Mountie's Reviews > Amaranth & Ash

Amaranth & Ash by Jessica Freely
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's review
Jan 06, 12

bookshelves: sci-fi, transgender, m-m-favourites, comfort-re-reads, futuristic
Read in January, 2012

I just finished this book. It is a wonderful Sci/fi, book which IS definitely my kind of read. Amaranth and Ash is set in a world where a genetic plague has split the dominant race into 4 distinct subspecies of humans. The book opens with a member of the soulless Chel, the lowest member of society, looking for a way to obtain some food through stealing. In the aftermath of the punishment for being caugh our Chel, Ash is discovered by a Varasai, Amaranth, who hears Ash's soul cry out. Amaranth has spent his life using his soul, within sexual encounters to heal and believes as he has been taught, that Chels have no souls, hence can't be healed with his powers. This is the first societal lie of many, that Amaranth and Ash uncover in their journey, first to heal Ash, then to heal their society.

This lie is one of the many twists thrown into the story. Though a good sized eBook, there was so many things I wanted to know that could not be answered within the context of the book. I really wanted to know about the mutations, about the history about how the society developed the way it did and who made the decisions that effected this society that started so egalitarian but developed so skewed. I wasn't disappointed with the story at all, based on the length, just that like all wonderful Sci/Fi books, it made me want to know more. I was captivated by the story and would recommend it to any reader who enjoys a good other world tale.

I was surprised with Varasi Amaranth. The Varasai mutation, makes them androgynous in looks but they really are multi sexed. The dominant sexual gender identity for each Varasai is more based on which gender a Varasai relates to rather than any physical characteristic. Once I thought the mutation through, I can understand why Amaranth is built the way he is. It actually follows quite closely human biology. Though humanity doesn't have complete androgyny, like the Vasai, the mutation is completely believable in a developmental way. As Amaranth identifies himself as male, a M/M "tag" has been given to the book by the publisher. Once I let the sexuality of the Varasai go, I felt it added to the story and made it more of an interesting read.

Expect the unexpected, and enjoy.

First Read Aug 21, 2010, Second Read Jan 3, 2012 Just as wonderful the second time,
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Reading Progress

15.0% "Was chatting a bit with Jessica last night and it reminded me that I hadn't re-read A & A for a while, so I cracked it open. Looking forward to re-reading this story." 4 comments

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