A story that is hard to pidgeon hole, but ultimately great fun to read

Written by
Karen Lord in 2013

The Best of All Possible Worlds is a strange book. Not because it is badly written or even about decidedly strange subject matter. It is simply because it crosses many genres; romance, comedy, science fiction and even dabbles in a bit of anthropology.

At first, from reading the prologue, you would think this book is about is some sort of ominous, large scale, interstellar war fought by warrior monks. Could not be further from the truth. Not that it detracts from the charm of the story itself.

The book begins with meditating monks witnessing the destruction of their world, Sadira, by the Ain. It is one of the (apparently) four seeds of humanity throughout the galaxy, with Earth being the youngest of the human races. The Sadiri are telepaths who are basically the Vulcans from Star Trek, strong links to each other, yet having to suppress their outward emotions for fear of loss of control.

Because of the destruction of their homeworld, the remaining Sadiri try to preserve their culture and race by emigrating to various settled colonies throughout space. This book is set on Cygnus Beta, a hotbed of racial diversity, where over the years, many people from various human planets have settled and since mingled their genetics.

The Sadiri have arrived on Cygnus Beta to find some way to ensure their unique abilities and culture can be preserved, by remaining as pure as possible. This proves to be impractical on many levels, but they can only try. A group of scientists is selected to embark on a journey to find out whether there are compatible tribes or colonies on the planet.

Written from the perspective of Grace Delarua, the story follows her adventures as part of the scientific team, as they journey around Cygnus Beta helping the Sadiri. It’s mostly a serious affair, but the character (and author, no doubt) sometimes moves into giggle mode, especially when the love lives of characters are discussed. It is good to have some comic relief to break up the story.

Overall, The Best of All Possible Worlds is a fun book to read. Never too exciting, yet never dull, it is a tribute to the triumph of a functioning multicultural society, and how, in a perfect world, we should all be there to help each other in spite of our differences.

Rating

Interesting book full of diversions and fun adventure.

Read this if you…

Enjoy mixing ice cream flavours.

Don’t read this if you…

Are only into vanilla.

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