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Lioness of Cygnus Five (Volume 1) Paperback – September 20, 2016
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"I thoroughly enjoyed this SciFi adventure romance from Alex Beecroft. Set in a cohesive, detailed world that gradually spreads to an entireuniverse as you read the book, I loved the way the characters of the protagonists likewise develop and grow with each new chapter. There is a lot to say about this complex, imaginative book, but I think the fact that I will still be revolving the story and the ideas and thinking about them while I wait for the next one in the series says more than any words." - Jan Jones, Award Winning author of The Kydd Inheritance
"Apparently you have been wanting to write an SF trilogy with queer people saving the world and romance present but as a secondary storyline (I'm paraphrasing, but I believe I got the gist of it correctly). And I said to myself - sign me up - because this sounded like just my cup of tea..." - A Dear Author Recommended Read and starred review.
"Beecroft has penned an adventure-filled utopian science fictionromance, an opposites-attract love story that also interrogates issuesof gender and bodies, all with intelligence and a healthy dollop ofhumor. While Lioness of Cygnus Five will never be mistaken for hard SF,it does gift its readers with an engaging balance of extrapolativethought-experiment and unexpected romance." - Romance Novels for Feminists
From the Author
One of the formative authors of my childhood was Andre Norton, whose Forerunner books enthralled me with her blend of ancient civilizations out among the stars, space archaeology, forgotten alien civilizations and high peril adventures in spaceships. The Cygnus Five series is a homage to that.
I don't know what I would call that genre - Space Indiana Jones? Space Opera with aliens and nostalgia for a vanished past? Stargate meets A Closed and Common Orbit? Something like that. But if we do eventually make it into outer space and we don't discover ruined alien cities, I'm going to be very disappointed.
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The main characters are great: I am completely in love with Captain Campos, she is spectacular. The other main character, Bryant, is a surgeon and bioengineer who is really likable as well. All the side characters are super fun as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in the sequels. I honestly can't wait to see what happens next.
To be quite honest, the book didn't grab me at first. Intriguing aspects were present from the start, such as the character of Bryant and his brand of techno-wizardry. But action packed first quarter of the book threw me for a loop. I know what you're thinking. What's wrong with action? It's exciting. It keeps things moving. It generates interest. All of that is true, but just hear me out.
Beecroft's penchant for detail is a strength, but as a new reader, I needed time to acclimate to her style. So when faced with an abundance of detail-infused action scenes, my mind moved slowly over the words, bogging down scenes that I'm sure were intended to quickly advance the plot. Too often, it left me thinking, "Wait, what?" as I reread pages to ensure that I'd comprehended the author's intentions. Each one of us has a certain natural reading pace. Attempting to slow down mine made my brain short-circuit.
But I stuck with it, and I am infinitely glad that I did. After the first quarter, the story decelerates a bit. By no means does it become boring. Instead, it settles enough to savor. The action is still present, but it's woven into a layered narrative that explores elements of morality and human nature in a thoughtful, dignified way.
In the two characters of Aurora and Bryant, Beecroft steers away from the typical stereotypes to create humans who are flawed, touching, unconventially beautiful, and infinitely interesting. There's a clever little twist about halfway through that forces them to see things from a new "persepective." The dynamic changes within them, as well as in the world around them, drive the plot well. There were times when I thought Bryant's use of technology gave him superpowers that solved problems too easily, but for the most part, they were handled well.
The ending was very satisfying. Though, it left ample room to grow a sequel, I felt that justice had been served for all entities involved. Lioness of Cygnus Five was a great Sci-Fi read once I got past the initial bumps of the beginning.
I will be buying more of Alex Beecroft's books and I will be recommending this book to all of my friends.