I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
Yes to the healthy lesbian relationships, yes to the polyamory, yes to the wolf-in-human skin, yes to the fact that this book hit on my interests in more than the 'Alana Quick loves ships more than humans most times' way.
I read mixed reviews, and I believe it was the pacing that people had a problem with. To be honest, I can see this: it isn't exactly quick moving all the time. It takes a couple detours to explore background and characters, but I also loved that. I can, however, concede it dragged a bit in one or two scenes, but it didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of this novel.
I though I'd like Alana best, because she keeps waxing poetic about ships, but it turns out my favorite is Ovie Porter, another sky surgeon - read engineer/mechanic - who feels as if he's a wolf in a man's skin. There is a lot of tension, especially when a glimpse of his childhood is shown, but he was incredibly endearing to me.
Beyond this, there were plot twists at the end that I simply didn't see coming. Two major ones, concerning two members of the Tangled Axon's crew. One also involves the villains, Transliminal Solutions, a corporation that comes from, well, not the universe that Alana lives in. And the thing is that if you read the back of this book, there's so, so much that's left out; this book is dense, full of philosophy, religion, all without being obnoxiously pushy about it. Mostly because it's not necessarily religion the way that most people think about it these days, but it was more a spiritual religiosity. It goes beyond characters, beyond plot, and becomes meaningful in the way it expands definitions of normal, and tries to make the reader see that the only normal is being true to yourself.
And while there are horrifying things that happen, this book is about hope, and determination, and finding yourself. It was a gorgeous love song.
I could cry, though, because I can't find any evidence of a sequel, and the cover shows 'a Tangled Axon novel.' It was only published December 2013, though, so hopefully this upcoming December will bring another one. *crosses fingers*