Sunday, February 22, 2015

Review: Eos by Elegy Goldsmith

Eos by Elegy Goldsmith

Link to buy Eos

Story Rating: 3.5 out of 5


When Hesper Fane was growing up, she was full of promise and high expectations. After high school, she left her small Maine hometown for college in Los Angeles. She was trying to finish a graduate degree in English when the money ran out. Now, tail between her legs, she must return home to live with her mother. If disappointed hopes and the ignominy of being an adult moving back in with mom aren't enough, the only job Hesper can find is working as a custodian at her former high school. Needless to say, that results in lots of uncomfortable conversations with Hesper's former classmates and teachers when she runs into them.

The only bright spot in Hesper's life is Altair, the handsome, mysterious astronomer who rents the guest house at Hesper's mom's place. The circumstances of their first meeting aren't ideal, and she's not happy that his presence in the guest house prevents her from being able to live there, but he has an undeniable allure for Hesper. As the pair grows closer, it becomes clear that Altair has a tremendous secret of his own. The question is whether that secret will drive him and Hesper apart forever.

As a science fiction novel, Eos offers plenty of references to popular sci fi books and movies. It's also a romance, so the relationship between Hesper and Altair is front and center throughout the story. The problem was that I didn't fully understand why the gorgeous and entirely unique Altair was suddenly so smitten with Hesper. He'd lived a very long life alone, and suddenly he falls for a broke college dropout who's living with her mom. In other romances, there's usually something about the couple that explains their attraction. For instance, in Twilight, Edward Cullen has been around for a long time and seen a lot of girls, but Bella is unique because he can't read her thoughts the way he can read everyone else's. It makes Bella mysterious to him. In Eos, it was clear why Hesper would be fascinated by Altair, but the opposite side of the coin wasn't as obvious.

Another aspect of the story left me torn. On the one hand, the notion that Hesper was going back home to work as a janitor at her old high school was the cherry on top of her humiliation cake. She was going to run into everyone she had known and have to explain what happened with her lofty dreams. That made for some nice conflict in the book. At the same time, though, it made me uncomfortable that Hesper looked down her nose at her janitorial job. It was insulting to everyone who does janitorial work, which is important work that keeps the world spinning. The irony is that Hesper obviously feels the work is beneath her, yet she's lousy at it. It was good that the author made a point of demonstrating that being a reliable employee and doing good work aren't just mindless accomplishments that any clown can do.

Overall, Eos was an entertaining science fiction love story. It will probably appeal more to science fiction fans than straight romance lovers, but there's room here for both types of readers to get something out of the tale.

Reviewed by Amanda

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