This review is part of the series of reviews of asexual fiction published by LT3 press which I am doing for Asexual Awareness Week.
So, What Is This Story About?
In a typical space opera setting, Ilsa and Kai have been working as partners for years as investigators for hire, with their strengths complementing the other’s weaknesses. They have been hired by the shady and wealthy businessman Eleazar Dantes to find his daughter, Abigail Dantes, who disappeared during the war. It’s one of the toughest contracts they have every taken on – especially since Eleazar insists on personally accompanying them. The dangers Ilsa and Kai face together forces them to re-examine the nature of their partnership.
What Kind of Sexual and/or Violent Content Does This Story Have, If Any?
There is non-consensual kissing, but other than that, no sexual content. As far as violence – yep, there’s violence. This story has gun fights, kidnapping, serious injuries, and on-page murder.
Tell Me More about This Novella
The writing went down real smooth with me. I liked the pace – it took its time to develop the plot and characters, without letting itself get bogged down. It is written so clearly that it is easy to follow what is going on.
I’m not a fan of the mystery genre in general, but I wanted to know what happened to Abigail Dantes. The search definitely sustained the suspense for me, and there is a good twist in the story.
There are some very eloquent and touching passages. For example, this is one of my favorite lines in the story:
Few things ached like self-awareness come too late.
Also, I loved the development of Ilsa and Kai’s very close relationship. First, they’ve already known each other for years, so we get over the ‘how do they meet each other’ part and delve straight into the evolving dynamics of their relationship (note: I also like ‘how do they meet’ stories, but I feel that they are over-represented in fiction and wish there were more stories about how existing relationships evolve). It is also a non-sexual and non-romantic partnership, and those are under-represented in fiction (especially those involving female characters).
As a sci-fi story, it’s very bland – it’s basically set in the world of space opera clichés – but since that was not what I was looking for in this story, I did not mind in the least.
On the asexuality content scale I described in the introduction, I would say that this story is a 4. Ilsa is asexual and aromantic, and I thinks the section of the story which explores that is really good. That is about all I can say without spoilers (in fact, the main reason this review is shorter than previous reviews is that I’m trying to keep the spoiler level low).
Was This Written by an Asexual?
Yes, Yolande Kleinn is asexual.
Hey Sara, Do You Like This Story?
Of course I like this! I was interested in the mystery around Abigail Dantes’ disappearance, and the section which addresses Ilsa’s asexuality and aromanticism moved me. I hope Yolande Kleinn writes another novel(la) featuring an asexual and/or aromantic protagonist.
Tomorrow is going to be a double-review day. The first review posted tomorrow is going to be about Lone Star on a Cowbody Heart by Marie S. Crosswell.