Aw!! I wasn't a huge fan of the voice (/writing style) here, as it got tiresome after a little while. But it had some darn cute moments! Loved the SUP...moreAw!! I wasn't a huge fan of the voice (/writing style) here, as it got tiresome after a little while. But it had some darn cute moments! Loved the SUPER fat-pos character and storyline, loved all the random queers showing up all over the place, loved the silly cozy plotline and sleuthing.
I picked this up because my partner and I had totally gotten a kick out of the the Miss Fisher Mysteries on Netflix, so Kerry Greenwood was on my radar and on the shelves at my library. Not sure if I'll read the Phryne Fisher books or not, but if anybody ever made this Corinna Chapman series into a TV series, I would be ALL OVER THAT. (less)
Fuuuuuuuck why do I have to wait so long between installments?!? All I want is 500 pages right now!! the art is outstanding, the story is engaging, th...moreFuuuuuuuck why do I have to wait so long between installments?!? All I want is 500 pages right now!! the art is outstanding, the story is engaging, the characters and world building are terrific...if you're avoiding reading this series for any reason other than an inability to contain your impatience between installments, you need to seriously reevaluate your choices. (less)
Gosh, this set off all my catnip alerts, but I'm afraid it just didn't have the solid writing/worldbuilding/emotional craft I needed to be able to ent...moreGosh, this set off all my catnip alerts, but I'm afraid it just didn't have the solid writing/worldbuilding/emotional craft I needed to be able to enter the story.
I just skimmed through some of the other reviews and found many of the same disappointed complaints I had about the worldbuilding and character development. I think it's interesting, though, how many are like, well, this isn't really SF, it's a romance, maybe that's the problem. But in a romance novel, I have even *higher* expectations for the crafting of the relationships, the tensions and resolutions, and intensive, interesting character development. Because good romance novels do that, even if the "plot" is virtually nonexistent. I would have been thrilled if Ascension had worked through actual family/romantic/etc relationships (not just Heather-has-two-mommies-style didacticism around poly life) and challenges.
I'm a children's librarian, so I see value in presenting issues of visibility in tidy terms when working with kids and families... developmentally, some didacticism is useful for my kids, especially in an educational setting. But this book is for grownups, ostensibly for ME, so I expect more sophistication, depth, realistic messiness. Who is this written for, those of us inside looking out or those outside looking in? I guess representation is less satisfying to me if it's primarily intended to make me palatable to others. /grouch(less)
Such goodhearted, genuinely hilarious, sweet fun. I've enjoyed all of Faith Erin Hicks's work that I've read, but this is definitely my favorite. One...moreSuch goodhearted, genuinely hilarious, sweet fun. I've enjoyed all of Faith Erin Hicks's work that I've read, but this is definitely my favorite. One of my top happy-making reads of the year. (less)
Sometimes all I want to write in a review is "squeee! I really liked it!!" This happens more with romance than other genres.
I'm a sucker for an angst...moreSometimes all I want to write in a review is "squeee! I really liked it!!" This happens more with romance than other genres.
I'm a sucker for an angsty, nice-guy hero. Also smart badass ladies, especially doing things like math and science.
This also offered an unexpected bonus: a heroine who loves sex and who's sort of pervy and with no slut shaming (!!!!). Nicely done, Ms. Grant!
Ok, so pervy = YAY. Mutual enjoyment of rough sex without any consent issues = YAY. Possible blaming of pervy proclivities on trauma slash unhealthy desire for self-punishment = YOU WERE DOING SO WELL, SIGH.
On the other hand, I might have been overly sensitive on that front... if that was in fact what was happening, it wasn't so overt as to be completely obvious. And it did not have the "but now we're having tender vanilla sex as a symbol of my healing and therefore our fulfilling relationship," which is the sex equivalent of the gagtastic weight-loss-as-symbol-of-personal-growth trope. I loved that the "we're finally connecting in our souls" sex involved her talking to break through her barriers around vulnerability rather than changing the kind of sex she actually enjoys.
Some other reviewers found the pacing to be slow and the math/gambling parts to be endless -- I actually found all of that pacing to be totally enjoyable and not at all boring.
Blech, that was so flat and silly! I don't think I've encountered such a Mary Sue character since Patrick Rothfuss's books, which felt remarkably simi...moreBlech, that was so flat and silly! I don't think I've encountered such a Mary Sue character since Patrick Rothfuss's books, which felt remarkably similar to this in tone if not plot. Might recommend it to not particularly discerning tween/teen superhero fans? (less)
Romping good fun! Recommended by Smart Bitches Trashy Books for a reader in search of adventure romance. The epilogue/setup for the next one set in Ca...moreRomping good fun! Recommended by Smart Bitches Trashy Books for a reader in search of adventure romance. The epilogue/setup for the next one set in Canada def piqued my interest too. (less)
So wavering between three and four stars for this one! This is my first Beverly Jenkins and my first non-Regency historical romance (I'm a n00b) and I...moreSo wavering between three and four stars for this one! This is my first Beverly Jenkins and my first non-Regency historical romance (I'm a n00b) and I found parts of it completely awesome.
The awesome: - The setting/characters, especially the fantastic socioeconomic diversity represented in an entirely African-American and Latino cast. History times but with a completely different narrative than the mainstream -- black and Latina women as business owners, heads of households with servants, travelers, and teachers who know all about women of color throughout history. Wiyot girl who goes to college! Apparently Ms. Jenkins has a tendency to infodump with the historical stuff, which makes me want to read more... I loved this. I feel a little silly because I'm new to the genre, so this is *my* first experience with African-American historical romance and it consequently feels fresh and revelatory and squee-worthy, but of course it's not necessarily anything new except to me.
-Fierce ladies!! So many great ladies, and lady friendships. Such a fan of the way Logan's stepmother is not only loving and protective, but builds a relationship with Mariah based on mutual respect and enjoyment.
-I had a hard time with the writing style, which felt clunky and kind of old-skool cliched to me.
-It was just so SPEEDY! A single train ride to transform a lifetime of abuse and fear into powerful self-confidence, with no slips back into patterns of behavior? And then a single week to meet and fall in love with dude? Historically, yes, I know that's a speedy marriage wasn't necessarily unrealistic for the Western-bound ladies, but this is a romance novel! I wanted them to take their time -- at least a year -- and for Mariah to get to explore her "new" self more. Also that preacher seemed super nice and I feel like Mariah deserved some time with somebody a little less bossy and flashy than Logan. He wasn't a total jerk but he didn't prove himself to be that great.
I wish this had been an epic, taking all the time it needed to develop Mariah's relationship with her mother, the backstory, the potentially fascinating side characters, exploring the conflicts with Logan, letting her figure out who and how she is in the world and with other people... that's a book I'd be really excited to read.
Definitely going to keep reading in this genre though. I want more! (less)
Well, that was paradoxically a very restful read! Totally believable, with even pacing, truthy science, and an easy along-for-the-ride style. Recommen...moreWell, that was paradoxically a very restful read! Totally believable, with even pacing, truthy science, and an easy along-for-the-ride style. Recommended for people who enjoy not having to talk about feelings, and also like survival stories, and also science and space. (less)