Title: The Persephone Star
Author Name & Publisher: Jamie Sullivan (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: January 13, 2016
As Post Mistress of Fortuna, Penelope Moser knows just about everything about everyone. It’s a job she takes seriously, no matter who comes to pry for gossip, or how unsettling the messages are—but even she is more than a little frightened by rumors that The Persephone Star has been spotted nearby. That means Mirage Currier is out of prison and coming to settle up with the man who put her in jail: Cullen Wiley, Sheriff of Fortuna and Penelope’s fiancé.
The worst comes to pass when Penelope is kidnapped—or so she thinks. But the simple truth she thought she knew starts to unravel, leaving her to choose between the man she promised to marry or the woman destined for the gallows.
This was a bit different than my usual genre, but I found the book interesting and easy to get involved in. I found the dichotomy between Penelope’s “normal” life and life aboard the dirigible interesting. It’s true that men made the rules of polite society then, and didn’t care much that they didn’t follow the rules themselves. The lack of opportunity for women, the strict roles respectable women were forced into, the shaming and use of women who had no other options in life are all examples of things we’ve supposedly moved beyond in our more enlightened times. The author doesn’t overtly state that we haven’t overcome some of these things, but creates a way for us to think about the way things used to be and wonder how much they’ve really changed.
That said, it’s obviously a major part of the story, and for the most part, Sullivan addresses it well, making it integral to the story and something that the main character ponders quite a lot. She does it in a way that makes it something that the characters are struggling with, and not preaching to the reader. But there is a lot of it, and sometimes it does become a bit overwhelming.
The end of the story, however, felt quite rushed. When this happens, I always wonder if the author hit her word count and needed to wrap up the story quickly, or if she just didn’t want to expand on the end. And in this case, I think that’s a bit of a shame. We don’t know how the women of the Persephone Star treated Penelope’s return. And we don’t know if Penelope ever overcame her own inhibitions and allowed herself to explore how kissing Mell made her feel. We don’t even know for sure that Corinna was saved and was able to rejoin the crew, other than what Penelope put in her rather short missive to her father.
All in all, an enjoyable read, but the ending leaves you a little less than satisfied.
This was a quick read which spiked my interest and made me want more. I only hold two complaints about this short. The first would be that there wasn’t much in the way of romance in any form, some type of connection between the characters. While it is labeled as a F/F read I didn’t really see much of a need for it to be (Outside of a drunken kiss I can’t remember a single scene which would make me believe this to be a Lesbian Fiction story.). The second is simply that it is so short! There was a lot of opportunity for some mischief and mayhem I believe were wasted.
Otherwise it was fairly well written and I quite enjoyed the characters. I would love to see this made into a full length book with plenty more action and maybe a bit of romance for the main character!