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Sparks Fly

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  28 reviews
After twenty-five years of single-minded determination, Marianne Gordon has finally achieved her ambition and been promoted to Principal of the Vesper School for Zero-Gravity Artistic Display.

But her moment of triumph is cut short when she discovers that she must share her position with Josephine Knight, a celebrated zero-gravity performer who doesn’t know the first thing
Kindle Edition, 69 pages
Published February 9th 2018
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, new, read-2018, short
This was a DELIGHT from start to finish, I loved both main characters and the chemistry between them, and the type of performance art invented! (I wish Z-GAD was a real thing.) If lesbians in space is your jam (and why wouldn't it be) cannot recommend this highly enough! ...more
Katherine Fabian
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
[Full disclosure: The author is a friend]

This is such a delightful candy floss novella -- sweetly, engagingly written, with everything falling perfectly on its thoroughly satisfying beats. Set against an imaginative background of vividly described futuristic performing arts, this is one of those perfect short romances that sells you completely on how good the characters would be together and how much they deserve their happy ever after. It doesn't hurt that it is QUEER WOMEN BEING PROFESSIONALLY
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story is, for me, pure joy. Two very different, but capable and competent, women meet in a school, in space. There's some rivalry, and some falling in love, and a very satisfying denouement, all set in a thoroughly believable and charming universe that I want to hear more about.

It's quiet and charming rather than full of explosions, but I have no problem with that whatsoever! I thought that there was exactly the right amount of Happenings for its novella length. I often find novellas a bit
This novella is an absolutely adorable romance set at an intergalactic performing arts school, like a grownup version of the school from Ballet Shoes but in space, with two co-principals who've been pitted against each other...but OF COURSE they fall in love. It is really, really sweet and so much fun. I can't wait to read more stories from Llinos Cathryn Thomas! ...more
Shira Glassman
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ff-sff, femslash
Review originally appeared on The Lesbrary. I don’t know what quirk of God’s imagination caused “arts college in space” to suddenly become a trope in the lesbian book world, but I’m eagerly on board. First Jennifer Linsky gave us Flowers of Luna, in which the heroine finds love while attending fashion design school on the moon. And then just now I recently read and enjoyed Sparks Fly by Welsh author Llinos Cathryn Thomas, set at a dance academy on a space station. (I said this in an interview el ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Such a lovely, absorbing, satisfying romance! I really enjoyed watching the protagonists fall for each other. And the zero gravity art form was inspired - there's a sequence towards the end that's just magical. Highly recommended!

(The author's a friend of mine, but I'm pretty sure I'd have loved it even if she weren't.)
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, sci-fi, favorites
Well, that was an absolute delight. This is a short but lovely romance story set against a backdrop of teaching and performing in a school dedicated to teaching a fictional performing art, Z-GAD on a space station. Z-GAD itself feels like a cross between ballet and an art performance put on by Cai Guo-Qiang, and feels like a natural artistic development for a society that's comfortably integrated space travel as something normal, while being different enough to be fun and original. I've never st ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
A charming lesbian romance, set in a sci-fi world. The two main characters, Jo and Marianne, are both experts in zero-gravity dancing: Marianne runs the best school for the dance, and Jo is at the peak of her career. An accident leaves Jo unable to perform and she becomes co-principal of Marianne's school, which Marianne bitterly resents. Something I loved about this sci-fi world was that the story didn't focus on dramatic interstellar war or survival in a dystopia: it was about ordinary women w ...more
Andrew Murray
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a good, quick, read. I burned through this in two commutes, and that’s time I normally spend playing games.

The author’s done a really solid job with the characters development through the story. I was particularly impressed with how she would bounce from one characters point of view to another, sometimes mid chapter, and yet it was never jarring or confusing. As both of our protagonists have distinct styles and flavours to them.

I’d love to read more in this world, there’s a lot going on
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-themes, romance
Full disclosure, the author is a friend, but that just means I found out about this book's existence - I'd have loved it no matter what. It's sweet and lovely, with exactly enough dilemma for a romance novella and gorgeous world-building. I'm sad Z-GAD doesn't exist (yet). The romance was lovely, I adored Marianne and Jo, and this was exactly the pick me up I needed after a bad day. ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is such a fun, sweet story, with cool spacedancing and lovable characters and a neat satisfying romantic arc. What more do you want from this life, I ask you.
Rebecca Reviews
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Sparks Fly by Llinos Cathryn Thomas is a cute space romance novella between two older women with a happy ending. While I did like the characters and the plot, I wish Jo’s character was more developed and the setting was better written and more established.

After twenty-five years of dedication and determination, Marianne Gordon has finally achieved her dream of becoming principal of the prestigious Vesper Station School for Zero-Gravity Artistic Display. However, her big moment is ruined when she
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, romance
[Full disclosure: the author is a friend.]

This is a short, absolutely lovely f/f romance set on a space station. I loved that the protagonists were a bit older, with maturity and life experience, and they have a compelling dynamic. If I wish anything more from this book, it’s that it were twice as long so it had time to flesh out its world in greater detail. But it’s a delightful, heartwarming read as it is.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: femslash, sci-fi, novellas
Delightful novella with middle aged women falling in love!

Do you know how dare it is to find a great f/f sci-fi story where the characters aren't teenagers or young adults? This was absolutely delightful, Jo and Marianne were well fleshed out, the plot was engaging. Definitely recommend it and will keep an eye out for more of Thomas' books!
Jennifer Linsky
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have Shira Glassman to thank for having called this marvelous short work to my attention. She said that it reminded her of my own work, and that piqued my interest. And, indeed, I do see the similarities.

It's quite a quick read, and a satisfying one. Dancer and choreographer meet angry, then concile and eventually love. The joy of the dance suffuses the work -- which is all the more interesting, as it isn't dancing as we think of it, but more like precision flying, the sort of thing the Blue A
Margrethe Martin
For a science fiction romance, Sparks Fly is actually pretty light on the science fiction, and I really struggled to get a sense of the setting in spite of the book taking place at a futuristic performing arts school. Sparks Fly has some decent components, but they don’t fit together in a terribly compelling way. After finishing the novella, I was left with the sense that I barely knew the characters. In the end, the often ambiguous setting and the lack of emotional connection between the heroin ...more
Kíssila Machado
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an endearing romance between two very different women. At only 70 pages, it doesn't leave much room for character development or further detail on their lives and personalities, which can affect the readers' immersion in the story, but it doesn't stop you from enjoying the book. Overall it's a good read, and I finished curious to know more of the world the main characters inhabited, so that's a plus. ...more
I really enjoyed the idea behind this, and I also really enjoyed the writing. However the relationship felt very flat, everything was incredibly fast, and just didn't click for me. There were really only two characters in the whole thing, which was disappointing, no supporting cast at all. I think another 100 pages a few more characters and this would have been great. ...more
Rachel Hill
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really enjoyable sci fi romance that I finished in a single sitting. Both the leads were compelling and I cared about them, though I feel the author could have given more depth to both them and the events surrounding them. Overall the romance was satisfying and I will be looking for more stories from the author.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, hoorah for f/f romance in SPACE! This was an absolutely charming novella. I read it in one sitting and honestly would have happily done the same if it was twice as long. I loved the characters and their journeys (particularly Jo learning what being a teacher is all about) and how much I ended up caring about the art of pyrotechnical space-pod ballet.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ff
This was fun.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s cute, it’s sweet and I loved the two lead characters.
very nice
isa Simonet
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great book not long enough and the side f / f not developed enough for my taste. But the story is original, and reads in one go. I highly recommend it and an author to follow.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Romance novellas have a tall order, aiming to take the characters quickly but satisfyingly from meet-cute to falling into each other's arms. In this case, it was more of a meet-grump, but I like that flavor too! (Maybe even better, in fact.)

We join Marianne at a time that should be a major win - being promoted to the head position at her art school. Instead of the sweetness of victory, though, Marianne is left with a bitter taste when Jo, injured but highly regarded zero-g pilot, is given the po
Skye Kilaen
Feb 19, 2018 marked it as no-thank-you
I really wanted to like this, but I didn't get a clear sense of either woman's personality, so it didn't hold my interest. I also felt like Marianne was incredibly naive to think the board would let her do whatever she wanted now that she was "in charge" - after working there for so long in a senior role, shouldn't she have a better understanding of how power works within the organization? DNF disappointedly at 75%. ...more
Anna Albury
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novella is a delight - well-drawn characters, good pacing, imaginative world-building, and an easy, evocative style that is a real pleasure to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet piece of f/f escapism.
rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2019
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Llinos Cathryn Thomas was born and raised on the North Wales coast, where she read a lot of Welsh fairy tales and legends and watched a lot of Star Trek – which probably explains some things about how she turned out.

She has a degree in Russian Studies from the University of Nottingham, which she has used mainly to deepen her appreciation for the movie Anastasia.

She now lives in London with her wif

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