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Review: Jasyn and the Astronauts: Under The Ice Skies – Gwenhyver

Jasyn and the Astronauts: Under The Ice Skies - Gwenhyver

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy, Adventure, Space Opera, Sapphic/Queer Romance, Swords & Sorcery

LGBTQ+ Category: Lesbian

Reviewer: Lucy

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About The Book

A sapphic swords & sorcery space adventure!

On a planet infected by ice, the power to create more is the last thing anyone needs…

JASYN is an explorer with a talent for reaching for the stars and upending weather systems with her emotions. She spends her days dreaming of adventure, hiding her power of ice, and definitely not thinking about what it’d feel like to be the snow on her best friend’s cheek.

ATALANTA is an archer and a recluse with a skill for making Jasyn’s heart glow as bright as a filament-fruit. They’ve lived in each other’s orbit most of their lives, but she’s just as magical and mysterious to Jasyn as all the galaxies under the Seven Suns.

When their world is forcibly upturned, a journey of discovery begins. Venturing across their ice and blight-infested home-world, they discover the solution to their out of balance world lies in the skies. Of course, with a tyrant Ice King intent on closed sky-borders and Jasyn’s demise, they have to survive long enough to get there, first.

Under The Ice Skies is the first leg of the journey in the Jasyn and The Astronauts series — a sapphic, swords & sorcery in space reimagining of Jason and the Golden Fleece — an adventure fuelled by wonder and good intentions, while navigating weather fronts formed of feelings along the way.

Climb aboard and begin the adventure today!

The Review

It’s a good thing there’s another book coming, because I’m going to need moreJasyn and the Astronauts: Under the Ice Skies by Gwenhyver is the first in the series. We meet Jasyn as a child hiding with her parents in the ice caves of treacherous mountains, amidst arctic conditions. From the start of the story, it’s clear there’s a mystery, but Jasyn’s parents won’t answer her questions about where they came from and what brought them to the frozen hellscape of the mountains. 

Then, Jasyn meets Atalanta, a mysterious girl who seems to be the same age, who can shoot a bow, run like the wind, and signs instead of speaking.

The girls grow from children to teens, mischievous, athletic, curious, and very close. Then, tragedy sends Jasyn, her parents, and Atalanta down the mountain onto the frozen steppe to live in a tiny village that is barely eking existence out of the arctic wasteland. 

The story is beautifully written. It’s apparently a modern adaptation of the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts. Many of the character and place names are the same in this story as the original tale. But the author gives a new spin on it, with a Sapphic romance and a move from ancient Greece to an ice-riddled planet.

Throughout the story, there are enough hints that all is not as it seems to get the reader invested in the mystery. The descriptions paint a glorious picture of the characters and their surroundings without bogging down the story unnecessarily. And the relationships are wonderfully portrayed

Jasyn dodges her parents’ overbearing, overly protective smothering with childlike stubbornness. She crushes on Atalanta with a sweet embarrassment that perfectly matches her early teens. Then, as a young woman, she falls madly in love with Atalanta, and is willing to do anything she can to protect her. 

This is a gorgeously written tale of love with all its facets: parental, familial, platonic, romantic. It is also a story of sacrifice and survival. There are many hardships to be overcome and losses to face. Jasyn finds that she must let go of some of what she thought she knew about herself and her family while accepting the almost unbelievable. It has action and adventure, along with science fiction and magical fantasy elements that give the story depth and keep the reader intrigued from start to finish. 

From the first word to the last, I was enthralled by this story, staying up way too late to continue reading, just one more page, one more chapter.

The ending was perfect, but it was definitely a ‘see you later’ and not a ‘goodbye forever’ type of ending. I am absolutely looking forward to the next installment in this series. 

The Reviewer

I’m an avid reader who loves pretty much all genres except math textbooks. As a kid, my parents exposed me to everything from fairies, hobbits, and dragons to the biographies of interesting people around the world, interspersed with poetry, plays, and music. Into adulthood, I spent a lot of years with my nose buried in various textbooks. Now, I read whatever grabs my fancy.

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