Author: Angel Martinez
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Run Time: 8 hours and 1 minute
At a Glance: Buy this book if you like space sagas with hot men in them. Buy the book if you are familiar with Martinez’s work. Buy the audio for the amazing narration.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Vassily Belikov, composer and pampered son of privilege, suffered neurological damage in the accident that killed his father. Resentful of being treated as an invalid, he lives as a recluse, dependent on his mother. That changes the day she brings home a new husband with two sons of his own.
When deep-space pirates capture Vassily’s mother, he’s left to the mercy of his cruel, amoral stepfather. Fighting addiction and his physical shortcomings, he’s forced to seek out the criminal mastermind Baba Yaga for a crucial piece of equipment. While she agrees to deal with him if he beats his Exoticus addiction, paranoia and mysterious intentions infuse her household. Drawn to her fierce, suspicious youngest son, certain his actions are all carefully observed, Vassily must find the courage to face both his fears and his desires if he expects to survive.
Review: Vassily is many things, pampered, well born, extremely talented, and recovering from a life-altering accident that killed his father. Only now, after years of recovery, has Vassily begun to trust himself enough to venture outside of his apartment, let alone his building. His only companions are a maid and a neighbor who is a drag queen of some renown. His mother is often off on trading expeditions to far planets, and she is gone for months at a time. After her last trip, Vassily’s mother arrives home with a surprise—a new stepfather and two stepbrothers, who all regard Vassily with disdain.
After a series of unfortunate events, including his mother being taken by space pirates, Vassily finds himself drug addicted, thanks to his new step family, and out on the streets searching for a woman who can help him restore his stepfather’s drug ring to power. On his journey he meets three air-bike riding knights, all in service to the woman he seeks, Baba Yaga. Vassily soon finds himself in Baba’s protection and under the care of her knights.
As space sagas go this is a better than average story. The narration by Greg Boudreaux is well above average and makes the story come alive. The voice here is masterful. The characters are given depth, and the acting makes this story even better. The two main characters develop feelings, over time, and their coupling is told in sweet detail by Boudreaux. There are not enough good things to say about this narration and how it takes an ordinary story and makes it brilliant. The Russian inspired names are handled well, and the accents are not cliched. The villains are clear and the heroes can be rooted for and cheered.
Buy this book if you like space sagas with hot men in them. Buy the book if you are familiar with Martinez’s work. Buy the audio for the amazing narration, and listen to it more than once. You will not be sorry about that.
You can buy Vassily the Beautiful here: