Sidestepping into mediocrity

Written by
Karen Lord in 2014

Karen Lord’s Best of All Possible Worlds is a lovely book, a light and fun filled adventure that you’d love to have as an adult. Her followup, The Galaxy Game is nothing like it at all. It’s set in the same universe, the same people are involved, but the magic just isn’t there.

Some time after the events of Best of All Possible Worlds, Rafi Delarua, the nephew of Grace from the first book is taking time to learn about his latent telepathic powers in the Lyceum, a school for telepathic oddities, following his father’s forced reeducation for telepathic crimes.

After subjecting himself to “the cap”, he begins to have nightmares and deciding this is probably not the best course of treatment for himself, escapes with Ntenman to the planet Punatam via his aunt’s homestead.

Whilst on Punartam, he attempts to live a happy life by learning how to play the popular sport of wall running and earning favour and coin from the various high level colonials. And then some major political upheaval happens, which leads Rafi back home.

Where The Best of All Possible Worlds was unexciting, but fun and engaging, The Galaxy Game is unexciting, dull and feels disjointed. Something about the plot just doesn’t grab me. It wanders around the place, and it’s only in the final third of the book where something happens, but then the protagonist runs back home again.

If you really enjoyed Karen Lord’s Best of All Possible Worlds, then don’t spoil the good vibes by reading this book. It’s not that The Galaxy Game is terrible in any sense, it just doesn’t stand out and feels like an unnecessary diversion. Like ten Australian flags in a press conference unnecessary.


Even the word meh is unable to give two sh!ts about this book.

Read this if you…

Were somewhat curious as to Rafi’s fate, then be disappointed when you actually read the book, because it’s nothing like the first one.

Don’t read this if you…

Are looking for excellence.


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