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Downside Girls

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The floating city of Kesh rests above the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. For the Topsiders life is about luxury and opulence, while for those of the Undertow day to day survival takes precedence. Kesh City is a democracy by assassination, where the Angels - deadly state-sponsored killers - remove those unworthy to hold office.

When Vanna Agriet accidentally spills her dri
...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published November 9th 2012 by Monico (first published September 19th 2012)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  88 ratings  ·  28 reviews


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seak
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review, 2012
Downside Girls is a novella-length collection of four short stories by Jaine Fenn, all of which take place in the universe of Fenn's Hidden Empire series, beginning with Principles of Angels. With a foreword by Alastair Reynolds, I couldn't resist giving this a go.

After reading the first story, I was already extremely interested in this world Fenn's created and convinced to give the main series a go.

"Collateral Damage" - As I said above, I really enjoyed this story. A topsider (upper class) inad
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Heidi
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Three Stars: A short foray into a fascinating world.

Life is definitely difficult for those struggling to exist in the Downside world. It is a gritty, dark, survival of the fittest lifestyle. While those on the Topside have few concerns and live a good life. It is a brutal world, though and justice is swift and deadly. For once a politician or public figure errs and loses the support of the masses, their fate is a quick execution exacted by the deadly angels, who are former downside girls. Their
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RickyB
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up this book and realised it was a sequel of sorts (same characters that appeared in a previous book by the same author) I was a bit worried that, having not read the previous work, I wouldn’t be able to follow what was going on.
While there is some obvious back story missing that would probably be in the other book, it didn’t stop me enjoying these stories any less.
I really loved the world created by author Jaine Fenn and was intrigued enough by the characters that I am keen to rea
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Holly Smith (Geek Glitter)
This is a collection of 4 short stories that make for an amazing novella style read. Before reading Downside Girls, I had never heard of Jaine Fenn or her "Hidden Empire" series. I am now hooked. I can't wait to get my hands on more!

Ms. Fenn's style of writing is captivating! I was drawn in from the first couple of paragraphs. She does an amazing job at world building. It's one of those stories where you can actually envision yourself right there in the middle of it. Of the 4 stories, "Collatera
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Freya
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
review to come :)
Paul
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The floating city of Kesh rests above the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. For the Topsiders life is about luxury and opulence, while for those of the Undertow day to day survival takes precedence. Kesh City is a democracy by assassination, where the Angels – deadly state-sponsored killers – remove those unworthy to hold office.

When Vanna Agriet accidentally spills her drink over an Angel it could spell death, but instead it leads to a rather peculiar friendship. The downsider Geal hopes for a b
...more
Mark
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Downside Girls
By Jaine Fenn

Publisher: Clarion Publishing / Monico
Published In: London, England
Date: 2012
Pgs: 154

Summary:
A mega-cloud city where those responsible for the city’s public life, when they step over the perceived bounds of propriety, face extermination at the hands of the augmented and implanted Angels, assassins who come from the Downside population. Instruments of the city’s will, they await the vote that will send their next target into their path.

A woman in a downside bar spills
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Rinn
I received a copy of this book for free via Librarything, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Clarion Publishing for sending it to me (along with some very friendly emails), and for putting me on their 'nice people' list! =) This review is also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

This collection of four short stories by Jaine Fenn, set in the universe of her series Hidden Empire, assumes no previous knowledge of her work. Leaping straight in, without any introduction to the world, it is sti
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Raj
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
This is a small collection of four short stories set in Fenn's 'Hidden Empire' universe. The first three stories all directly involve Angels, the official assassins of the City, while the last focuses on a musician and only references them indirectly. I've not actually read anything else by Fenn, but she's going to be a Guest of Honour at Satellite 5 so I thought I should read something that she's written before the con and I enjoyed the collection quite a lot.

Fenn is excellent at both storytel
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Lucky
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow!

I think writing a quality short story is harder than writing a quality novel. In a novel, there is more room in which to flesh out characters, develop the plot, and portray the intent. With a short story, writing has to be crisper, more on target, and more evocative. A poor author just can't pull it off, and even a good author who puts together a great short story often cannot sustain that story over a series.

In Downside Girls, Jaine Fenn has succeeded on all levels. Her writing style is dir
...more
Jessica Bronder
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
The city of Kesh floats above an uninhabitable planet. This city has two sides, Topside which is filled with the most privileged people and the assassins they employ to keel everything running to their approval. The Downside is the more impoverished side that has to fight tooth and nail to survive. Then there are the Angels, these are the assassins that keep the world in line.

This is a collection of four stories relating to this world. The first, Collateral Damage, starts with a Downside girl sp
...more
Grace Troxel
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review originally appeared here:
http://bookswithoutanypictures.wordpr...

I received an electronic copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Downside Girls is a collection of four short stories set in the floating city of Kesh. Kesh has a social class structure that is reinforced by biology. Because of the planet’s gravity, the poorer Downsiders must live on the bottom of the city and make their living a scavengers. The people who live Topside can afford the technological adapt
...more
L.S. Murphy
Having not read any of Jaine Fenn's novels, I was a little worried that a collection of short novellas would leave me with questions about the city of Kesh. It was a needless worry.
Fenn's writing is strong with four very distinctive voices for each one of the novellas. The stories moved quickly and weren't bogged down with useless description that usually turns me away from science fiction. The world building was quite excellent. I easily imagined myself on the city.
My favorite story was "Deat
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Sorcha
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, er, ebook, 2012
Provided by the publishers as part of the Library Thing's early reviewers.

More information on both the book and the publishers can be found here:

http://www.clarionpublishing.com/book...

The book is a set of 4 short stories, 3 of which have been published previously and which are linked with Angels - state sponsored assassins - as some of the primary characters.

The 4th story is set in the same world, touches briefly on Angels, but is about a musician and follower of one of the planet's religions.
...more
Eirian Houpe
Set in Fenn's City of Kesh, a 'double sided' city that floats above a hostile word, this series of four shorts tell the separate stories of four characters as they struggle to make their way in a very dangerous world, especially for denizens of the 'downside' – the poor, disinherited… struggling section of the society.

The prose is tight, the pace as befits short stories is fast, and all but the last of the four stories leave the reader satisfied at the telling of a good tale. Unfortunately, the
...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
This is a short story collection that introduces the reader to the world of the Hidden Empire series. As an introduction, this book worked great. After finishing it, I knew I wanted to read the first book in the Hidden Empire series. The world building through the short stories was very well done, and made me want to experience more.

Looking at each story individually, I liked Collateral Damage the best. It was simple yet complex. It was the first story in the collection, so offered my first tast
...more
Kelly
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world Jaine Fenn has created of Angels, the wealthy Topsiders, and the scrabbling poor that live on the underside of the floating city is deeply compelling. The city is equal parts beautiful and deadly, painful and dark. The Angels kill when ordered to and the people accept them for what they are while fearing them at the same time.

While several of the events and characters are mentioned in multiple stories, the stories themselves can easily stand alone and be read without any prior knowledg
...more
Sarah
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Downside Girls is a collection of four stories, all set in a futuristic city divided between the wealthy "Topside" and the squalor filled "Downside." The city has an unusual political system where the citizens elect politicians to be assassinated by Angles, Downside girls chosen to fulfill the citizens choice. The first story follows an unusual friendship between a Topside woman and an Angle. It is the strongest story in the collection and every thing a short story should be. I'd recommend readi ...more
David Gullen
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a highly enjoyable collection of four stories. Each of these tales is filled with vivid characters, tension, adventure, and poignant self-discovery as the Downside Girls strive to stay alive in their ramshackle homes on the underside slums of the floating city of Kesh.

Jaine Fenn is the author of the well-regarded Hidden Empire series of SF novels, the stories in this collection are all part of that universe. Those novels are great reads, Downside Girls shows she's a highly accomplished a
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Mandy
I won a copy of Downside Girls from a Librarything giveaway in return for an honest review. I found Downside Girls fast paced a quick read that I was able to read in a short time without putting down. The shorts stories take place in the world of the Hidden Empire Series. I found the idea for the floating city with the two types of people unique and exciting. I found the concept for the Angels new and refreshing compared to most of the other Angel books out there. The short stories are an awesom ...more
Glen
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
our interwoven stories set in a divided, intertwined, interconnected world. A city, divided into Topside and Downside, with one law: Angels kill according to the will of the majority. Angels come only from the ranks of the Downside girls.

Jaine Fenn writes spare, lean prose. She hasn’t turned her back on the short fiction form with the success of her long form prose – and I for one am glad. These hard scifi stories drop you into the lives of people living – often literally – on or just over the e
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Alan
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four short stories set in a city divided by those who live topside and those who live downside. The first three interlinked stories offer a glimpse into a dark world where angels, the downside girls, are respected and feared. The stories wonderfully explore these mysterious executioners and reveal how human they really are. Each story just gets better. The fourth story, set in the same universe, is an interesting exploration of faith. Warning: the first three stories are for an adult readership ...more
Fred Langridge
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A selection of short stories set in the same world as her novels (of which I've read and enjoyed the first). Very good, warm, people-centred science fiction. This set is women/girls-centred; I don't know whether that's true of all her work but I'd definitely recommend what I've read so far to feminists who like sci fi. ...more
Tory
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book. I loved the characters of the stories. The snippets of their lives were compelling enough for me to now want to find Jaine Fenn's books and read them all.

Note: I received this book through Goodread First Reads.
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John
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Four great short stories, although I think they work better if you've read the rest of Fenn's work. The only thing of hers left to read on my bookshelf is her Novacon chapbook, so that's next on my list! ...more
Paddy O'callaghan
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Absolutely brilliant. Shame it wasn't longer though
...more
Michael Dillon
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good stories set in an interesting world that I look forward to reading more about, I see similarities between her and Reynolds, who wrote the intro, that show promise to me.
Adrian Leaf
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it
An enjoyable (although very short) character driven short story collection set in Jaine Fenn's Hidden Empire universe. ...more
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73 followers
Truth may be stranger than fiction, but it's also far harder to track down. Jaine Fenn has had numerous short stories professionally published, some of which appear in the collection 'Downside Girls' and has won the British Science Fiction Association Short Fiction award. Her Hidden Empire space opera sequence, published by Gollancz, starts with the novel 'Principles of Angels'. Her Shadowlands sc ...more

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