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Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel Paperback

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Product Details

  • Series: Tangled Axon
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Masque Books (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607014017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607014010
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jacqueline Koyanagi was born in Ohio to a Japanese-Southern-American family, eventually moved to Georgia, and earned a degree in anthropology with a minor in religion.  Her stories feature queer women of color, folks with disabilities, neuroatypical characters, and diverse relationship styles, because she grew tired of not seeing enough of herself and the people she loves reflected in genre fiction. She now resides in Colorado where she weaves all manner of things, including stories, chainmaille jewelry, and a life with her partners and dog.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The character development was complex and very real.
Patricia O. Bracknell
Wonderful GBLT friendly SF with interesting characters in a fascinating situation.
Robert A. Sloan
Alana, Tev, and the crew of the Tangled Axon could be any one of us.
The Fountain Pen Diva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Alana Quick is a sky surgeon, as evident by her long locs. She loves ships as one loves a significant other and has lost a few of the latter because she places her work first and foremost in her life. But she's never actually left her homeworld in one. There is little money in her line of work, but she loves it too much to ever consider doing anything else and she refuses to sell out to Transliminal, the reigning corporation that offers promises of magic and money - and the potential cure for Alana and her Aunt Lai's debilitating muscle disease.

When a ship arrives seeking Alana's sister Nova, Alana obeys the ship's summons and leaps on the opportunity to stow away in hopes of proving herself worthy of joining the ship's crew. Captain Tev is understandably mad about this, but since they still need her sister, Tev allows Alana to remain on board. A catastrophic event following their retrieval of Nova turns ship and all onboard into hunted criminals who must get to the heart of Transliminal to both clear their name and achieve their initial goals.

In her bio, Koyanagi describes a desire to write books featuring atypical heroes and social structures. One review complained about the dearth of male characters. This isn't Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned where all but one male has died off. There are male characters, they just don't have prominent roles in the story. Fiction presents an opportunity for writers to venture far beyond the stereotypes and prejudices of reality, yet so often, we keep seeing white male-centric books with the occasional, lovingly described token people of another race and/or gender.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M.K. Carr on July 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
ASCENSION is a novel that beautifully takes the reader on a journey through the coveted Big Quiet (that's space in layman's terms) and, dare I say, beyond. Alana Quick is a sky surgeon (a space ship engineer, basically) in a time when many of the manual labor positions are being bought out by the big corporate group, Transliminal. Unfortunately, they have the market cornered because, just like themselves, the technology they're pushing is from a different universe entirely, leaving sky surgeons in the dark and out of jobs. So, desperate for a job and without many prospects, Alana stows onto the Tangled Axon (after a little bit of a push, actually), and sets off into the atmosphere.

Admittedly (and probably obviously after that first bit), I'm not a regular reviewer of book, but here's what made me fall in love with ASCENSION:

* Coming from a mostly YA background, I wasn't sure how easily I'd be able to fall into step with a sci-fi space epic, but Alana's narration offers a distinct voice that flows across the page. I've seen some reviews say it gets to be too preachy, but you have to remember that these are a character's thoughts on the page, and she's coming into herself at that. Alana is a woman who has a specific view of things, which was something I loved about her.

* We may not know much about the overall system that Alana lives in, but what is described is done so exquisitely. For example, Adul and the Adulans; the planet and its inhabitants ended up being one of my favorite things about ASCENSION. The language used to describe both have stuck with me days after finishing the novel, and when I think of Adul I still get a little hungry for cake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was excited about ASCENSION when everyone started talking about it on Tumblr. If there's one thing blogging has taught me, it's that there is a demand for stories with diverse characters. Along comes a science fiction tale with characters of varied ethnicity and sexualities, plus the protagonist has a debilitating chronic illness. Unfortunately, you can't build a story on diversity alone.

ASCENSION suffers from a serious lack of plot, first of all. There is a major, devastating event at the beginning and a flurry of activity at the end. Between that, not much happens. And the ending isn't enough to save it. The reveals about the true nature of the Tangled Axon were things I'd figured out long before, much like main character Alana's older sister Nova.

The sororal relationship between Alana and Nova was my favorite part of the book. They have very different outlooks and goals in life, which leads to quite a bit of friction. At the same time, they love each other unquestionably and do quite a bit to keep the other safe. The other relationships in the novel didn't move me as much. Most of the Tangled Axon crew are underwritten and the romance is uneven. Alana thinks Captain Tev is hot as soon as she sees her after she stows aboard. She starts thinking about how she's falling in love before they have any real personal conversations, which just didn't work for me. It was mostly Alana pining instead of real interaction, and I need interaction in my love stories.

Good worldbuilding could've saved ASCENSION. But honestly, I couldn't tell you much about this spacefaring future. There's a medical company, Transliminal, that's quite powerful, which is plausible. Nova is a sort of religious witch, although I never fully understood how her powers worked.
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