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Vassily the Beautiful (The ESTO Universe)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  276 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Vassily Belikov, composer and pampered son of privilege, suffered neurological damage in the accident that killed his father. Resentful of being treated as an invalid, he lives as a recluse, dependent on his mother. That changes the day she brings home a new husband with two sons of his own. When deep-space pirates capture Vassily's mother, he's left to the mercy of his cr ...more
ebook, 1st Edition, 345 pages
Published April 21st 2012 by Silver Publishing (first published April 2nd 2012)
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My Fair Captain by J.L. LangleyThe Englor Affair by J.L. LangleyDark Space by Lisa HenryGravitational Attraction by Angel MartinezMind Fuck by Manna Francis
Best Gay Science Fiction Romance
15th out of 272 books — 465 voters
Shattered Glass by Dani AlexanderArmed & Dangerous by Abigail RouxStars & Stripes by Abigail RouxChase in Shadow by Amy LaneWho We Are by T.J. Klune
Best M/M Romance Published in 2012
232nd out of 609 books — 1,423 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 689)
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Lisa Henry
4.5 stars.

A deceptively simple retelling of the Russian folktale Vassilia The Beautiful. I said "deceptive" because while on the surface it's a quick sex-change so that now Vassilia is Vassily, and old Russia is a futuristic space colony, it really is better than that. No cheap substitutions here. The story stands on its own, despite its origins. Most importantly, the book retains that dreamlike sense of a fairytale, while at the same time the characters are vividly drawn.

Vassily and Sumerki a
...more
Akansha
Vassily the Beautiful is a loose adaptation of a very popular Russian fairy tale, Vasilisa the Beautiful. It is a bizarre meld of Russian folklore and science fiction, with romance and humour thrown in the mix.

It is about a young, well off composer, Vassily whose recent accident has not only left him incapacitated but has also rendered him reclusive and withdrawn. To add insult to injury, poor Vassily is forced to live in his mother's care in spite of being an adult. But it isn't until his moth
...more
M
I wanted this book to be longer. I wanted this book to be endless. It's such a strange and lovely blending of Russian folklore and futuristic fiction. It's a story about the eponymous Vassily, a shy composer who is recovering from a terrible accident, who ends up being maltreated by his stepfather. Sent on some task, Vassily ends ups meeting a trio of strange brothers and their even stranger mother and sort of grows a backbone in the process. In any case, the plot is not important. It's a bit we ...more
M'rella
Not sure how to rate it...

Before I begin, though.
Sumerki=Dusk. The book starts with his name :)
Poldien=Noon. Rassvet=Dawn.

Can't say I liked the beginning of the book (much), but as Vassily set out to find Baba Yaga's house, things improved dramatically. I really had fun reading the story, loved Baba Yaga, as she ended up to be one of the best characters in the book (besides Vasya and Sumerki). I am not totally sold on Vassily's mother, Irene, or his so-called brothers. Very sketchy people, if y
...more
Serena Yates
This is a fascinating tale, with great characters and a futuristic setting that is well developed. The retelling of old stories, placing them in a more contemporary (or, in this case, sci-fi context), is something that is always tempting for an author; Angel Martinez, I think, has succeeded really well at translating the old concepts into something new and relevant.

Vassily has had a lot to deal with in his life, not least of which is brain damage form an accident. He is a bit lost, doesn’t have
...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Update: I finally read the book and it's marvelous. I loved it so much, I'm willing to accept that the man on the cover could be both Sei and Vassily. (Martinez is now on my list of favorite authors.) I liked the substance abuse angle and how (view spoiler). It was wonderfully realistic in that regard. I loved all the characters and want to read more abou ...more
Sui Lynn
I really liked this story. It really spoke to me on a number of levels, not all of them comfortable. This may not be a story I go back to repeatedly but not for any lack in the story.

This book covers so may different topics and much of it is done well. There's a struggle for independence and recovery after a debilitating accident. There's addiction and recovery. And of course there's love; both the kind that's blind to any imperfections when the mother chose a less than savory man refuses to se
...more
oceankitty
I'm really, really impressed. Seeing all the good reviews for this book I feel it's unnecessary to add another, but I cant help myself, I have to write a few words. This is a conglomeration of northern European fairy tales with all the trimmings.

This is so intricate and beautifully written that any reader would love it, M/M lover or not. Don't expect fluff. Expect great adventure and deep, deep love. Expect a happy ending. This is a book that will easily become anyone's favorite fairy tale/Sci-
...more
Edina Rose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Loederkoningin
Because those good old folk and fairy tales seldom starred gay knights in shining armor and twinky princes, here we have a M/M adaption of the old Russian fairytale ‘Vasilisa the Beautiful’ for your reading pleasure!

Like most heroines in the Cinderella type of stories from your youth, poor Vasilisa had to endure hell and hatred when her mother died and her father remarried an evil woman. In this story by Martinez, Vasilisa has become a Vassily, but has otherwise lost none of his beauty. This tim
...more
Betryal
This story is top notch. I completely adored this one. Impressive, lovable characters, great plot and a story that's easily flowing to follow.
Nephylim Nephylim
How can I describe this book. An ancient Russian fairytale transported into a future world. THe characters are vivid and multi-faceted. The bad guys (mostly) have redeemable features. The good guys are flawed in all sorts of ways and the placement and world building is exemplary.

The writing is so delicate in places it's poetry and the two heroes (two of the heroes) are so different yet so similar in many ways.

I fell totally utterly and hopelessly in love with Vassily and with the book.

I can't r
...more
Terry
This is the second book of Ms Martinez I have read and I must say I am impressed not only with her ability to tell a story (the writing just flows and draws the reader in almost immediately) but also her inventiveness. The first part where Vassily becomes a victim of his stepfather had me so wound up I could not put the book down until he had somebody on his side which meant I read probably the fist half of the book in one sitting (never mind the loss of sleep as I normally read at night). Witho ...more
Ayanna
9/4/14
...the new cover is hideous.

Aug 27, 2012
While I do agree with Akansha, I also viewed the overall story as more of an impressionistic piece so I never really did get the "no sense of real plot" that Akansha got. Also, the reason I read it was because of the prospect of the addiction (and all its accompanying angst) and all the promised trauma and miscellaneous angst. I guess we had different approaches.

The idea of a viral drug is interesting. Makes wonder if one day in the future such thing
...more
Dreamer
This book is actually a clever adaption of the Russian fairy tale, 'Vasilisa the Beautiful', substituting men for women.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasilisa...
description
"There was nothing left, nothing to look forward to but a slow and humiliating death. A snippet of poetry haunted him, 'then black despair the shadow of a starless night was thrown over the world in which I moved alone.'"
...more
Fangtasia
Totally harlequinesque, tropey, and predictable, but delicious all the same. My romance-reader soul enjoyed it immensely.
Vastine Bondurant
It's been a long time since I read a 300+ page book in less than a day. But then came Vassily the Beautiful.

I'd waited so anxiously to read this book, had SO looked forward to get into it, and I knew, just knew I would love it. Some books, you just know.

And Vassily the Beautiful met my expectations and then some.

No need to waste time retelling the plot.

All I can say is this is my first reading of Angel Martinez's work and I'm a new, gushing fan now.

Prose. Oh, my. Musical, delicate and yet some
...more
Pam/Peejakers (PJ Faste)
I really enjoyed this! The hero, Vassily, is extremely appealing, if you like gentle, sweet, vulnerable heroes. I happen to adore them :) Vassily is a composer & intellectual, young, gay, physically beautiful but equally physically fragile & ruled by fear. At the start of the story he is lonely & frustrated, chafing at the isolation imposed by his physical & emotional limitations. Then things go from not-so-great to worse, in the form of some pretty harrowing experiences. Adversi ...more
Kristy Maitz
I like that story but I have to say from the start Angel Martinez could do better.

The plot would be more interesting if story would start with Vasya (main character) already walking toward the "Baba Yaga" destination and on the way he would remember what happened and what he is suppose to do.

So it was good read with negative thought that it could be better.
Наталья
Не ожидала, что мне ТАК понравится.
К сожалению, меня как русскую постоянно сбивали с толку русские слова и имена, применяемые направо и налево. Ну не принято в России называть детей всем подряд как у америкосов (в честь штата, города, времени года и т.д.). Поэтому имена Рассвет, Полдень и Сумерки, да еще и сокращенные (Рас, Пол, Суми) меня коробили на протяжении всей книги. К тому же, фамилия Шелка - т.е. Сумерки Шелка *rolling eyes*. А уж с Бабой Ягой и Василием я всерьез до самого конца ожида
...more
Love Bytes Reviews
4.5 STARS
Reviewed by Vicki

Vassily the Beautiful is based on a Russisan fairy tale, Vasilisa the Beautiful. I am not familiar with Russian fairy tales, and initially didn’t read the story before I started Vassily. I did stop a quarter of the way in and read it, it’s a short story, available on the Internet for free and easy to find. If you aren’t familiar with it, it might be worth reading it before you read Vassily. At first I wanted to review this book based solely on it’s own, but I am glad I
...more
Claudia
Oh my... I'm in love with hard/sweet Sumi and with scared/brave Vasyl. What an amazing story. Mrs. Angel has done an incredible work on this book. One of the best book's I've readed. Thanks for writing and sharing with us this amazing story.
Absynthe
Really nice incorporation and evolution of some Russian fairy tales. Very original.
Sue
I was very pleasantly pleased by this book. I bought it on the strength of its high rating and other reviews, and I'm glad I read them because the blurb wouldn't have prompted me to buy based on it alone. The plot seems fantastic, and yet Angel Martinez's writing made me believe in it, so much so that at first I despaired for Vassily's situation and felt for him so much, I was clenching my teeth, holding on until something could get him out of it.
It's that initial engagement of your emotions wi
...more
Riayl
Oh, I loved this one. Books about alcohol/drug addictions usually aren't my thing but this one worked for me. (view spoiler)

Vassily was so lovely, inside and out, I adored him. Sumerki was just...sort of my ultimate. He's dark. He's more likely to bring you the head of someone who offended y
...more
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
4 1/2 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/

Vassily is shocked when his mother returns from a business trip with a husband and two step-sons, he is even more shocked when the true colors of the three show themselves, he also can’t believe his mother’s easy dismissal of his concerns and then his mother disappears and he is left in the hands of his step-father.

This is a very well written science fiction story that has a slight touch of fairy-tale, acti
...more
Jennifer
The first book I read by Angel Martinez was "Gravitational Attraction" and I loved it so much I was a bit fearful to read another one as I did not want to be let down. But, I could not resist and "Vassily the Beautiful" did not let me down one bit. I will admit the first third of the book was tough - Vassily's despair and hopeless situation is so well portrayed that it hurt to read. But, the story and Angel Martinez's writing had already caught me; I read on and, while there was no magic bullet, ...more
Maggie
Rating 4.5

Very enjoyable read! Good world building. I liked the characters, especially Sumi. Love those big, lethal alphas with sweet, vulnerable insides! Vassily's growth and the way he found his strength and courage over the course of the story was well done. The abuse he suffered was unpleasant but not as difficult to read as I had feared based on other reviews. Love those stories where the misfits, outsiders, loners etc. find out they are not so alone and that family can be who you choose. S
...more
Ravon Silvius
I usually don't like weak, effeminate-looking characters. The title and the cover turned me off of this one for a while.

But I finally got around to reading it, and was very pleasantly surprised. I loved the development Vassily goes through-I have a soft spot for books that flesh out characters extremely well, and this book does that. I was impressed with the issues Vassily faced-neurological damage, drug addiction (more characters need to confront this) while he all the while remained determine
...more
Crazymoi12
this book is like a dream came true for my ever thing I love about romance, shifter, fairy tale and mm in one beautiful book ...more
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Angel Martinez currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Angel's alter ego writes the all-ages science fiction - Sandra Stixrude.
More about Angel Martinez...

Other Books in the Series

The ESTO Universe (5 books)
  • Gravitational Attraction
  • Sub Zero (An ESTO Universe Novel)
  • Prisoner 374215
  • A Matter of Faces (Cabin For Two Series)
Prisoner 374215 Gravitational Attraction Boots Finn (Endangered Fae #1) Rarely Pure and Never Simple (Variant Configurations  #1)

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