Kristi reviews Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel by Jacqueline Koyanagi


Alana Quick has always dreamed of going to the stars, not being stuck on her planet fixing starships for (barely) a living. So when a crew from the Tangled Axon comes looking for her sister, Nova, and Nova’s talents as a spirit guide, Alana decides to stow away on the ship, hoping for a chance to stay. She soon discovers that the crew is rather unusual: the engineer has some rather wolf-like qualities, the pilot is disappearing into thin air (literally), and the captain, with her wild blond hair and piercing eyes, makes Alana want more than just a place on the ship. With lives on the line, can Alana find a way to make all her dreams come true?

While romance is not the core of this all-out science fiction tale, Alana, her sister Nova, Captain Tev Helix, the Tangled Axon, and her crew are intertwined in many different levels of love and commitment. The heat between Tev and Alana was believable, even while they were at odds over using Nova. I did enjoy that the author drew on her own experiences, giving Ascension characters that were dark-skinned, disabled, and/or fluid in their sexuality, as many space epics can have a homogeneous nature.

While the tale is incredibly sensitive in its world-building inside the ship and between the Axon’s characters, key moments outside happen either incredibly fast–leaving a sense of missing a paragraph somewhere–or as drawn out chapters where the story plods to the point where you lose focus on the action.There is almost too much in this book to make it a coherent story. However, this book is definitely for readers who enjoy good science fiction and varied characters, and is an entertaining read.