Cover Image: The Kindred

The Kindred

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Member Reviews

The push to have books for all shapes, sizes, color, etc is wonderful; however it must be genuine. This novel is just another title with focused diversity. This work needed help with plot and story. The characters and world building were wonderful up to a point and then it falls short..

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I liked the premise of this book, but I just didn't like the characters.. I ended up not finishing it.

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The Kindred was everything I love in a book. This YA Sci-Fi had a unique world (or rather universe) but was also set in very familiar territory, so it was an easy and enjoyable read. There was a lot of diverse representation among the entire cast of characters and the plot was engaging and somewhat suspenseful. Romance did play a decently large part in the overall themes, so much so that I would even go as far as to classify this as a romantic suspense.

I listened to the audio as well and really enjoyed the narration. I would definitely recommend it for audio lovers.

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The Kindred is Alechia Dow's latest novel, and I have been hearing SO much about it. I just knew that I had to give it a try. Okay, I'll confess that the title also caught my attention.

A galactic kingdom took drastic measures to prevent a revolution – they ensured that every person, regardless of wealth and class, was heard. They did so by creating mind-pairings, where every person has a mind-linked partner.

Joy Abara and Felix Hamdi are one such pair. They have never met in person and have very little in common. Unless you count their connection, of course. Yet events are about to spiral in such a way where their meeting is inevitable – as they will have to work together to survive.

“I love her with every part of my body, soul, mind, and molecules.”

I'm struggling to find words for how The Kindred made me feel. On the one hand, I enjoyed it. On the other hand, I feel like the concept could have been pushed even further. Maybe that's just me?

I absolutely adore that The Kindred merged romance with science fiction. I'm a sucker for that combination if I'm being honest. I also love the LGBT rep that was included and many other elements (including the mind-pairing concept).

I think part of the problem is that I didn't read The Sound of Stars (it's on my TBR list!), and while The Kindred isn't technically a sequel to it, it is very clearly based in the same universe. So I'm reasonably confident that I missed out on a fair amount of nuance and worldbuilding. I will have to go back and read The Sound of Stars ASAP so I can better appreciate The Kindred.

Interestingly, it does feel like The Kindred is more like two books. The first part of the book has heavier science fiction elements and lots of creative worldbuilding decisions. Then there's a sudden shift, creating a sharp transition to something that leaned more romantic and contemporary. I'm not complaining here – just noting how quickly it shifted. Overall, I think I liked the first part more, but that is just my love for science fiction speaking.

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It took me entirely too long to get through this book. And that's because irl kept getting in the way. With a solid sophomore book, Alechia Dow is officially on my autobuy list. All hail the new YA Scifi Queen. 👑 💫

(quote)I see humans always use fiction to understand reality, Felix murmurs. Fiction makes reality more fun, though. Stories make sense of our worlds. Or, he says perceptively, they use these comparisons to obscure their own reality, to liken that which they do not know into something simpler.(quote)

The Kindred was just as much an adventure as The Sound of Stars. And dare I say I loved The Kindred even more. The Sound of Stars was the story of humanity and Earth being invaded by aliens. In The Kindred, we have the aliens accidentally finding themselves on Earth. Both stories have similar vibes with music, books, and the humanity underneath the art being the hearts of the story. And I think Alechia does a beautiful job of turning finding that humanity into a universally galactic worthy journey.

In The Kindred, everyone has a Kindred, which is the process of being matched telepathically to another person right after you are born. It's a soulmate type of bond that is supposed to give a voice to everyone no matter what their station or status is. Except... Joy and Felix should have never been matched. Filled with betrayal, secrets, love, and friendship; The Kindred will make you question everything.

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This book was just okay for me. It felt more like a contemporary YA wrapped up in a sci-fi package than a sci-fi novel, as most of the book takes place on earth. There's lot of good commentary about earth, but there's almost so much that it gets lots in the book.

I think this would be a great pick for someone looking to explore sci-fi and ease into it.

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Alechia Dow was already an insta-read author after her wonderful debut, but this one cemented that further. I loved the main characters so much, and their flaws were realistic despite being from other planets. The nod to Dow's first title was also a nice Easter egg. I hope this makes its way into as many teens' hands as possible for a variety of reasons.

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The kindred relationship was lovely, and the Black joy and fat girl rep was wonderful, but I ultimately had greater hopes for this book. It begins as a space opera with introductions to a complex system of planets, tech, history, and politics - which is what I wanted! - but quickly shifts to an ongoing list of all of humanity's faults and focuses more on earthlings than other worlds. There are many space operas that discuss social injustice and do so very well, but they also have the length to be able to dive into those topics and really let their worlds and characters develop and grow and change. That's what I wanted from this book, but unfortunately it was not there.

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3.5 stars. I really liked the premise of having a kindred since birth, and I loved Joy and Felix together. The plot (or the feel of it) was a bit discombobulated for me, hence the lower rating, but it was still an enjoyable read for me :)

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On this episode of Everything is Canon, Steve talks to author Alechia Dow all about her new book The Kindred, which is described as, “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…”

To listen to the author interview, click the link below...

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<i>Thank you to Inkyard Press for providing me with an e-ARC of The Kindred in exchange for an honest review!</i>

The amount of times I've looked at my screen & tried to write a review for this is absolutely insane.

So, here goes the most basic review ever: This is such a good read! Aliens, love them! The romance, cute! Honestly, I had so much fun with <i>The Kindred</i> & liked how it also brought up a lot of issues that we face IRL but in a science-fiction setting.

Okay, that's all. Read <i>The Kindred.</i>

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This was a mess. It read like science fiction fanfiction which in itself isn't a bad thing but the plot was beyond disappointing. I really liked the concept of the Kindred but the execution was seriously bad. It was a cringefest from the very first page. Pass.

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Kindred was a fantastic second novel from Alechia Dow. The characters were to riveting and really well crafted. I especially enjoyed Joy and Felix. Their dynamics really blossomed throughout the story and it was entertaining to watch. I loved the world building in this novel—it felt like an original take on royalty and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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The Kindred by Alechia Dow follows Joy Abara and Felix Hamdi. They live in galactic kingdom where everyone is given a mind-pairing with someone of the same age. They are known as each other’s Kindred. People are usually paired up with people of a different social class and wealth because the kingdom believes this will allow all voices to be heard and prevent revolution. Joy is a commoner from the poor planet Hali. Felix is a duke. Joy lives a simple life, while Felix lives a rich life. Their bond is strong, and they long to meet face-to-face. Despite their feelings, they are forbidden from being romantically involved. When the royal family is assassinated, Felix is not only next in line for the throne, but he is accused of the murders. Felix knows that someone is desperate to kill him, and Joy, so he escapes into an aircraft to save Joy and run. They crash land on a mysterious planet called Earth. They decide to try to blend in with the humans until they figure out how to save the galaxy. And how to reveal their love for each other to the galaxy.

This book is so inspiring, hopeful, and romantic. I adore the chemistry between Joy and Felix. This is some real feel-good sci-fi!

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A great sci-fi story for young adults that's got a little bit of everything: found family, a beautiful romance, royal intrigue and mystery, humor, and a lot of heart. Highly recommend!

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Events in The Kindred predate the events in Alechia Dow’s The Sound of Stars, but each book features different characters so either book can be an entry point into Dow’s worlds. Like The Sound of Stars, romance is at the heart of The Kindred, although there’s plenty of action and intrigue as well.

Dow may have made Felix a gorgeous, royal male protagonist, but Felix is more than eye candy. He has asthma and suffers from stage fright, and those qualities humanize him from the start. Joy’s life is a struggle on every level. Her mom’s prompting her to marry a man who treats her like a commodity to ensure her financial security. She longs to write stories, but settles for selling books to make money to keep a roof over her head. At one point she tells Felix, Life … is not about getting the things we want. Her reality contracts with Felix’s situation, contrasting the life of a person with privilege against the life of a person without.

While Dow does a great job showing the lack of equality in their kingdom, the humor is where she shines. There are plenty of twists and turns and the contrast between these two characters sets up humorous scenes from start to finish. Dow writes fast action scenes, which keep the story moving at a brisk pace. You could even argue Dow uses the humor and romance to deflect from other plot developments unfolding. There are subtle threads that don’t always seem pressing, but all the pieces matter in the end. At points, I wasn’t sure where things were going, but the ending resolved more than I expected.

The secondary characters are also fleshed out, and Dow does a nice job touching on grief and healing. It echoes the fears buried in Felix and Joy’s minds because of their concern for their families.

I’m not crazy about the vignettes included throughout. I understand they’re used to keep readers informed about developments Felix and Joy don’t know about and there’s nothing technically wrong with them. I just didn’t like stepping away from Felix and Joy for those short segments.

Ultimately, I think your opinion of The Kindred will depend on what you’re looking for from your read. If you’re looking for hardcore science fiction, this isn’t it. This is sci-fi lite with romance and heart. It’s a feel-good story where two teens find themselves and the courage to fight for what they want and save the ones they love.

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Very enjoyable mix of sci-fi, romance, and contemporary. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Joy and her journey in accepting and loving her body, as well as the demi rep. One thing I really enjoyed was how normalized queerness was in this book, and the way that they made sure characters were introduced with their proper pronouns. Also, the political drama was fun, if not slightly predictable. Would recommend.

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I didn't know about the book before this one - I now have to go back and read that one - even though it's same universe different story I was so enraptured with this one I'd love to read the first. This story gave me all the feels. I don't normally get emotional over books, but this definitely resonated with me. It may just be where I'm at in my life. All I can say is I loved the writing, I loved the story - it was unique and different and I love that the main character is a bigger poc. I love books with characters you can identify and empathize with - and learning your worth is high up there.

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Loved this book! After a certain point I could not put it down! I really enjoyed the character development and loved the way they interacted with each other and their human friends. I appreciated the povs from both characters and learning about each of them for each others view.

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Rep: Black, LGBTQIA+

TW: body shaming, death of a parent

My Review: A Hot Mess

I don’t want to rip this book apart but wow was this a difficult book to read. It’s safe to say that I did not like this novel.

The Pros: What Worked For Me
I really liked the representation in the novel. We have a great queer cast of characters and I loved that our female MC is a Black fat girl who grows and develops confidence as the story progresses.

The Cons: What I Didn’t Like

There was definitely not enough worldbuilding. Just as we are getting to learn about the alien world, our MCs find themselves on Earth. So many questions about how the alien system is governed, what the different religious and spiritual beliefs are, etc. were just left unanswered.

There were snippets of a radio/tv broadcast thrown in and it was just very cringe and unbelievable.

The number of times the author uses the word Kindred just to make the same point was SO frustrating!

I didn’t like Felix as a character and the way the author handled problematic elements of his personality was just too easy.

There is no real plot here. As soon as the characters get to Earth, the author spends all of this time speaking about race and social status issues that detract from the main story. I’m not saying that those things aren’t important, but the way they are just thrown into the book made the story lose all focus.

Clearly, I had more negatives than positives with this book. As I said, I’m not trying to bash this book. It had potential but I just found the romance lacking in emotional connection, and every theme and message was repeated so many times that it lost its significance. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to give this 1/5 stars.

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