Review of ‘Chasing stars’ by Alex K. Thorne,
Audiobook narrated by Abigail Rakocy
This is the third book in Ylva Publishing’s The Superheroine Collection series of stand-alone novels by different authors. The bar was set up very high with the previous books by Lee Winter and Fiona Zedde but ‘Chasing stars’ didn’t disappoint me. This is such a clever book. The plot follows Ava Eisenberg, PA to Hollywood ice queen Gwen Knight. Ava is an alien from a faraway galaxy gifted with flying and strength superpowers who patrols LA streets under the secret identity of Swiftwing to help people in need. Ava’s life is turned upside down when her boss asks her to pose as her girlfriend to win Gwen’s son’s custody. Will Ava be a good fake girlfriend and, at the same time, keep her secret life as Swiftwing? Will she be able to hide her growing feelings for Gwen?
‘Chasing stars’ is a brilliant debut novel by South African author Alex K. Thorne. There are a good number of lesfic books about fake relationships with different degrees of success but this one is original by presenting it as a sci-fi, action-packed story with main characters of a superheroine and a Hollywood star ice queen. Written in third person from the point of view of Ava, she is a well-rounded character in her contradictions: shy and insecure as Ava, confident and outgoing as Swiftwing. Gwen is very well characterised as an ice queen slowly giving away hidden parts of her personality. Despite their age gap, their chemistry is sizzling hot and the intimate scenes are very well written. The story itself has some twists and turns that balance romance and action perfectly. No wonder this book won two Goldie Awards for Debut Novel and Romantic Blend (2019).
I’m always concerned when I listen to an audiobook of a novel that I’ve enjoyed so much because I fear it won’t match my expectations. I hadn’t listened to Abigail Rakocy before but I’m happy to say that the audio result is as good as the book itself. Ms. Rakocy gets the main characters’ voices right, Ava’s youthful and sometimes insecure voice, and Gwen’s more mature and guarded tone with the right British accent. This isn’t a book easy to narrate as it’s a blend of action, romance, humour, and emotional parts. Ms. Rakocy conveys each one of these emotions effortlessly, making this audiobook a pleasure to listen to.
Overall, an excellent lesbian superheroine romance audiobook. A solid debut novel by Ms. Thorne and a perfect performance by Ms. Rakocy. Overall, 5 stars.