D and bored with the storyFor xample the main character is rather robotic in her personality She takes verything very literally One might think she was portrayed as having some profile such as Asperger Syndrome As such her decisions were almost always very frustrating and obtuse Most of her interactions with other characters didn t develop into deeper connections And this was xacerbated by the storytelling techniue where characters seemed to have fairly short and unsatisfying conversations They always seemed to be leaving ach other with unfinished communications ither running away before the conversation could be completed due to anger or being cutoff by some vent that occurs or one individual leaving due to some urgent demand In the nd this left me feeling disconnected from the characters And it also felt like herky jerky storytellingthe key plot points that characters communicate to ach other get unnecessarily distributed throughout the story making it feel much longer than it needed to be Some degree of frustration of the reader can be thematically appropriate and necessary But as a pattern over the whole book it made it feel too long and dare I say it boring I kept wanting to just get to the heart of the matter and Solomon continually postponed it It didn t help matters that the main character s childhood friend has been driven rather insane making the story s second most important character also hard to relate to or connect with The third main character is the upper class surgeon While he had an interesting backstory he never uite jelled for me As written he felt too mechanicalOh and I wish the publisher had googled An Unkindness of because this phrase is in the title of at least two other novels making this less original than it seems I am a boy and a girl and a witch all wrapped into one very strange flimsy indecisive body Do you think my body couldn t decide what it wanted to be 4 12 stars This was so good Living on the lower levels of a worldship from which there is no scape a group of characters live constantly struggling to survive as Aster attempts to figure out coded messages from her mother and perhaps a route off the shipI think to me this book is about collective trauma within a community While Aster is perhaps one of the most okay members of the community we see in very interaction between her and the people around her that she is strugglingI have never been much a fan of worldbuilding but I really think it is at the heart of this book the world is a fundamental part of these characters and forms the very thematic core of the novel There s a lot of thematic discussion of colorism via the structure of the ship I ve kind of alluded to this but Aster and her friends are on the lower levels of the ship where most of the inhabitants are black and brutality from the upper deck owners is the norm The upper deckers of the ship are white Within the book this functions almost as a sci fi version of American slavery with ven less of an scape route Another really major dynamic within the story is ueer acceptance and the fact that while lower deckers live in a less cisheteronormative nvironment upper deckers are very confined by gender norms I don t know if this is the intent but it kind of choes the fact that gender normaitivity was artificially forced on many cultures in Africa that did not have such strict roles previously or that interacted with these roles in very different ways Certain decks on this ship use all theythem pronouns and then are often misgendered by upper deck members It s this incredibly subtle part of the story and it is brutal to read As you might have gotten from that paragraph this is really not an motionally asy book to read though a very readable one You really should be prepared for that going in There is a lot of racist transphobic violence major trigger warning for that and it is *Often Not Easy To ReadOh And Also * not asy to readOh and also really like all of I really njoyed this I love how the book incorporated intersectional blackgender identities and paralleled the antebellum South to create a richer story It was a uniue take on the scifi dystopian genre that opens wider paths for inclusive storytelling I m
Not Just Giving It Diversity Points I Truly Believe The just giving it diversity points I truly believe the s inclusion of autism and ueer identities was purposeful in painting a deeper story that reflects our society Aster feels real and I loved being in her headspace because it s a perspective so uniuely told I also njoyed her uiet and subtle relationship with Theo who is ually as complex The gratuitous violence also helps paint the harsh realities of slavery and humankindI did not rate this 5 stars because although I was nraptured by the beginning my interest dipped in the middle parts The A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, ending felt a little rushed and unsatisfying There are some issues with pacing which is understandable since this is Solomons debut novel I would ve loved to see other perspectivesxpanded throughout the story to The Shadow Reader enhance the themesven Regardless I plan on following Solomons work because I m sure it ll continue to be captivating As in most repressive societies the overlords are hardest on women and children of color and so it goes in An Unkindness of Ghosts Aster is strong and smart but she can only do so much for her people who inhabit the lowest strata in this society inside of a spaceship that holds the remnants of the damaged Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies earth She makes medicines and performs operations some things self taught and others learned from the powerful Surgeon a kind and decent man and a mysterious one whose motives for helping Aster are slowly revealed Surgeon Aster her Ainty and Aster s friendsspecially Giselle are all beaten down physically and spiritually but still retain hope that they will be set free from this Hell created by man Maybe 355 I m unsure right nowThere s a lot I loved here but I personally was underwhelmed by the plot and by the novel s resolution Aster is an incredible character as is Theo and I loved reading about them ven as I read so many horrifying passages about them struggling with being marginalized and brutalized by the people aboard their ship This has incredible scope and brilliant ideas it s just that many of those ideas get lost along the way or fall short of the final xecution I ll need to think about it but those are my feelings for now. Der to be less than humanWhen the autopsy of Matilda's sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother's suicide some uarter century before Aster retraces her mother's footsteps Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she's willing to fight for
Rivers Solomon º 8 reviewShiver shiver tremble tremble I am not nervous about writing this review at all I do not have any of my typical book was too good to write a review for it jumbles Nope Feeling at my most confident here The Power Of A Choice escapes Can we just agree to make this book as famous as possible and leave it at that No I ll have tolaborate Oh AlrightSo We ve got a spaceship that has scaped a dying Earth centuries ago Naturally it s failing Of course due to various constrictions combined with pure human nature the ship is authoritarian slavery driven and as violent an nvironment as can be We find ourselves following the story through the yes of several of the characters but most of them are based on the lower decks as the lowest form of life Reread RWLChallenge A book with an intersex main character Now that this is out I m looking at veryone likey all gon read this or nahPre publication review below the cutI wanted to give myself to some to fully process An Unkindness of Ghosts before writing my review There is a lot to unpack Let s start with how good I think this book is It has multiple layers that one can spend close to an ternity unpacking A number of themes jumped out at me while reading this novel They include inter alia friendship self actualization race class religion and xtremely important for me gender An Unkindness of Ghosts was one of the few books I know I wanted to re read Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling even before finishing This is definitely the type of novel that keeps giving withach read and I can guarantee my copy will be well loved While reading there were numerous times when I wished it were a movie It one that could Monsieur Pain easily be adapted and I need Hollywood to get off their high horses and just adapt this already This book is 100 per cent ambitious and Solomonxcels at it World building is by far the most stand out lement of the book The world building shines through so much so that one finds themselves being fully immersed in this novel uite uickly The world of Matilda is xtremely well detailed and it is obvious that the author spent time crafting it The setting of the book definitely creates a level of cohesion and it is difficult to image the story in any other setting The care and detail to world building is most noticeable in the description of the ship s wings and the decks However while these aspects seemed well thought out without maps to guide the imagery there was a bit of a disconnect I will check with the final copy to see if this was includedThe pacing was also one of the book s stand out lements There wasn t much of a lull in any of the sections The major plot developments occurred at the right times and tied in well with the rest of the story This was further nhanced by the structure of the novel While Aster is the main character ach section of the book presents insight into her interactions with key supporting characters who also important parts of Aster s life This is a great tool for breaking up any monotony as the majority of the story is otherwise told from Aster s point of view The characters are all fully drawn not one felt like a caricature or stereotype Each voice was uniue and there was no confusion or overlap within these personalities The language used by the lower decks is absolutely beautiful and I could not get nough In fact I may have taken away a tiny weeny star because of it The language variations among the decks is often references but hardly on show within the novel I would have loved to have seen the language Tolkien style xtremely intense This is however a very personal preference and in absolutely no way detracts from the brilliance of the story In addition this book is chock full of medical jargon which is
EXTREMELY APPROPRIATE SINCE ASTER IS INappropriate since Aster is in parlance a doctor One nuance that jumped out at me was the misgendering of Flick by The Lieutenant Flick and those on their deck identify as non binary on this further down however the Lieutenant constantly refers to Flick using sheher pronouns The reader is not sure if this is meant to underscore the divergence between the upper and lower decks viz a callous disregard for the self of lower deckers particularly differences related to culture and gender or if it is an rror If it is the former this attenetion to detail further highlights the layering and literary nuances that Patrick the Wolf Boy, Volume 1 exist within this novel Gender and sexuality are constantlyxplored and again xtremely layered All this is done without feeling forced or like a diversity checkbox Sexuality is painted in a positive light without any slut shaming Despite these positive portrayals I did find the reveal of one a key character to be acephobic and therefor problematic I am curious to see if this changes in the final copy In a similar vein I do njoy that a number of characters are neuroatypical while I do find that their portrayal often time borders on ableist I am able to laborate further and would happily default to members of this community The acephobia and ableism are things that I will check against the final copy While these two concerns were jarring to read in what is otherwise a stellar book I am hopeful that they have been revised Pending these changes An Unkindness of Ghosts is a 4 star read In conclusion An Unkindness of Ghosts was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 and it did not disappoint This book is one for the ages and I do recommend pending changes to the final copy This book was interesting I m not uite sure how to categorize it Set on a gen ship with the social constructs of the Antebellum South this book is
less about spacefaring heroes or mystery and about the psychological impactabout spacefaring heroes or mystery and about the psychological impact subjugation trauma and class over those generations and what it means to be a person It was a bitjumpy as a read though The personal parts were asily 4 or Il morto di Maigret even 5 stars The structural parts were 2 or 3 CONTENT WARNING no actual spoilers just a list of topics view spoiler slavery racism sexual assaultrape pschychological trauma loss of child loss of parent body horrorxtreme homophobia abuse in all its forms hide spoiler This one is rather hard to rate for one good reason It is good and I did not like it I would reasonably give this 35 stars but let me xplainThe goodReally uite wonderful main characters all full of interesting mixtures Astra seems to have autism is rather gay than not but closely binary She s also st. Odd mannered obsessive withdrawn Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak She's used to the names; she only wishes there was truth to them If she were truly a monster as they accuse she'd be powerful nough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world save for stories told around. Rong and pretty brilliant and she also has a tendency to say xactly what she means and do xactly as she wants regardless of whether it s safe for her to do so This is a mixed blessing Theo is a somewhat distant character but he is also fairly nicely rounded as is a few other of the MC s As a study on slavery and cultural abuse taken up ten notches it is a uite sickening study and this brings us to the title Ghosts are Whites The slavery is almost ship wide It s almost unbearable to read When you can count up to 90 massive trauma Globalization: A Multi-Dimensional System, Third Edition events to your person by the time you reach 40 both of a strictly abusive nature and a sexual one and this is considered the normal and natural order of things then you know something is slightly offFor what this tale does in making a very varied read and one that illustrates the horrors in so many ways it is very goodNow the badIt s almost unbearable to read If the author is intending to depress the living hell out of me and make me want tond it all because I happen to have white skin then I shall call her a winner There is VERY little other than Theo to make me think that whites are anything other than complete and utter aholes All the villains and I mean the ghosts are cardboard cutouts of complete and utter Billionaires Contract Engagement (Kings of the Boardroom evil A slight taste of a rounded villain or at least a lying rounded villain might have given this whole thing a bit meat As it was I just learned to hate and hate and hate and hate and hate and hate Maybe I need to be clear it s tiring to hate so much Emotionally Intellectually EverythingAnd then there s an SF reason to dislike this novel If I am to accept the premise that a generational starship can be made maintained and piloted for an unknown number of years on a slave race then this is doable It s a completely dystopian turn your mind off SF trope applied to a generational starship Good for reinforcing that whole world as prison mentality NOT good for rational thoughtWhyI kept asking myself that one uestion over and over and over WHY Ignore the how Social structures can be maintained indefinitely with a little ruthlessness and powerven with the possibility of revolution My big uestion is WHY would anyone put a bunch of slaves on a high tech Sexual Secrets easily destroyable long term spaceship You need a VERYducated workforce and one that is than willing to go the xtra ffort not to punch holes in hulls or start random fires that can wipe out the ntire crew Instead we have fires and rifles here On a spaceship Okay Turn off the mind Got it Assume it s super high tech as is implied by the computer at the nd or the hints at faster FASTER travel through space I beg the uestion again WHY all the hate hate hate I m talking about the ghosts If they hate so much why didn t they just gather themselves up with a bunch of robots and go uck off to some other planet if it s so asy to have a bunch of aholes GET a generational spaceship in the first place Why bring along a slave workforce to abuse at all Especially when you KNOW it s bound to turn badReligion could have been an answer but the closest we get to that is the ghosts calling themselves gods So not developed Even the Pharaohs had a rich and varied social system to account for the pyramidsNo This is just social ineuity massive abuse built into the culture a bit of cool character building and lots of really difficult motional reading It s not
hard to follow or njoy otherwise So Good and bad It really depends on what you re looking forto follow or njoy otherwise So Good and bad It really depends on what you re looking for rich SF this is not A heartbreaking tale of a world prison This is Back in 2016 which seems so long ago Barrack Obama was in the last year of his Presidency and I was still sane Anyways that was the year my cup runneth over with slave narratives I read three that year Kindred Homegoing and The Underground Railroad All three were The West Transformed: A History of Western Civilization, Vol 1, to 1715 excellent but they are slave narratives Painful infuriating and heartbreaking to read Provocative of angrymotions I came to loathe slave narratives for their incongruence to humanity their unfairness their lack of compassion their torment of human beings the irredeemable deeds the callous disregard for human rights the unfettered privileging of a group of people who deserve no absolution Nope don t like the subject and can read only in small doses In the intervening years between then and now I managed to read only one unt Somewhat like a mashup between Battlestar Galactica The Handmaid s Tale and Roots The thematic premise of this story seems to be that ven in the future about 300 years in a situation where humanity is traveling between stars the current unjust class system will not only be reproduced but will be xacerbated We won t have some flatline merit based deprivation free world Solomon has created the anti Star TrekThe storyline finds like in Galactica a colony ship traveling from Earth to some distant unknown destination But in Solomon s version the class system is systematized by decks Each deck carries some several thousand individuals The lower decks are people of color and they are ssentially prisoners working the crops that feed the upper decks which are primarily Caucasian Gender is fluid and ambiguous in this world but primarily women are at least represented in the story in these lower decks We don t meet any lower class male characters Like Handmaid s Tale the ruling class nforces religious doctrine that must be followed curfews and other checks Guards have free reign to abuse any lower class residents and rape women The ship has regressed to a system of slavery to benefit the upper class Most of the history of Earth has been forgotten and the ship has developed its own cultural systemsThe storyline follows one female character from the lower deck who is apparently a medical genius of sorts and a few of her friends another lowerdeck female who is a bit insane and an upper class surgeon who recognizes her brillianceSo far so
GOOD THE STORY HAS A VALUABLEthe story has a valuable meaningful premise Unfortunately I found much of the mechanics of the storytelling to be a bitmechanical And somewhat frustrating and monotonous to read Solomon s linguistic skills the actual writing itself was solid nough Somewhere between the characterization decisions she made and the development of relationships and interactions between the characters combined with some awkward storytelling choices left me feeling a bit col. The cookfireAster lives in the low deck slums of the HSS Matilda a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South For generations the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land On its way the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark skinned sharecroppers like Aster who they consi.