The Best of All Possible Worlds
by Karen Lord
What is it about:
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.
What did I think of it:
I will confess I was a little disappointed that once again the different sort of aliens are all human in appearance. There might be some shine hair, a strange eye color, stuff like that, but they all look human. But that's the case in most SciFi, so I decided not to hold it against this book and read on.
And this book is just so beautiful!
The story is told mostly from the viewpoint of Grace Delarua, a woman from Cygnus Beta, a planet that's become a melting pot of different humanoid species over the centuries. When the Sadiri's homeworld is destroyed a lot of the survivors end up on Cygnus Beta. Grace joins an expedition to find if there are people on the planet with a genetic make-up that's close enough to the Sadiri to help the Sadiri save/continue their species.
The things that happen on the expedition make a compelling story and would have entertained me on its own easily, but it was the developing relationship between Grace Delarua and Dllenahkh (one of the Sadiri) that made me fall in love with this book. It's one of the most quiet and matter of fact romances I ever read, but it's so heartwarming and sweet. The way they interact, and get to know each other, each other's customs and background was really touching. There was no drama, no horrible misunderstanding, no love triangles, just two people who grow towards each other and slowly start realizing what the other means to them.
I had expected to like this book, instead I fell in love with it and had a hard time putting it down. I will most certainly reread it, and I will investigate what other books Lord had written.
Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful story about a cross-species liaison
(Yeah, I just couldn't resist inserting a romantic remark from Garrus from Mass Effect 3 here ;-) )