- Paperback: 88 pages
- Publisher: Monico (November 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1909016179
- ISBN-13: 978-1909016170
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,520,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Downside Girls Paperback – November 9, 2012
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Disclaimer: This was a free early reviewer copy of the book.
The first three of these stories are braided, characters and events central to one story showing up more peripherally in other stories.
"Collateral Damage" plays out a somewhat predictable plot of a newly minted Angel, who still has not executed anyone, happily accepting the friendship, as a way out of her social isolation, of a Topside woman.
"Death on Elsewhere Street" is about how some Angels go bad under the strain of their work and their machinations to get around the rules governing their legal sanctions.
"Angel Dust" takes its young heroine all the way from Downside to Topside to reluctantly aid a wounded Angel. She eventually meets the Minister, the mysterious man who manages and recruits the Angels. Like most stories here, it does not end happily.
"The Three Temptations of Larnia Mier" was my favorite story. Unlike the other stories, it is not primarily a crime story or narrated in the first person. Its fervently religious protagonist, a music teacher facing the trial of losing her hearing, must also face temptations presented by a new pupil.Read more ›
What I Liked:
*Downside Girls is a novella consisting of four short stories. It is a tantalizing tease into Ms. Fenn's dark and deadly world. She has definitely created a fascinating world, and though there isn't a lot of time to dispense the details in this small book, the reader has just enough information to put together a picture of her vision. I liked that this was a quick read, and that it wasn't bogged down with details.
*I enjoyed reading about the difficulties the downside girls and angels faced. Make no mistake, their lives are fraught with peril, and never easy, but all the characters had a fierce, determined outlook.
*I am a fan of short stories and I enjoyed seeing how these stories interconnected. My favorite of the four was the first story that tells the tale of a new angel who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a topside lady. The final twist was a shock and I loved it!
And The Not So Much:
*Even though this novel provided enough description to get an idea of Ms. Fenn's world, I was ultimately left wanting more, and I will have to check into her other novels.Read more ›
I think writing a quality short story is harder than writing a quality novel. In a novel, there is more room in which to flesh out characters, develop the plot, and portray the intent. With a short story, writing has to be crisper, more on target, and more evocative. A poor author just can't pull it off, and even a good author who puts together a great short story often cannot sustain that story over a series.
In Downside Girls, Jaine Fenn has succeeded on all levels. Her writing style is direct, clean, and impactful, but there is a flow and a degree of lyricism that makes reading her stories a joy. There are shades present that create a fullness that is often lacking in other works.
The stage for these four short stories is deliciously captivating. A floating city is inhabited by the privileged population that lives on top of the city as well as the despised downsiders, the poor people who live under the city and exist on what they can scavenge. However, this is a weird sort of democracy in which politicians are voted not to be put out of office, but to be assassinated. The instruments of the assassinations are the "angels," former downsiders who have been transformed into flying, powerful assassins.
Characterization in all four stories is simply superb. it is remarkable that the author is able to achieve the depth she does in a short-story format, more than most authors can achieve in full-length novels. Of particular note to me was that of the title character in "The Three Temptations of Larnia Mier." While the other three stories were more directly involved with angels, this story looked at a music teacher who, as a result of an injury, was having hearing issues, and her relationship with one of her students.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The city of Kesh floats above an uninhabitable planet. This city has two sides, Topside which is filled with the most privileged people and the assassins they employ to keel... Read morePublished 12 months ago by JBronder Book Reviews
Set in Fenn's City of Kesh, a 'double sided' city that floats above a hostile word, this series of four shorts tell the separate stories of four characters as they struggle to make... Read morePublished 16 months ago by E. Phillips
Finally a SF writer that writes stories you can't stop reading
Love the short stories and the way you're drawn in it.
I love, love the world-building in this book, so rich and so well-thought out.. The description of the city, the people, the snippets of the culture that you get. Read morePublished on January 12, 2013 by E.J. Cupp
Admittedly, I should have checked the page count, so my bad. All four stories total up to less than eighty pages, most books I get with short stories run more than 80 pages each. Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by TheFrey
Generally, a good read with plenty of scope for the imagination to fill in the details of the cities, streets etc. Read morePublished on November 21, 2012 by Raevon
I won a copy of Downside Girls from a Librarything giveaway in return for an honest review. I found Downside Girls fast paced a quick read that I was able to read in a short time... Read morePublished on November 13, 2012 by Mandy
When I picked up this book and realised it was a sequel of sorts (same characters that appeared in a previous book by the same author) I was a bit worried that, having not read the... Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by RickyB
Having not read any of Jaine Fenn's novels, I was a little worried that a collection of short novellas would leave me with questions about the city of Kesh. Read morePublished on October 16, 2012 by Amazon Customer