Friday, January 15, 2021

Review: An Unkindness of Ghosts

An Unkindness of GhostsAn Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read via audiobook, but I can safely say this book will be purchased for my shelf.

Solomon built a rich world and culture that I could experience with the characters. In fact, I felt connected with the characters. I wanted to understand them and to fight for them. I found a world where civil rights falls apart despite technology advanced enough to move an entire civilization completely believable. If there is one flaw that I fear will forever be with us, it is discrimination. This is the world that Solomon invites you into on a generation ship where the decks of the ship are physical manifestations of the economic status gradient. Our journey mostly stays on the lowest decks, where the characters live as slaves or indentured servants at best.

One benefit of the audio version was the range of dialects. I am interested to see how they work in the print version.

Solomon does well weaving together the plots as the main character battles discrimination, fulfills her role to help others, searches for the truth about her missing mother, and uncovers the larger truth about the fate of their people.

I noticed that several others had issue with the violence. I am not usually able to stomach graphic scenes of sexual and physical abuse, but I thought Solomon handled these scenes appropriately. The fear was there, the intense emotions were clear, but I did not feel like I was being forced to witness these horrible crimes for the sake of interest. For the most part she skirts around the ideas, makes them clear without smearing them on your face. Towards the end, as things become more difficult for the characters, the abuse increases, but I have read and seen things that were handled far less delicately.

There are a few shifts in point of view, but I found these moments useful to the plot. I was left with a few questions, but not so many that I did not feel the ending was effective. I think that another read will make the story even better.

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