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Vassily the Beautiful
Vassily the Beautiful
Vassily's life changed the day his father died, leaving him with neuro damage that makes him basically blind in the dark and weakness in his legs, making him reliant on others to help him. His ability to compose music keeps his mind active, but he rarely leaves home. Vassily is shocked when his mother returns from an off-world business trip with a husband, Boris, and two step sons. Vassily tries to get along, but his step brothers have no problem hurting him and blaming it on his disability. When his mom goes away for work, Vassily overhears Boris talking to his sons about his work that Vassily's mother knows nothing about. When Vassily confronts Boris he is held down and injected with an addictive street drug Exoticus. Vassily can't even go to the authorities because his mother unknowingly transported the drug paraphernalia when they came home. Boris decides to use Vassily as a guinea pig for the new strains of his drugs, leaving Vassily with an addiction that is slowing destroying his health. Vassily's mother's ship is captured and Boris knows that the authorities will arrive soon, making them vacate the premises, so he goes into hiding taking Vassily with him. After an accident destroys Boris's equipment, he sends Vassily on a difficult task to meet with a dangerous woman, Baba Yaga, the only person capable of building the equipment he need. Vassily's life is about to change, bringing him challenges and possibility his heart's desire if he is strong enough to fight for what he wants.
I was initially drawn to the beautiful cover of this book before the excerpt drew me in and I wasn't disappointed. Vassily is a compelling character who initially acted very passive until he had to stand on his own two feet. It was horrifying how Boris forced his sons to hold Vassily when he injected his with drug so he could test them on Vassily. To have no regard for someone else, using them as a test subject is terrible. On the surface Baba Yagar was a hard and ruthless woman, but in reality she would do anything to help someone. Her love for her children, Sui, Rasvet, and Pol, was equal to any mother and it didn't make a difference that she constructed them to help her. It was funny to experience her sons arguing like any other brothers, considering they could ruthlessly kill anyone endangering them. Their reaction to Vassily was completely unique, but Vassily's unwavering desire to Sumi was telling. Sumi never let anyone except his family near him, until Vassily's loving nature got through his defenses, but will it be enough?
Reviewed by: Teresa