Kiri's Reviews > Arabella and the Battle of Venus

Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine
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Enjoyable romp, but not quite as good as the preceding book. Arabella spends most of this book on dreary, humid Venus in a prison camp. As a lady of means, she is treated rather embarrassingly well (compared to the common sailors), yet still there is suffering - that goes on and on and on. I'm not sure she ever got to take a bath, much less brush her hair; her gowns are soaked through with mud (and worse, later) and there's not enough food and yet... it's not *really* suffering. The author treats it all with a bit of a too-light hand. Even worse, Arabella gets stuck in a kind of love triangle that somehow isn't persuasive enough to be engaging scandalous. Instead, it just feels awkward. More generally, Arabella flouts regency society principles over and over again with her improper behavior/clothing/words/everything, yet no negative repercussions ever manifest. By the latter part of the book I had to keep shrugging off the dissonance, which made it hard to fully immerse in the story.

The *best* part of this story may well be that both Emperor Napoleon and Lord Nelson appear - their scenes sparkle amidst the Venusian grime and gloom. I also enjoyed the parts of the story that took place on the aerial ships, for the glimpses into how crews are organized to enable efficient operation, both under sail and in battle. Nifty!

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Reading Progress

November 17, 2018 – Shelved
November 17, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 16, 2019 – Started Reading
September 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

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