Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

The Best of all Possible WorldsScience Fiction
“Karen Lord won the Frank Collymore Literary Award for 2008 with the manuscript of the fantasy novel Redemption in Indigo and again for 2009 with the science fiction manuscript The Best of All Possible Worlds. She was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (2012).”  The quote is from  her Goodreads page and here is the Goodreads Summary of The Best of All Possible Worlds.
"A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.

“This fascinating and thoughtful science fiction novel breaks out of the typical conflict-centered narrative paradigm to examine adaptation, social change, and human relationships. I’ve not read anything quite like it, which it makes that rare beast: a true original.”—Kate Elliot, author of the Crown of Stars series and the Spiritwalker Trilogy."

I have not read Redemption in Indigo so I cannot compare the two books.  I can say that I really enjoyed The Best of All Possible Worlds.  This is a very different Science Fiction. 
Worldbuilding:  The story is set on Cygnus Beta, a world where various pioneers and refugees settle.  There are several branches of the human race.  Earth is only one of the several.  People from the various human branches who are displaced from their homes often end up on Cygnus Beta.  Each branch has certain unique abilities.  All of this information is worked into the story line and provides a great framework for the story.
Characters:   This is a very character driven story.  Dllenahkh is one of the Sadiri who have come to Cygnus Beta after their home world was destroyed.  He is logical like other Sadiri’s. in fact is logical to a fault.  Delarlua is his contact on Cygnus.  She is much more intuitive and much less structured.  Their developing relationship and how each has to change is at the heart of the story.  There are some well developed side characters that add much to the story.
Plot:  This is hard to define.  The story develops around a trip to see other settlements.  When the Sadiri’s arrived it was an all male settlement.  They want to find wives but wives who will accept their way of like.  The trip helps define the difficulties between cultures and to see ways to bridge those differences.  During the trip you see each character grow and change.
Writing:  All I can say is that it is very well written.  Although the story is very low key the story flow kept my attention.  There were surprise elements as well as expected events.  All in all this is a wonderful and entertaining story that deals with some very complex issues.
I received an ARC of The Best of All Possible Worlds from Edelweiss. This will not be released until February of 2013.  Go ahead and put it on you wish list or even better pre-order.
Del Rey will publish The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord in 2013.

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