I loved Karen Lord’s Debut novel Redemption In Indigo(my review). It was an exciting story with a completely different perspective than I usually read. Even though I’m not a huge fantasy fan, her story was different and a lot of fun to read. So, when I heard that her next novel was a science fiction story, I knew I had to read it. The Best of All Possible Worlds met and exceeded my hopes. It’s a thoughtful character driven story about the aftereffects of a genocide. Let’s check it out.
The Sadiri’s home planet is destroyed by their enemy. Since most of the people who were off planet at the time were male, this causes additional trouble. The Sadiri are not only homeless and forced to migrate to Cygnus Beta, they are also on the hunt for women. Since the Sadiri are a very, very proud people who believe their culture is the best, they want to find mates who are willing to bring up children the Sadiri way. Grace is a native of Cygnus Beta assigned to work with Dllenahkh (a Sadiri representative). Cygnus Beta is a hodge podge of different cultures and (mostly humanoid) people. Dllenahkh believes that investigation into the various groups will lead the Sadiri to the best choice of matches.
The book mainly deals with Grace and Dllenahkh as they tour the world. We get to know these people and we get to learn about the world and the various cultures. We learn about Grace’s family, including her most beloved nephew and her brother-in-law (who is also her ex).
I hesitate to say that nothing happens in the book (since things do happen), but the main focus of the book is not the plot. This book is the story of Grace and Dllenahkh. Their reactions to the events, the other cultures and each other. It’s a wonderfully slow-moving story that lets us grow and see the characters and eventually enjoy the outcome of their mission.
Overall, it’s a slow-moving book focused on the characters. Most of the action happens offscreen (or prior to the start of the story), but Lord brings us along so well, that we don’t care about the lack of action. If you’re looking for a space opera type book with spaceships and aliens fighting, then this isn’t the book for you. This book is a character study set in a science fiction universe. I loved the book for what it is and look forward to additional books by Karen Lord. Recommended