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Downside Girls by Jaine Fenn
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Downside Girls (edition 2012)

by Jaine Fenn, Alastair Reynolds (Foreword)

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6334188,983 (3.74)6
Member:gailo
Title:Downside Girls
Authors:Jaine Fenn
Other authors:Alastair Reynolds (Foreword)
Info:Monico (2012), Paperback, 88 pages
Collections:Your library
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Downside Girls by Jaine Fenn

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a copy of this book for free via Librarything, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Clarion Publishing for sending it to me (along with some very friendly emails), and for putting me on their 'nice people' list! =) This review is also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

This collection of four short stories by Jaine Fenn, set in the universe of her series Hidden Empire, assumes no previous knowledge of her work. Leaping straight in, without any introduction to the world, it is still completely accessible to readers who have never read any of the series. Facts were laid out when they need to be, rather than dumping lots of information on the reader. It is for this reason that I believe it is the sort of science fiction that is accessible to any reader. One of the downfalls of the science fiction genre is that it is often very specialist, and so much of it is very heavy - someone who does not usually read sci-fi could easily be put off. However, that is not the case with Downside Girls.

The city in these stories has a 'topside' and a 'downside' - topside being the upper class area, and downside for the poorer citizens. Patrolling the city are Angels - downsiders chosen to be assassins and given special powers, who target corrupt politicians. The descriptions and feel of the city definitely gave me a bit of a Mass Effect vibe - I was imagining the scenarios taking place in the Citadel, which was pretty cool.

All four stories have very different situations, and weave together the lives of humans and Angels. The stories are also interlinked in small ways, but I think you have to read the main series to truly understand the link - I only picked it up from reading the synopses of Jaine Fenn's other work. The narrative of the stories is just about different enough to show that each one is being told by another character, but I do feel that this aspect could be improved on.

The writing flowed very well - not overly showy, or too simple. Despite only spending a short amount of time with each character, I somehow felt for them all - particularly in the last story. Fenn manages to pack a lot into only 80-odd pages - trickery, assassinations, gangs, as well as a rather sweet tale at the end.

This novella has made me definitely want to check out the main books. Whilst appealing to science fiction fans, I believe it is also a perfect collection of short stories for those wanting to ease themselves into the genre. ( )
  Rinnreads | Jul 22, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I loved the concepts and the style of writing. Personally, I love strong female characters. Well done, and the cover is really cool. ( )
  musiciscool12 | May 14, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
My first reaction to [Downside Girls] was Is this all? It is a short collection of short stories, each dealing with a different girl from the poor side of the floating city of Kesh. Each story features a strong female protagonist, with an upbeat theme about just getting by on the poor side of town. This book is a delightful introduction to [Jaine Fenn], and I look forward to seeing more from her. ( )
  drichpi | Feb 5, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Definitely enjoyed this. There was a bit of a feeling of missing context, like reading the middle book of a series, but short stories don't really have space for more. I look forward to finding the rest of the series. ( )
  cwallen | Dec 16, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a really interesting glimpse in to the universe of the 'Hidden Empire Series'. Although short stories, each was well written and after finishing each one I could not wait to read the next one. I will definitely be reading the novels from the series. ( )
  rainbow_six_omega | Dec 6, 2012 |
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Clarion Publishing

Two editions of this book were published by Clarion Publishing.

Editions: 1909016160, 1909016179

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