I’m Reading: Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn

When I read a book I really like, I often go hunting for everything else the author has put out. In this case, Love Lettering sent me hunting for Kate Clayborn, and I was not disappointed. Beginner’s Luck lacks just a little of the rich, vivid description of Love Lettering, but it’s a highly engaging, enjoyable read.

Kit Averin is a materials scientist working a job she loves, living her lifelong dream of putting down roots in a place she can call home. When she and her friends win the lottery, she’s the one who swears nothing in her life will change. But when a recruiter shows up at her lab offering her a highly prestigious position, he throws all her plans into question. She’s forced to question how much of her dreams are rooted in a fear of change.

Kate Clayborn’s real gift is building smart, driven, damaged, and fully-rounded human characters. I love how she rounds out her nerds with artistic sensibilities, an appreciation for history, and a love of physical activities. They’re real people, and people I recognize from my own nerdy crowd. That really gets me invested in their stories. Each character has a strong internal development arc, a struggle that challenges their morality, and unique, believable external obstacles.

But my appreciation doesn’t end with the characters, as she also delivers a tight plot, interesting settings, and excellent, flowing prose. I think the only thing I didn’t enjoy about this book was the prologue. I’m not against them in general, but I found this book’s prologue unnecessary, expository, and something to “get through” before enjoying the main story. The rest of the book more than make up for it, and it’s earned a solid top spot in my re-read pile.

For more information, visit Kate Clayborn online.