colonialism, estranged siblings, and grief among other things.

Every character has layers that are slowly revealed over the course of the story, and the heart of the story is Alana uncovering these layers not only in the crew of the Tangled Axon but in herself and her sister as well. There are a couple of plot twists that cast everything that went before in a different light- I'm looking forward to rereading this knowing what I do about the characters by the end of the story, and I'm also hoping the subtitle "A Tangled Axon Novel" implies there will be further books about these characters in the future.

sandstone's rating: ★★★★★ (Five Stars)

This review was written for the A More Diverse Universe 2013 blog tour, celebrating the work of authors of color in the field of speculative fiction! If this work sounds interesting to you, check the review list for reviews of work from a wide variety of authors famous, mid-list, and obscure!

Feel free to comment here or come discuss this book and others at my LibraryThing reading journal, where I am more active.

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