- File Size: 1772 KB
- Print Length: 517 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1520430574
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: February 1, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01NBWXMP9
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,933 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$14.95|
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Perilous Waif (Alice Long Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 517 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Alice Long is an orphan. She's been raised on a world where the native inhabitants are fiercely vegan and rabid environmentalists. She's been fed a vegan diet all her life that's done nothing but keep her malnourished since infancy. Alice is different, you see. Along with others in her universe, in the 25th century, she has internal upgrades. Alice's upgrades are far different from those around her. As she grows, more of her upgrades become more apparent. As her body receives more nutrients, she becomes more than human. Alice becomes... something else entirely.
Perilous Waif is quite the tale! The protagonist, Alice Long, is a 14 year old girl stuck in an orphanage in an all-female society, but escapes before being punished for hunting and eating animals in a society of vegans. She makes her way to a spaceport on the other side of her planet, Felicity, with the intent to get into space and away from her restrictive childhood upbringing. Alice succeeds beyond her wildest dreams.
Throughout the story is the underlying question: Who is Alice Long, really? Who was her mothet? Where did she really come from and why is her body so augmented?
This story is very well written. It's character driven and what characters they are! Everyone is quite unique in their background and appearance. The main characters are intriguing to say the least. Even though the author spends a lot of discussion on technical aspects, it in no way detracts from the plot, but rather adds to the fullness of this universe. The book is all the better because of it.
Editing is quite good with only a few typos to contend with. I only counted three or four in total, so it's nothing that will detract from the story in any way. Action scenes abound and are very well written with gore and mayhem in appropriate measure. Atypical scientific concepts are explained in a few appendices at the end of the text, should you feel the need for additional explanations.
All in all, this is a great read. I finished the book in two sessions. It's one of those that holds your interest in a white knuckled death grip. It's hard to put down, but darn! I have to sleep sometime! Read it. You'll enjoy it.
This story does those things, and those things are BAD.
And YET... it still manages to be a real page-turner, and a fairly entertaining story in spite of itself.
How does it do this?
Well, it largely lies in the way the author goes about it.
This story isn't 'just' another Mary Sue story, this is THE Mary Sue story.
There are no pretenses, here, no acting coy, no pretending it's anything other than what it is.
'Perilous Waif' Leans into the Mary Sue trope--HARD.
Alice IS a baby goddess--one that's growing into her power fast.
Yes, she's tech-based, like everyone else in her setting, but her tech is multiple orders of magnitude more advanced and more powerful than anyone else's. She starts out with minimal abilities, sure, but they expand in power and scope almost on a page by page basis.
In true Mary-Sue fashion, she's also irresistable--everyone she meets is quickly charmed by her wit, her spunk, and her open friendliness. Everyone is also immediately willing to include her in their innermost circle of friends, and share with her their deepest, darkest secrets, and any eligible young men (or cute android girls) are instantly smitten by her adorable tween adorableness (and fierceness, and self-described 'awesomeness').
I mean really, it's impossible that the author did all this by accident; he must have set out to write the ur-example of the Mary Sue story.
And, like I mentioned earlier... it mostly works very well.
You DO like Alice; she's nice enough, and cute enough, and fierce enough for a heroine in a story like this, and I have a soft spot for any female character who will outright admit that she considers herself beautiful and awesome, and basically the coolest person around (and dares anyone to prove her wrong).
Once you realize what kind of story this is (and that doesn't take very long), you can either stop reading, or just decide to roll with it, and let this absurd character lead you on her absurd adventure.
(To be fair, Alice does work within her setting, it's just the way everyone and everything in her way gets effortlessly steamrolled by her that leads to the occasional bit of eye-rolling before you heave a resigned sigh and get back to reading).
Oh, and let me refute the fragile flowers who have left reviews where they cry out in shrill outrage over the 'sex' and 'pornography' in this story: Dear Granny and Grandpa, stop clutching your pearls, get up off the fainting couch, and take a look around you. This isn't 1950 any more (and even in the 50's, teenage girls and guys DID have the occasional thought concerning dating and sex.
At no point in this book does our young Alice have sex; she never goes past a mostly chaste kiss or two, and some almost entirely innocent cuddling with a friendly female minion. Yes, she's young for actual sex, which is why she never HAS actual sex. She is NOT too young to be interested in boy and/or girls, so she does a little wistful looking when she sees someone cute, but that's as far as it goes.
If you think such thoughts and first stirrings of sexual desire are 'Porn' then you obviously have some serious issues of your own that require some counselling to deal with.
An actual problem I did have with this book is that the author is too in love with his technology (Think David Weber and his info-dump spasms, only here you'll find those coming at you in smaller, but more frequent chunks).
Yes, the tech is clever, yes it's well-described, but the explanations and descriptions of it come so thick and fast that it really gets in the way of the actual story--too often, talking about the tech and weapons takes the place of anything character-related, or even story-related.
I want to see the characters doing things and solving problems, not the character's weapons doing things and solving problems while the character pretty much just tags along.
I don't CARE how hyperspace works in this universe; give me more story, give me more interactions between PEOPLE, give me more information and backstory on what kind of society this is, instead of just lists and descriptions of the NEXT ultracool bit of tech.
Also, how about having Alice question people sometimes? She accepts everything (and I mean everything) the crew of her ship tells her at face value, and occasionally I had to stop and blink at the sheer ridiculousness of what they've just told her with a straight face (Dusty, I'm looking at YOU).
In conclusion let me say this: 'Perilous Waif' was, overall, a fun read.
Yes, she's absurdly overpowered, and her 'struggles' are usually resolved within a few pages, which pretty much lets the air out of any real tension or concern the reader might otherwise have felt for the main character.
And yet, despite that, there are moments of cuteness with the characters (especially Alice and her friends/servants/minions/worshippers), as well as enough scattered bits of humor to keep the reader engaged.
The writing style itself is nice; this thing is entirely readable, other than the too-frequent techno-info-dumps, which can be skimmed if they become too tiresome.
I'd actually rate this as maybe three and a half stars, were I able, but I don't feel terrible about rounding up to four stars here.
I'll read the next one, though I'll be hoping that some of the excesses get toned down, and that the pace of Alice's further ascension into Goddesshood at least slows down enough for us to enjoy the journey a bit more.
In the end, I can heartily recommend this novel and look forward to hearing more about Alice Long!
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