Vassily the Beautiful (The ESTO Universe)
Fun and sexy love story but nothing to get too excited about.
I can't say that I loved the novel and I can't say that I hated it either. It was fun but nothing that really held my interests all that much. The two main character each had their weakness that they had to overcome. They both helped each other to do that and in the process fell in love. Nothing new in that story and nothing new in the telling of it either. The sexual content wasn't anything that was overly exciting. Pretty standard
World building was decent and set the stage, but even so it quickly felt very terrestrial and graspable. So, if tricky confusing science fiction annoys, then you don't need to worry because it slides smoothly. I liked Vassily, a bit delicate, but tenacious. Sumi, Ras, and Pol are lovable. I tend to judge people more on body language and action then words, so these are my kind of guys. The story is clever and entertaining. Wasn't looking for more ...more
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
REVIEW: A year ago I had never heard of Angel Martinez, let alone read anything by her. Now, I'm working on reading every book in her back list and definitely picking up anything new she has out. She has become a "go-to" author, one that I can rely on to give me a great, enjoyable, and fun read. This time was no different.
Vassily is fragile, beautiful, and naïve. At least, until his stepfather gets a hold of him and turns him into a junkie, or "toxie" as they are called in the ESTO universe. But ...more
Before I begin, though.
Sumerki=Dusk. The book starts with his name :)
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
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
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
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
"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.'"
I wasn't sure about this book at the beginning. Vassily was very fragile and made some decisions that didn't make any sense to me. Some of the abuse by his step-father was also a bit hard to read. But when Vassily heads across the city to find the infamous Baba Yaga the story just took off out of the gate.
This is a sci-fi setting but it is not heavy on that aspect. I mention that because I'm not a big sci-fi fan but I feel like there were just small aspects to this and re ...more
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
I cringed at some of the decisions Vassily made early on. He is naive and lives a sheltered, secluded life ...more
This was a lot of fun. I haven't ever read the Russian fairy tale "Vasilia The Beautiful" that this is based on, so I don't know how it compares. The funny thing was, when I saw that it was based on a fairy tale, I thought it was going to be all sweetness and light - but, um, no - not quite. Yes there's a predictably sappy romance and a sweet HEA, yes there's a kind of cartoon villain and an MC who has a good heart, but it's also set in quite a dark futuristic setting, with drugs, addi ...more
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
...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
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.
Listening to this audiobook was an unexpected pleasure. It was not as dark, nor as complex, as I originally feared it might be. And Vassily was not as vapid as I thought he might be—based on the blurb and the cover image. Speaking of which, I found the cover totally unappealing and if not for the attraction of a narrator for whom I have a great deal of respect, I likely would ...more
Vassily is many things, pampered, well born, extremely talented, and recovering from a life-altering accident that killed his father. Only now, after years of recovery, has Vassily begun to trust himself enough to venture outside of his apartment, let alone his building. His only companions are a maid and a neighbor who is a drag queen of some renown. His mother is often off on trading expeditions to far planets, and she is gone for months at a time. After her last t ...more
Cool Sci-fi world, complete with dna manipulated test tube humans, space pirates, and flying motorcycles. Greg Boudreux did a fantastic job with the narration raising the book from 4 to 4.5.
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
|Gay Science Fiction: Win Vassily the Beautiful! **Congratulations David Friedman!*||16||36||Apr 24, 2012 08:58AM|
Angel's alter ego writes the all-ages science fiction - Sandra Stixrude.