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Ann Somerville grew up in one of Australia’s prettiest small cities. In 1989, she left Australia with a BA and a burning ambition to see more of the world and its people, and to discover this ‘culture’ thing people kept telling her about. In 2006, she returned home to Southeast Queensland with two more degrees, an English husband, and a staggering case of homesickness, vowing never to leave Australia again.
Ann writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, and most stories feature LGBT characters.
on Feb. 22, 2017 :
This is a light, happy, easy read that is sure to put you in a good mood. It’s also one of the few Somerville works which isn’t drenched in darkness and foreboding- and although I happen to like the darkness and foreboding, More Than A Thousand Words definitely made for a nice change.
There’s a lot to enjoy here: the writing is great, the pace is perfect, and the characters are very loveable. Luce is bright, temperamental, entertaining- and loves to wear skirts and nail polish. Steve is sturdy and adorably reliable- and 2000% just fine with whatever his unpredictable, gender-fluid boyfriend chooses to wear (indeed, those long, super-silky skirts are a real turn-on). They work together very well, and are sappy and sugary-sweet, in the best way possible. Which, of course, doesn’t mean they don’t have problems to work through- and it’s thoroughly satisfying to see the two work through them. Ultimately they’re the best kind of support for each other- and this is just the kind of romance I need regular injections of to keep my pessimism at bay.
More Than A Thousand Words can be connected to other Somerville works through Luce’s ‘Talent’- his ability to “see” the immediate pasts of the people he encounters. This is a nice touch for dedicated Somerville fans like myself, though I can’t help but feel that others might find Luce’s talent pointless for the story- or worse, simply a convenient plot-device. In any case, this book can be read without any previous knowledge of Somerville’s other works. The light supernatural element is ultimately a nice, though probably unnecessary, addition to a very enjoyable contemporary romance.
The only negative that really struck me was the opening scenes. I do find this to be the case with a lot of Somerville’s work; she seems to favour the “drop the audience right in the middle of the action” school of thought- make the beginning exciting and action-packed. In some cases, such as with this book, it results in an opening that is more frustratingly-confusing than exciting. Of course since I knew I’d end up loving the story before too long I could just grit my teeth through the first few pages and trust that the writing would settle down soon enough. I do worry that it might be a turn-off for readers browsing the preview chapters, however. My advice would be to keep reading; I’m sure you’ll enjoy this story as much as I did!
(reviewed 7 months after purchase)
on Aug. 24, 2016 :
A cute and somewhat thrilling romance. This had a suprisingly light supernatural theme, with the main focus being two fairly different people falling in love in spite of radically different lifestyles. It was very nice to find a depiction of a somewhat feminine male lead who doesn't have horrible self esteem, and who is not particularly submissive. I also enjoyed having a bisexual ex-police character who was not gruff and two dimensional. Both leads felt interesting until the end, and I hope for another story in the same universe.
(reviewed the day of purchase)