Looking Through Lace is the second story I’ve read lately that features a matriarchal society. To hold my attention and suspend my disbelief, books that feature matriarchal societies have to be believable. To do that they have to explain away how women who are smaller and weaker and are encumbered by childbirth can get the upper hand. Also, I don’t like it if women in power are shown as being faultless … I tend to think power corrupts everyone.
Looking Through Lace easily slips around the first test of believability because the matriarchal society is alien. Alien matriarchal societies are a whole other different kettle of fish. I have no idea if pregnancy is hard for these aliens (would sort of like to know), but as it never comes up, I can let it slide. The men do appear to be stronger–but there was a singular event on their world that gave the women of society the upper hand. What is fascinating is how they hold onto it, and also how human linguists completely misconstrue the society based on their own preconceptions. The details of the alien species writing and language really set this story apart.
There is science, a little bit of romance, and a lot of drama–another highly recommended read*–I like it enough to purchase the second in series. You can purchase the first novella here:Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iBooks or just purchase the two novellas together Amazon, Nook, Kobo and save a few bucks.
*I will never go to the trouble to review a book I don’t recommend. I’m very picky and don’t finish most of the books I pick up, but I live in a glass house and will not throw stones. (Also, why write about a story I don’t like? My time is better spent writing a story I do like.)