Review: “Cold Ennaline” By R.J. Astruc


This is part of my series of reviews of fiction published by Harmony Ink Press featuring asexual characters. You can find the introduction here.

What Is This Story About?

Somewhere in the middle of the United States (possibly the Midwest or Oklahoma or Texas), Ennaline, who is fourteen years old, has spent her whole life among the faith full and has dedicated her life to the god. She knows that, unlike other girls her age, she is ‘cold’ – she has no interest in kissing or marrying boys. She knows that she will most likely be engaged to marry one (or both) of the Piedmont twins, who all the other girls wish they could marry. She is willing to do it to serve the god, but she fears, do to her coldness, she will not be a good wife.

Meanwhile, the god is waking up, and that is far more important than any frivolous concerns Ennaline may have about personal relationships.

What Sexual and/or Violent Content Does This Story Have, If Any?

There are awkward discussions of sex (the faith full are uncomfortable about talking about sex directly) but otherwise no sexual content. In order to avoid spoilers, I have to be vague, so I will just say that there is a significant amount of violence in the story.

Tell Me More About This Novella.

It is fantasy/horror/contemporary. Obviously, the religion of the ‘faith full’ is fictional.

What really got my attention in this story was the asexuality part of it. The rest of the story is all right, I just don’t have much to say about it. Speaking of asexuality…

So, Asexuality?

On the asexuality content scale (1 = ‘By the way, I’m asexual’ and asexuality is never mentioned again, 10 = a story all about asexuality and little else) I would rate this story as a 4.

The word ‘asexual’ is never used in the story, but Ennaline’s very specific description of her ‘coldness’ is just like the way many asexuals describe their asexuality.

The scene where Ennaline talks to her high school counselor had me on the edge of my seat since I wasn’t sure whether the counselor was going to be all like ‘That is a problem, we must find a way to fix your brokenness’ or ‘Hey, there are many people just like you, it’s a thing and perfectly fine’ (no, I will not say how the counselor actually reacts since that would be a spoiler).

At first, it seems that plotline around Ennaline’s ‘coldness’ and the plotline around the god waking up are completely separate, but they eventually converge. For example, Ennaline’s ‘coldness’ is what prompts her to reach out to people outside the ‘faith full’ community for the first time.

And there is … hmmm. All I will say is that if tropes websites had a page for the ‘Asexuals Are Immune’ trope, this story would be one of the examples (more examples of the ‘Asexuals Are Immune’ trope are this webcomic and any story about asexual people not being lured by singing sirens).

Was This Written by an Asexual?

I don’t know.

Hey Sara, Do You Like This Novella?

Yes, I do like this novella.

Where Can I Get This Novella?

I got it from the Dreamspinner Store. One may also get it from the Harmony Ink Store (note: the Dreamspinner Store often has sales, the Harmony Ink Store not so much), and from various eBook retailers.


6 thoughts on “Review: “Cold Ennaline” By R.J. Astruc

  1. All I will say is that if tropes websites had a page for the ‘Asexuals Are Immune’ trope, this story would be one of the examples

    I’d really love to talk about all these tropes emerging in ace fiction, but then I’d actually have to read these books. One of the few books I read with an ace character featured an inversion of the “asexuals are immune” trope–the ace character was not immune. Somehow that makes more sense to me.

    • Yes, with all the ace fiction I’ve been reading lately, I’ve been getting ideas for ace fiction tropes.

      You’ve read more ace webcomics than I have, so I’m sure you could help flesh out the webcomic examples.

  2. Pingback: Reviewing Asexual Fiction Published by Harmony Ink Press | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

  3. Pingback: The Most Different Kinds of Ace Characters I Can Think of | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

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