Lioness of Cygnus Five by Alex Beecroft
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A free copy of the kindle was provided for an honest review.
Beecroft has talent, of that there is no question. She deftly wields vivid imagery, and narrative scope into a tale that will draw you in. But the technical errors jar (though I have been told, I have an old copy), one out of two of the main characters are borderline unlikeable, and the sociological viewpoints expressed can be hard to ignore. Suffice to say, I am probably not among the target audience. But when I put my bias aside I can see clearly that there is artistry here, and a strong story. The Lioness of Cygnus Five is a four-star book, ready to escape from the shackles of a three-star editing.
Moments of brilliance speckle a flow of text that is impressive in consistency and rhythm. The first few chapters are exciting, engaging, and quite unique. The second character, Aurora Campos, I can quite relate to. The dialogue, the experiences of the two protagonists are realistic, and have a wonderful touch. In short, they are believable. And lastly, the basic scientific foundation of the experience here is solid, I have no qualms.
However, for lack of a better word, I despised Bryant at the beginning. I did warm up to him later, only to have all the goodwill dashed it all in a decision that brought me back to his original characterization; selfish, smug, self-righteous, naïve, and whiny. This choice, coupled with the ending, that initially sealed my personal feelings for the novel. It is here where I decided I needed to step back, and look at the whole picture to really rate this piece. To wit, counting up all of the beans, I am left with a solid albeit flawed book.
For readers out there, if queer sci-fi romance is your area, you will unlikely never find a more well-versed, character driver piece. I would say that it even stands fairly-well, romance aspects aside, as a sci-fi storyline. Everyone else should however do consider the subject matter, and understand that this novel does not remain ideologically neutral. In the end, I hope Bryant is happy; I chose to only knock the book, rather than murder it.
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