Cover Image: The First Sister

The First Sister

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Member Reviews

I actually really enjoyed this book. It’s engrossing, catching, and I’m kind of annoyed I read it before the whole series is published, because I want the next one. It’s about loyalty and finding your voice. It’s LGBTQ positive and very solid.

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A book that will make you question your beliefs alongside the main character. Intriguing and captivating world with good social and political commentary.

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Turned out it's not my type of reading. I found the book extremely boring and slow...
I wanted to give it only two stars, but the system doesn't accept less than three. Another source of disgust for me...

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4 stars

Wow!! I enjoyed this so much. The cast of characters was so fun and I love all the twists. I cannot wait to jump into the second book asap!

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Dnf'ing this. It had a strong first chapter then it progressed into the territory of "we want you to spy on this person because REASONS" and I have a strong idea of where this is going. After checking out the other reviewers, I'm thinking I'm correct about my suspicions and this is a tired, overdone plot. Strong writing and decent characters, but come on. I also grew bored by about 40% of the way through. Which isn't a good sign. Too bad. That opening chapter had given me such high hopes for a good five star read.

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The First Sister has some great world building that goes well beyond what might be suggested by the “Handmaid’s Tale” comp - and it’s full of unexpected twists. I believe this was one for the first SFF books I read with non-binary rep, too, which even just a couple of years ago (at the date of initial publication) was much less common than in 2023 (still a long way to go of course).
NetGalley provided an ebook arc of this title for review purposes.

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I looooved the idea of this story but I was just so confused. I don't know why either, I just couldn't get into the story or care for the characters. I'm hoping to try this one in the future, but for now it's a DNF.

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**Did not finish, review based on first 47%**

This will be a hard review to write. There was so much I enjoyed in The First Sister, but also a lot of things that distracted me and ultimately led to me abandoning the book. The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis is a futuristic space opera set in a time when humans have colonized the known galaxy and work in tandem with the aliens they've encountered. The book focuses on the priestesses of the Sisterhood who are similar to nuns in their worship but also reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale. The First Sister is a priestess who travels with soldiers from Earth and Mars. She has no name, no voice, and belongs to the soldiers she serves in body and mind. This is as brutal as you can imagine.

Lito is a soldier of Venus, now working mostly to train soldiers after being injured in a fight with Saito Ren, the First Sister's new captain. Lito's best friend Hiro disappeared during the attack and was thought dead. Finding out he is not only alive but a traitor sends Lito on a new mission: find Hiro and expose his secrets.

There was a lot going on in this plot. It was immersive and mostly easy to follow. I struggled with the length and the treatment of the First Sister. I also had a hard time following Lito who was driven by grief and anger. The time line isn't linear, how the galaxy came to war, and the actually main plot is a mystery even at almost half way through. As someone who enjoys sci-fi, I was sad to put this one away. One day I may give it another shot, but not today.

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Hm... not sure if space opera just isn't my thing, or if I'm reading the wrong space operas, but I had similar issues with The First Sister as I had with Persephone Station. Namely, that the focus seems to be too much on representation (which is good! and great!) and not enough on world-building or storylines or, even, character development. I feel that The First Sister was more successful in that regard, but I still felt rather left out in the cold upon finishing it.

I think I was, partially, overwhelmed because the book attempts to take on too much. I wish Lewis's editor had reined her in a bit and worked towards a sharper, more streamlined book. There are 3 POVs, two warring factions, two races, a religious sect that doesn't seem particularly religious, and a whole lot of interconnecting themes - family (born vs. found), bodily autonomy, war vs. peace, racism, classicism, and a dash of other -isms. It casts an exceptionally wide net, and it casts it shallowly. I would have liked a more selective take and a deeper dive on some of the themes.

I found myself sympathizing with the First Sister, and curious about Hiro, but had a hard time connecting with Lito's POV; as he's arguably the force driving the book and the plot (even though it's not him on the title or cover) it was difficult for me to maintain enthusiasm. I would have liked to know more about the First Sister, her past, and the Sisterhood, its history and nuances. I wanted more history in general! The 'Dead Century War' is mentioned repeatedly, but we don't know much about it other than that it caused a rift between humans in space. There's also a heavy-handed subplot about eugenics twined with anti-capitalism that ultimately ends up driving the finale of the book.

It's like Lewis threw everything at the wall and didn't bother to see what stuck. I'm certainly intrigued by the premise, but my inability to connect with the characters and the book's only skimming the surface of the world-building means that I'm not likely to pick up the second installment.

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*Thank you Netgalley and publisher for giving me an electronic ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

I really enjoyed this book. I found the world unique and well developed, the characters interesting and thoughtful. This book was smart and focused a lot on politics (the great genre crosser), and what it's like to exist is a broken society.

It had beautiful queer representation, believable relationships and bonds. As well as some good old-fashioned space opera vibes. I counted down the days till I could get the sequel!

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Wow! This book was addicting. It gave me definite The Handmaide’s Tale vibes! We follow a select few characters, Hiro- a traitor and Lito’s partner, Lito- s soldier sent to kill his partner, First Sister- a mute religious figure and Ren- new Captain of the Juno. Watching this story progress and watching these characters make choices that would effect not only them, but nations, was fascinating. I wish the world building had been more flushed out and explored, this was a great first book and can’t wait to read the next one.

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This one surprised me. Due to the blurb, I was expecting a sci-fi romance with dark undertones. That is not what I got.

This was dark, as it has a world where women do not have say in what happens to their bodies. It was also very queer which was great. What is wasn't however, was a romance. Which is fine, just don't make a blurb that makes it sound like there is romance in it.

Over all, the writing was good. I do recommend this if you like sci fi space operas.

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#The First Sister is a debut novel. Also a fantasy and mystery. By author # Linden A. Lewis a wonderful storyteller.
Thank you for the advance copy,
#Netgalley and #Gallery 📚 Books

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Such a great book! I enjoyed reading this one so much! I highly recommend this book. Side note: the cover!!!!

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Let's just start by saying I bought the second book in hardcover before even starting this one.

Space + sisterhood + soldiers + EVERYTHING. I knew I would love it,
When I first picked it up I was slow because I am a huge mood reader & my mood changed, but I picked up again and sped through it!

The connection between Lito and Hiro was incredibly intriguing and then the recordings gave it even more life. I was eating it up. I won't tell much in regards to these relations because spoilers, but fiiire!

Now the first sister - is so relatable. She has been taught to obey everything, but get put in a pickle on following the rules or rebel in her own way. The fight within is written well, but the girl can take some risks and I love it!
Saito Ren is a true badass from the jump with a soft side and truly that all

Just know there is action, attraction, science-y goodness, etc. Obsessed!

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I just started First Sister. I gave it about 10 minutes. It’s another pseudo feminist story of how women lap up rewards for being good whores, in space.

May there never be another book written where our good whore loses her status and has to belittle and demean the other whores to claw back her self esteem.

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In this story, we are following three main perspectives. Leto, who is a soldier for the Venus Government. A comfort woman known as the First Sister. And Hiro a disgraced soldier for Earth and Mars.

The most fascinating aspect of this story is the world building. In this world, humanity has been able to colonize Mars and Venus. Earth and Mars are constantly at war with Venus, who is more technologically advanced.

The history and the politics of this world are incredibly intricate and was the strongest aspect of the story. I had so much fun learning about the history of this world, and the technological advancements achieved by humanity. The story also heavily deals with religion. Politics and religion are inextricably intertwined, and it was fascinating to learn about. Because religion and politics play an important role within the story, it deals heavily with themes of political and religious corruption.

Unfortunately, the characters were the weakest part of the story for me. In terms of character development, it’s consistent throughout the story, and there isn’t anything particularly wrong. I just found them to be forgettable.
Overall, I think the story is just ok. While I found certain aspects of the story interesting, there isn’t anything about it that has me gripped. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the target audience for First Sister.

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Loved this book, great entry to a series!
Not a great fan of scifi but this book changed mind. Thanks for approving me!

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Wow what a captivating story. I stayed up way too late to finish it, I didn’t want to put it down. Definitely recommending!

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Love this series! Just picked up book two! This is unlike anything else I've ever read and I can't wait to see where it goes.

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