The Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord, Ballantine Books, ISBN 978-0-345-53405-7, $25.00, 307 pgs.

Photo of Cygnus constellation

Photo of Cygnus constellation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Sadiri homeworld is no more–destroyed, taking all of the inhabitants with it. The Sadiri that remain are those that were off world, those on research trips, those off working as pilots, and those off meditating. Most of them men, which makes trying to preserve their way of life definitely complicated.  If they do nothing they essentially die out.  but, if they marry women from other cultures then their way of life will be changed.  It’s a classic no win situation.

The book follows Delarua who is assigned to work with Dllanahkh, a Sadiri tasked with figuring out which path their race should take in order to keep their culture alive.  Part of this process is a road trip to the different cultures on Cygnus Beta, a Terran populated planet but a planet that also contains some taSadiri, those who do not practice the mental exercised of the Sadiri but who are, nonetheless, genetically similar.  As Delarua and Dllanahkh set off on this year long trip across the planet, visiting enclaves here and there and becoming more knowledgeable about each other the story of the Sadiri also unfolds.

Lord has constructed an interesting premise, populated it with interesting characters and then build a world within which they interact. It’s quite well done and very interesting.  The nature of the conflicts and the decision points for the protagonists often put them in untenable situations with no real win in the offing.  It’s creating and entertaining at the same time.  If I had to characterize it I would say it’s a cross between character driven SF and setting driven SF.  Imagine Bradbury crossed with Leguin.

I enjoyed the book and found the writing to be intelligent and and the premise interesting and challenging.  Lord paces the novel perfectly from beginning to end.  There are one or two surprises along the way and the ending builds but is not anticipated.  Definitely recommended.  And, if you want to get a copy all for yourself, you should click here: The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel


About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

One Response to The Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord, Ballantine Books, ISBN 978-0-345-53405-7, $25.00, 307 pgs.

  1. Pingback: Science fiction – review roundup » AreesPortal

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