Cover Image: The Kindred

The Kindred

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

Dow has created a world class, mesmerizing book that will take you to outer space, grab you and keep you there, fully immersed in this world! What a compelling story! I love this world and now I need to go read The Sound of Stars!

I fell in love with this! While it took me a little bit to get into, once I did, I was hooked. It's such a unique and well done Sci-Fi. While I'm not the biggest sci-fi fan, this made me one. I love the idea of allowing a "Kindred" that gives each class a voice in government. I wish we could implement this, honestly. This book was gripping and makes you want to keep reading once you get into it.

I think Dow does a great job building out the world and characters inside The Kindred! It's complex but easier to gather and understand the world, which is absolutely beautiful. I loved each other characters and how their relationships evolved and developed. This was very well done! I highly recommend this!

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Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.- Goodreads

I liked the premise of this book. I like the characters. I just wasn't into the book. Felix is a whole ass entitled brat that barely can stand up for himself and is extremely dependant on Joy. From what the book says, the purpose of a Kindred is so the poor can have their voices heard and the rich can help make changes. Felix seems to do none of that, which is weird given how much in love with Joy he is and Joy doesn't actually seem to be willing to provide any form of feedback on making change but just tends to feel sorry for herself and her mother. This really sat weird with me as I read the book. Do not get me wrong there are rules, challenges etc but Felix does what he wants when he wants so again this was weird.

I couldn't get into the book and that is not for a lack of trying. But the story didn't capture me, like the way I wanted nor keep my interest. I don't think that was the case because it is a bad book or badly written. I think the world-building was good and I liked the system and the history it showed. But I just wasn't into it.

Would I recommend this book to friends? Absolutely because I know some people who would love it. Its just not me.


No rating due to DNF (only added a rating to netgalley because I can't post a review without one)

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I really liked this one. It started off with so much momentum and lots of great world-building that I was super interested in. This turns out to be set in the same world as The Sound of Stars, but can be read just fine as a standalone. The relationship between the lower-class Joy and the upper-class Felix was the main focus and I was really interested in the neural link that they shared. The book took the time to set the stage and then exploded into the action that was promised by the synopsis.

In the middle part, the book lost some of the steam that had been building up. I sort of lost interest when they arrived on Earth because their reactions to Earth kept repeating and they didn’t feel super realistic and the main relationship did stagnate in this middle portion. I also think the relationship as whole wasn’t really interesting to me, which may have contributed to my lack of interest in this portion, where they focused almost exclusively on the relationship. There were several bright spots, like the connections to current events and the critiques that are interspersed throughout the narrative. These kept the story interesting in this lull allowing me to get the end, which returned to the interesting narratives.

Overall this book was an interesting read, but was not a favourite. I am very interested in The Sound of Stars, which may work better for me. I would pick this story up if you’re interested in lighter sci-fi with a focus on romance, but still having some world-building and intrigue.

Thanks again to the publisher for the review copy and for allowing me a spot on this blog tour! Happy Reading!

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This is such a fun twist on the whole "aliens" genre! For one, we're reading from the POV of said aliens, and they are nothing short of totally and completely lovable. They land on Earth by sheer accident, while fleeing from some Very Bad Folks™, and shenanigans ensue, of course.

The concept of being "Kindred" is an interesting one! Being connected to someone, so connected that you basically live in each other's heads is wild. And while it's great to have such a close bond, it certainly hasn't been easy for Joy and Felix. He's nobility, and she's considered quite expendable by most of their society. She's focused and grounded, while he is always dreaming of something more. But when he realizes that Joy's life is in grave danger, he stops at nothing to get her the heck out of harm's way.

It's pretty clear that they deeply love each other, even beyond their shared connection. But there is so much in their way! Quite literally, the powers that be will stop at nothing to keep them apart- and even preferably, dead. So the stakes are high as the duo heads to what they hope will be safety. Instead, they land on Earth. And Earth is... well look, we live here, we know how it can be. It's certainly quaint compared to their spacefaring home planets. But luckily, they meet some cool humans who end up teaching them a lot about themselves.

The characters are truly the best part of this story. I loved Joy and Felix and all their complications. And I loved the people they meet on Earth, too! There are so many funny and sweet moments with this newfound group of friends. Obviously, the story itself is still quite high stakes- there are people out there actively hunting our duo down across galaxies, so- but the lighter and more emotional moments really make it extra special.

It's also set in the same world as the author's debut, The Sound of Stars . This is so fun, because while it's great for readers to find Easter Eggs, but it's also completely fine to read this one without reading the first (though I have a feeling you'll want to after reading this one anyway!) There is also tons of diversity, and not just the representation, but so much great dialogue among the characters about their experiences.

Bottom Line: Another great sci-fi adventure with phenomenal characters and tons of heart from Alechia Dow!

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Joy Abara is a poor commoner mind linked to Duke Felix Hamdi. In their interplanetary kingdom, minds are linked from birth between classes, allowing everyone to have a say. But the royal family is publicly killed and Felix is framed for their murders. The pair had been kept apart for years, but now are on the run together. Rather than looking at any of the kingdom's civilized worlds, they head for a backwater planet without technology... Earth.

There is a romantic undercurrent hinted at long before Joy and Felix develop feelings for each other. Other Kindred pairs fall in love and marry each other, and the excessive emphasis on keeping Joy and Felix apart shows us that it means something if they're together. I love the world building for the kingdom, the flashes of its social media, and the culture of each world mentioned. Racism and misogyny still exist as well as classism, so the aliens feel very human. Enough is familiar for the reader to grasp why Joy is so concerned about the class difference that Felix brushes off. Their perspectives influence and are influenced by each other, which is exactly what the Kindred system is supposed to do.

I love the way Joy and Felix interact with the teens in the Florida Keys. They're ordinary kids in the summer, and give the aliens a taste of normalcy. It shows Felix who he could become, and helps Joy find confidence. The songs quoted are fun, and their love of music is universal. The teens and their relationships are important, not just romantic ones but their friendships. It's a fun read, with kids I enjoyed spending time with.

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The premise of this book was intriguing. A society where everyone is mentally paired up with another person at birth, so that no one ever feels like they don’t have a voice. In Joy’s case, had she not been paired with Felix, the heir to the throne, she probably wouldn’t have had much of a voice at all. Poor and Black, she and her mother have to work hard to get by.

Joy and Felix have feelings beyond just Kindred-ship for each other, even though Joy has been given shots once a year for years that gave her the ability to block out her connection to Felix. Joy has resigned herself to fulfilling her obligation to her people, to getting married ( even though it’s going to be to someone she isn’t terribly fond of) and having children. Felix is throwing himself into music, distracting himself with the social scene to try to keep his mind off what he’s been raised to believe he can’t have with Joy. They haven’t even been allowed to meet, much less potentially fall in love like some Kindred pairs do.

Then the royal family is assassinated. Felix finds himself next in line for the throne, but he and Joy are also suspected of being the assassins. They have no choice but to flee, hoping to go to a system that’s friendly, or that at least won’t sound the alarm when they land. But things go awry, and they end up on Earth. In Florida. With a damaged ship. They’ve got to figure out how to blend in, fix the ship, and get back home.

I LOVE Joy. She is a delightful character, the embodiment of her name. She almost always can find the positive in a situation, and even on an alien planet, she finds it pretty easy to connect with people. I also love that she’s fat. While there are characters who would shame her for her size, she finds her worth and value without having to conform to someone else’s norm of beauty. It also helps that Felix adores her just the way she is, and it’s nice to see a romantic relationship where the characters aren’t portrayed as physically perfect.

Parts of the story really had me working to suspend my disbelief. Like the fact that Joy and Felix land on Earth and just happen to encounter, not only a student about their age whose surviving parent goes off and leaves him alone for days at a time, but also a community where there are already aliens there who can help them escape their pursuers. Really? Of all the places on this big planet, they land where there are already aliens. I know, I know, it’s science FICTION. I like the rest of the story well enough to not get hung up too much on this.

The civilization in which Felix and Joy live, and the other alien civilizations we see described, are well constructed. The villain of the story was pretty obvious early on, but another person who might have seemed to be a villain was a bit of a surprise. The teenage characters are written, and read like, teenagers. Overall, this was an enjoyable, clean story in a universe I want to read more about.

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Happy Tuesday and happy release day to The Kindred (and so many other books- seriously, this year looks so amazing book wise)! Thank you so much to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for letting me read an eARC of this one- I was really excited about it based on the summary, but this just wasn’t the book for me (unfortunately) BUT keep reading to see why, because the reasons I wasn’t the biggest fan of it could be the reasons you love it. I definitely think that there are a lot of people who are going to love The Kindred, and even though I wasn’t a huge fan, I still recommend reading it!

The Kindred 3/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

“Utterly swoony…an endearing reminder that true love can change the world”
—J. Elle, New York Times bestselling author of Wings of Ebony

To save a galactic kingdom from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor…

Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.

I thought that this book started really strong and I thought that the ending was pretty strong too (in terms of a space travel/outer space sci-fi book) but in the middle, I felt as though this book transformed into a YA contemporary about finding love through friendship and normal people and while all of that is fine and great, I wanted the space and the battles, and that’s the only reason this book wasn’t my favorite. I also felt as though I was a little lost about the politics/who was who/who was at war with who/the background of the whole space multiverse- I know that Alechia Dow has written another book set in this multiverse, so maybe I would have understood things better if I had read that one first- so that could definitely be on me. In terms of good things about this book, like I said earlier, the actual space parts of this book were amazing. I liked the other galaxies and the complexities of the planets and the ruling system (and if I understood them better, I’m sure I’d like them even more). I loved the technology and I loved the idea of Kindreds. I also liked the characters- Felix was hilarious and so loyal, Joy loved so fiercely, and I really liked all of the friends they made on Earth. I also liked the twists about Felix’s parentage- I didn’t see those coming at all. All in all, while this wasn’t the book for me, there were so many great things about it that I do think you should read it and make your decision yourself- especially if you’re not always into sci-fi- this is a great lighter sci-fi for people who kind of want to experience sci-fi but don’t want to dive right in. If you guys end up reading The Kindred, let me know what you think of it!

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Things I enjoyed:
- The normalization of gender neutral pronouns used before finding out somebody's pronouns
- How diverse the cast was
- The soulmates, childhood friends to lovers element
- The plot was very fun!

Things I did not enjoy:
- The constant gen-z pop culture references were painful to read
- It felt to me that the author was preaching to a choir: so much talk of politics, especially American politics, to the point where the author is beating you over the head with it over and over, when its likely the readers agree. I agree with everything the author wrote politics-wise, but it was constant and felt very unnatural/stiff within the story.
- The dialogue and inner-thoughts both felt cartoonish and out of touch, like no real person would talk the way the characters talked, and it felt unrealistic in the way so many YA books often do.
- The plot got very murky, and by the time I reached the end I felt at least 100 pages could've easily been removed to the story's betterment.

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Kindreds are mind paired individually selected at birth. Joy, a poor girl from a poor planet is kindred to Felix, a rich Duke. They have been in each other’s minds for years but never met in person until Felix is framed for killing the royal family. He finds Joy and they run, crash landing on earth.

Here are some of the things you’ll find:
A Fun YA
Found family
Diverse Cast of Characters
Plus Size MC
Aliens on earth
Childhood friends to sweethearts
Love Conquers all theme

Unfortunately for me, the last three on the list are not my favorite so I didn’t enjoy all of my time reading this one but overall if you’re looking for a light, easy YA romance give this one a try.

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I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley

Sweet romantic and thrilling! I couldn't put it down.

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This book was a thrilling, romantic, super-sweet, touching, edge-of-your-seat, absolutely epic intergalactic adventure with found family elements and the most endearing characters. The space adventure was a blast, the romance both wholesome and breathtaking, the friendships unbelievably heartfelt. I highly recommend Alechia Dow’s 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘒𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘥!

𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙫𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝘼𝙍𝘾 𝙘𝙤𝙥𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙗𝙮 𝙃𝙏𝙋 𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙨/𝙄𝙣𝙠𝙔𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙋𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 (𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠-𝙮𝙤𝙪!). 𝘼𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙫𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙢𝙮 𝙤𝙬𝙣.

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The Kindred by Alechia Dow, 392 pages. Inkyard Press, 2022. $19. LGBTQIA CENTERING ME
Language: R (36 swears, 5 “f” + British swears); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG
Felix is a duke of the kingdom, and Joy, his Kindred, is of the poorest class. While linking members of the kingdom through the Kindred program is supposed to help merge the gap between classes and give everyone a voice, the kingdom calls the pairing between Felix and Joy a mistake. They’ve always known that being together was impossible, but, when emergency circumstances force them to meet in person, the impossible starts to feel right.
I am blown away by how quickly Dow made me fall in love with these fictitious alien cultures and places. The characters and the story, though, took a few chapters for me to start enjoying. And then, just as I was starting to get pulled in, my interest stalled again when Earth got involved. Felix and Joy develop in ways that encourage readers to similarly make a positive impact on the world and stand up for themselves–and others–and the scifi world built is mesmerizing as Dow paints with words, but I didn’t love the execution of the plot. The mature content rating is for underage drinking, innuendo, and nudity.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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Book Report for The Kindred by Alechia Dow

Cover Story: Yin and Yang
In a sea of illustrated covers, this one truly stands out. I am LOVING how the characters’ hair melds into the space background and the looks on their faces are just lovely. The guy’s arm looks a little awkward, however, but I get what the illustrator was going for.

The Deal:
Joy and Felix have known each other their entire lives, thanks to being Kindred, which, for their species, means they’re mentally and emotionally connected by a form of technology meant to give a voice to each member of their society. But they’ve never met, not physically, in part because Felix is a member of the nobility and Joy’s a poor girl from the lower class. And because people in their lives who frown upon the match have kept them apart on purpose.

But that all changes when they’re implicated in the assassination of their King and the two have to go on the run, crash landing on a backward little planet they call Terra—but the residents refer to as Earth.

Together with the help of some humans, Joy and Felix must figure a way to clear their names and find a way to stay together.

BFF Charms: Yay, Eventually
Joy is an absolute delight. She’s grown up with nothing but has seen someone who has everything thanks to being connected to Felix. While that might have made other people bitter, it has made Joy a more thoughtful, hopeful individual. She goes through a lot of growth in this book and comes to realize that she’s absolutely worthy of the good things she has—and more. I’d give her a charm in a heartbeat.

Felix, on the other hand, is everything you’d expect from a spoiled rich kid—at least, at first. He’s unmotivated, a playboy, and a relentless flirt with no life goals. But by the end of the book, you realize that there’s more to him than first impressions might indicate. And he’s devoted to Joy, which is lovely to see. (Because, as I said, she’s so deserving!)

Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Not all Kindred end up falling in love, and Felix and Joy have actually tried to keep each other at arm’s length because of the social situations they find themselves in. But when they get together, they can’t escape their feelings. They can’t quite figure out how things will work out, but they certainly want to try.

Talky Talk: Scifi Contemporary
When The Kindred begins, it’s obviously set in another galaxy with a human-adjacent group of folks. I didn’t expect it to end up on modern-day Earth—I obviously didn’t read the synopsis carefully enough—but I loved when the plot took it there. It was fun reading how Joy and Felix struggled to fit into a society that was close but not wholly familiar, although they had it much easier than I would have expected. Because of that, the tension of the plot never really made me feel like the stakes were all that high. Although Dow told us, plenty of times, how much was at stake.

And even when it was clear who’s POV I was reading (Joy and Felix switch off), I got confused frequently as to who was who. (But I bet we can blame that on pandemic brain, because they honestly weren’t that similar.)

Bonus Factor: Soulmates
I’m not sure I’d love having someone all up in my business, in the figurative sense, like Joy and Felix do. But I can’t fault the idea of trying to connect people from different walks of life to make sure that everyone in their society gets a better understanding of the whole, rather than just their part. And the idea of being that connected to another person so that so much can go unsaid is swoony, for sure.

Relationship Status: Cheerleader
Although I enjoyed our time together, Book, I ended up feeling more like a third wheel than a true partner in our story. I’m OK with that, however; sometimes it’s good for others to have the connection and the chemistry while I just root them on from the sidelines.

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3.5 stars

This was a decent book. I like Alechia Dow’s world building, and there was a lot of it, as this book is set partially in space, on fictional planets with aliens.
I liked both of the MCs, Joy and Felix, who are connected through their brains, via a program called The Kindred. It gives them a psychic link and usually the kindred pairs are made up of an upper class person and a lower class person, so that they can get an understanding of what the other’s world is like. It’s an interesting idea.
There’s lots of action throughout the book, with kidnapping, murder, evil plots, alien invasion. Discussions on class and privilege, how religion can be used to control people and keep them in poverty. While these are things that I generally love, it just didn’t quite work for me, though I’m not sure why?
Overall, it was a bit angsty for me, but then it is a YA romance, so I think that’s kind of par for the course there. Some of the romance/intimate parts were really beautifully written, Dow definitely has a way with words. Another bit that I liked is that music plays a pretty big role in the book, like in her first book, The Sound of Stars. There’s also some fun Easter eggs for folks who have also read The Sound of Stars.

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Have you ever read a book that feels like it should be a movie?

I made a Spotify playlist for this book…songs that screamed to me as I read passages from the book.
I’ll share the link here []
for anyone who wants to listen.

Thank you so much to Inkyard Press for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Receiving these materials in no way impacted my review of this book.

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Taylor Swift truly is universally loved. And by “universally”, I mean that when aliens land on Earth, they can’t help but really love Taylor Swift too.

Music as a universal language is only one of many themes explored in “The Kindred”, but it certainly is one of the most consistent. Family, both found and not, is another. But love, in all its myriad forms, looms the largest and provides the emotional framework for this story. Because this book has a huge heart, as big as all the galaxies between the home planets of our main characters and Earth.

This book is courageous with its open approach and attitude toward POC, plus-sized people, caste systems, class warfare, religious differences, sexuality, gender norms, toxic masculinity, and patriarchy. And it’s gregarious with its affection, words of affirmation, nonverbal communication as a form of exhibition, fast friendships, the human capacity for true charity, and using plain old kindness to build bridges and alliances.

Our main characters, Felix and Joy (and isn’t it cute that the name Felix means “lucky”?) have been attached at the… brain?… since Joy’s birth, which occurred 3 minutes after Felix’s, and that attachment has taken them through stage after stage of love, to the point where they’re beyond love. They’re woven into the fabric of each other’s selves. They’re stitched together at an atomic level. And somehow that manages to come through in Dow’s writing, through talking out loud, through their internal communications with one another, and through nonverbal communications and gestures you might not think of as communication normally, but communication it is. I’m not usually a fan of flashbacks, but the periodic flashbacks that show just how much Joy has meant to Felix (or vice-versa) or what one has done to avoid punishment or consequences for the other over the years really do a lot to serve as timely reminders of just how long these two have been emotionally tethered to one another and just how much two people can go through in those formative years of life.

On their own, Joy and Felix are each a delight, too. Felix is at turns pessimistic and overly earnest. Joy is wide-eyed and curious while still trying to keep a straight backbone. Even though Felix is the one who went to school, Joy is usually the one who is more capable of putting knowledge to good use. Felix has little to no people skills but is better at assimilation, but Joy is better with the humans. They truly balance one another out and are so respectful and adorable with one another that it makes you want to grab them out of the book and hug them.

The world-building is excellent for once! It was so nice to read a YA sci-fi romance with such good world-building! And I found it doubly impressive since there was a whole lot of story to pack into this book. Dow somehow made it all fit without making the book too long or making it too dense with information (which would’ve interrupted the creative flow).

This is just a great book. Plain and simple. Pure escapist fantasy with its own emotional soundtrack and a lot of love, love, love.

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Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Kindred

Author: Alechia Dow

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: Ff romance mentioned, Pan BIPOC inspired MC, Black plus size ace MC, Gay character, Mm romance mentioned, Māori side character

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended For...: young adult readers, sci-fi, romance

Genre: YA sci-fi romance

Publication Date: January 4, 2022

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 394

Recommended Age: 16+ (Anxiety, Underage Alcohol consumption, Weight, Disordered Eating, Religion, Violence, Gore, Death, Parent death, Pandemic, Police brutality, Racism, School shootings, Language, Romance, Grief, Sexual content, Skin lightening)

Explanation of CWs: Anxiety is shown slightly in the book. Within the context of US laws, there is underage alcohol consumption shown. Weight and disordered eating are discussed at length. Religion is mentioned sporadically throughout the book. Violence and gore and death are shown in the book. Parent death is mentioned in the book. The pandemic, police brutality, and school shootings get mentioned one or twice in the book. Racism and skin lightening are shown and mentioned in the book. Grief is shown and discussed in the book. There are a couple of instances of cursing. There is a friends to lovers romance and some sexual content.

Synopsis: To save a galactic kingdom from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor…

Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.

Review: For the most part I enjoyed the book. It was a sweet friends to lovers romance sci-fi book and I loved that this book and Dow's other book contained Easter eggs of a possible 3rd story with the alien traveling band. The character development was well done and the world building was good. The book was also well plotted.

However, there were some issues with the book. The back and forth time period was a bit disjointing and it didn't add much to the story for me. I think telling keys parts of the past could have been done better than flashbacks of random time periods. The structure of the book is not well done and it's easy to get confused in the text. The book is also weirdly paced. It's fast in some parts but slow the rest of the book.

Verdict: It's good!

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I unfortunately had to DNF this at around 50%. I really struggled to find Felix likeable at all, and just felt that the story wasn't really going anywhere.

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Joy Abara is a commoner who knows her place in the world. But when she is paired up at birth with Duke Felix Hamdi, her name is always linked to the playboy noble.

So, when the royal family is assassinated, Felix and Joy are implicated as the killers. Felix finally meets Joy in person and they fled their solar system, only to crash land on Terra, where their lives change so much.

They spend time together face-to-face for the first time ever, learning that their fate is just as intertwined as their minds are. Their love can be the difference between peace and war in the galaxy...

Can I just start by saying I adore this book. Not only was it a unique and insightful story, but @alechiadow also touches on some very important racial topics that affect our lives now.

The emphasis on love as the most important uniting factor is ever-present throughout this book. The ending adds such richness to the story, touching on the bond and love of friends, and how that is just as important in life...

This was the perfect read to start 2022 off with!!

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Thank you NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I was invited to be a part of the blog tour for this book by HarperCollins and I’m so glad. I absolutely adored The Sound of Stars and I had high hopes for Dow’s sophomore novel. I absolutely was not disappointed.
The Kindred follows Felix and Joy in alternating perspectives with the occasional memory included. Felix is a duke, but he shies away from any sort of responsibility. He wants to play music and travel. Joy is a poor girl that is about to marry Maxon (a huge jerk) because it’s what she’s “supposed” to do. But Felix and Joy are one another’s Kindred. In this society, everyone is paired with another, their Kindred, at birth. But due to the political maneuvering of others, Felix and Joy are not allowed to meet. They’re not allowed to live one another the way that many other Kindred do. And then all hell breaks loose when the rulers of this society are assassinated. Secrets are revealed and Joy and Felix must meet and flee to keep themselves safe.
I really liked both Joy and Felix. Joy really struggles with her sense of self. She doesn’t think very highly of herself. So, her gaining confidence and finally disregarding the things she’s believed about her body was incredibly satisfying to follow. Her emotional growth was one of my favorite things. I also enjoyed Felix starting to take things more seriously. He seems like a party boy when the story starts, but as the story picks up, we see him take charge and responsibility. I think both characters had really well done development.
My favorite thing about this book was the world and the ways that it connected to The Sound of Stars. I think the world was incredibly well built. It’s clear that Dow put a lot of work into creating this universe and it’s history. The history and culture of this book was so interesting. I loved how intricate and detailed the story was about the settings and religions.
The plot of the story was engaging and compelling. We find Joy and Felix, two aliens, crash landing on earth and that’s when the connections to The Sound of Stars being to reveal themselves. I didn’t realize that this book was going to be related to her previous book in anyway, but this was almost a prequel and I absolutely loved it. I think the story was really fast paced and I really liked that. It was a quick read or felt like it because of the pacing of the story.
Overall, I cannot wait for more books from Dow. I hope there’s another set in the same universe that includes all these characters that I’ve come to love. I think the characters were easy to care about. I think the world and culture was fascinating. I loved the outcome of the story. I also really loved the messages of the story. It’s a story that speaks to the necessity of compassion and love. We need these things in the world and this story is all about that. I absolutely recommend this book and I think it will be a very loved story.

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