Dana reviews Lindsay Versus the Marauders (Lindsay and Jo, Book 1) by J.S. Frankel (Published by Regal Crest Enterprises, June 26, 2014, 156 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
It is Out Of Comfort Zone week at Rainbow Gold Reviews. It is honestly difficult to pick out a book for yourself that you wouldn’t normally read. Because 95% of my LGBT reading material is gay romance, I chose to pick a book featuring lesbian characters. It is also sci-fi which I have dabbled in but not something I would normally pick out. I have been reading a few YA LGBT books lately, so this book did fit in that way and it made it stand out to me when choosing.
Blurb: Shy Lindsay Fleming has just summoned up all her courage and come out. All she’s ever wanted is to be accepted for herself, but though her best friend, Myra, is okay with her sexual orientation, many of her high school friends are not. Her parents don’t understand at all, leaving Lindsay angry and confused. During the Christmas season, Lindsay attends a meeting for the “newly out,” but she leaves when that turns into a disaster. On her way home, she saves a young woman from being mugged – by four red-skinned aliens!
The woman, Jonephra (“Call me Jo”) is a resident of the planet Carinna, located in another dimension. The red-skinned men, known as “Marauders,” are a mean, ruthless bunch who stole jewels that power Jo’s home world, and she’s on a mission to get them back. Turkel leads the band of heartless pirates, and they’ll kill anyone who gets in the way of their looting and pillaging. Lindsay is reluctant to get involved, but she agrees to help Jo, who she is attracted to. Jo is tall and self-confident, and Lindsay thinks Jo might like her, but she feels so shy and awkward. Will she be able to shed her shyness and gain enough confidence to win Jo’s heart? Even more risky: will Lindsay survive the dangerous Marauders, find the jewels and return them before Jo’s planet runs out of reserve power?
This book jumps right into action as Lindsay comes upon Joneprha (Jo) being attacked by very tall men with red skin, and for the most the story remains in a state of tension and high activity. I usually like that because it makes me feel like the story is flying by and I am right in the action with the characters. For some reason, though, it did take me a few chapters before I could get immersed in the story.
After accidentally driving away Jo’s attackers, Lindsay gets swept up in Jo’s quest to save her planet. They travel through many different worlds and I thought the author was very creative with them. It did seem a little bit convenient that almost every world besides Jo’s had breathable air, but I thought the descriptions of the lifeforms and their ways of communicating were interesting.
Because it’s a YA story, sexual situations were kept brief and to a bare minimum. The romance between Jo and Lindsay was a slow burn, with the two working together and building trust, but not really making any moves on each other. I was torn about that. I wanted to feel a little bit more chemistry, but I appreciated that while Jo was trying to save her world, their wasn’t a lot of gratuitous making out when more important things really needed to be done. However, the girls do begin to see a kindred spirit in the other and romance blossoms.
I would say I enjoyed this story. There are two more books, and I am interested in reading more about the two of them and their adventures after this story. It isn’t perfect, because there are a few inconsistencies in the story but I’d definitely say that the story line and characters kept me interested until the end. I’d definitely recommend the story especially to those that are fans of YA or sci-fi.
8/10 Pots of Gold (80% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 Stars
J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada, many moons ago and managed to scrape through high school and university, earning a BA in English Literature and leaving no book unopened during his time at the University of Toronto. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Japan in order to teach English to the hapless residents of whichever city he happened to be living at the time.
In 1997, he married the charming Akiko Koike and their union produced two rather interesting children. Frankel and his family make their home in Osaka where he teaches during the day and attempts to write YA fiction at night.