Review: Ascension

Ascension
Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12730343

Book #28 for 2014

So, it’s like the author binge-watched Firefly, Star Wars, and Farscape, then channelled the imaginary love-child of JD Robb and Diana Gabaldon. Which, according to lots of the other reviews of this book, is not necessarily a bad thing. If that is the sort of thing you are looking for, congratulations, you have found a winner of a book. (Except I would warn you that this does not have the excruciating attention to detail that one would expect from any mythical offspring of Gabaldon.) I can’t say, however, that I was favorably impressed.

This was a book club selection, and it served to remind me of why I love book clubs and how useful the discussions can be. I went into this discussion pretty much hating this book. Quite a few of the others shared my disdain, but even though we spent much of the discussion eviscerating the book, I was reminded of some aspects of the book that I did like. Koyanagi does have a knack for sensuality in her prose, and this also shows up as some impressive imagery. I also applaud Koyanagi for writing about the kinds of people who exist in her own world, even though that world is unfamiliar to many.

I just wish that Koyanagi’s queer, disabled woman of color in a non-traditional field had been more competent and mature, or had at least grown significantly over the course of the novel. I also found the romantic polyamory subplots distracting as well as predictable and unrealistic. I confess, I have never been involved in a poly relationship, but friends who have done so tell me that I am correct in thinking that clear lines of communication are key for maintaining a positive, mature polyamorous group. And these characters are an epic failure in that regard.

There is a lot of great potential in this book, but I felt like none of it gelled properly. I hope this author keeps at it, though. I can’t say I am terribly interested in reading more in this Tangled Axon series, but if Koyanagi writes something else entirely, I am likely to give it a try.

View all my reviews

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