Adventure, Sci Fi

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal

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I reviewed the previous book on this log quite recently:The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)

I usually get to sequels a little late because of how I get my hands on books like this, but my library obligingly had both books available so I could get to the second with the first relatively fresh in my mind.

In this second instalment, the story veers completely into space(for the most part), and politics of a different kind than Elma had encountered in the first half. Some humans are living on the moon now, in small numbers, and they are almost at mars. While back on earth tensions continue to simmer with regards to funding for surviving in the situation that the meteor crash left behind. The story is a futuristic world but timed in 1961, making it an odd blend of past and present for a reader now. At the beginning of the tale, Elma thinks she is ready to settle down for the standard life of a married couple. Unfortunately for her, after being caught in an off chance event and the increased need of the space project to capitalise on her popularity, she ends up picking a different path.

Most of the tale focuses on how Elma is alone among a group while not actually being alone. She tries so hard (too hard perhaps) to please, and this leaves her in the bad books of her teammates throughout her association with them. A lot happens in this, and the scenes are constantly changing and moving through different times and places, and a lot happens in those scenes. I actually enjoyed the retrospection Elma does about her own thoughts and beliefs in this one than the previous one. Her need to be the one to ‘do’ something every time something goes wrong does place her in worrying situations. The character of Parker was also a little strange in this one, given that he accepts being a womaniser, his arc in this narrative was a little hard to swallow. Although, when I treated him as a brand new character instead of a recurring one, I really rooted for him throughout. The only problem(albeit a small issue), one that did not let me completely enjoy the book, was the continued practice of using rocket launches as double entendres. Its repetitive use was a little off-putting. Once in the entire narration would have been funny, but it was repeated too many times.

I highly recommend these two books for those on the lookout for a different kind of Sci-fi. One that also doubles as historical fiction and women empowered one.

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