Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review: Broken Wings by L-J Baker

New and shiny, this copy came all the way from
L-J. Baker is an emerging new lesbian fantasy writer from New Zealand*. Her first book, Broken Wings, is set in an urban-fairyland type setting, and is well written, if slightly predictable romance between an illegal immigrant fairy and a rich and lovely artist nymph. The characters are solid, the story follows the rather annoying convention of writing an incredibly detailed first sex scene and then skipping over the rest a bit, but there is plenty of sex, the working class illegal has hidden talents, and the baddies are out of the picture most of the time, partly self-inflicted, but in the end, very bad.

Sadly, the cover design is terrible - looks like her publishers didn't want to take a risk on a first time author and slapped the cheapest bit of stock photo on it they could find (the third and fourth books have actual art on!). But my cat approves of it - and wouldn't hold still for the photograph, she wanted to purr and rub herself all over the book. That has to be some kind of recommendation, right?

 The settings is well-thought out enough to be believable and interesting, and there's a fun mix of futuristic tech and magic. There's a bit of unsubtle conservative religion bashing (the terrors of Fairyland and what it does to those who don't conform), and the day is saved at the end.
I want to redesign this cover
everytime I look at it.

Overall, enjoyable, and a definite must-read for people who want their lesbian fantasy to actually be full of lesbian-ness, rather than be proactively featuring a main character who happens to be gay!

L-J. Baker has since gone on to write other books - Lady KnightAdijan and Her Genie are more magical lesbian love affair-type stories, set in very different worlds; and her recently released novel Promises, Promises: A Romp with Plenty of Dykes, a Unicorn, an Ogre, an Oracle, a Quest, a Princess, and True Love with a Happily Ever After looks similar (and equally unique, at the same time!).

*But can I actually buy her books here? No. Of course not.

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  1. Book is AMAZING! But I think there could have been a more interesting cover. It just didn't seem... well... 'done'.

  2. "But can I actually buy her books here? No. Of course not."

    Email L-J Baker or Lethe Press and ask for a review copy. (Tell her that her wife sent ya ;-) )

  3. Really? Thank you! I will! (When I get over the shyness :D )

  4. One of my favorite lesbian romance ever... I like your review, but I am a little bit puzzled by the "if slightly predictable romance" ... I mean, aren´t they all? Celine

  5. Hah, probably. But at the time, neither of us had read much in the way of romances.