Cover Image: The Kindred

The Kindred

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Member Reviews

I devoured The Kindred in one evening! I started reading it as something to do before class, and I could barely put it down! I loved Joy and Felix. They are delightful characters. It was really fun to see earth from an alien's point of view. Joy saw some of the amazing things about being human while also mourning the tragedies we put ourselves through. Even though their story is done, I really hope I get to see these characters again. This is the second book in a shared universe (I plan on reading The Sound of Stars ASAP) and maybe we will get to revisit it and our lovable aliens. This sci-fi novel is out of this world, while also feeling grounded with the large portion of the book on earth. The romance is fantastic and feels real. If you weren't already planning to read this, add it to your TBR now!

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This book started off super strong (and that isn't to say that it didn't end strong, but I'll talk more about that in a second) and I loved the unique idea of the Kindred and the excellent world-building from the beginning.

I don't read much science fiction, so I am always intrigued by other-worldly stories like this one. Other planets, alien races, crazy technology. It's all super cool to me. And for this story have Kindred in its world-building just put the cherry on top. Now, we've all read soulmates stories before, but what I liked about this one was how the Kindred program was used. As a way to connect the upper class to the lower class, so that everyone has a voice. It's a flawed idea, but just really cool in the confines of this world.

Not only was the world-building cool, but I also really liked the main characters, Joy and Felix. Joy especially. Their romance was pretty heavy in this book—like the pining, ill-fated lovers kind—but it was sweet and I loved seeing the progression of it.

After such a strong beginning, though, I did have a moment of doubt when they crash-landed on Earth. In Flordia, of all places. While I absolutely loved the human side characters there that helped them on their journey (Rashid in particular), being on Earth was kind of a letdown after such cool world-building in the beginning. Plus, there was just a ton of pop culture references that kind of took me out of the story.

Despite that, though, I still enjoyed their time on Earth and they learned more about each other and the world around them and how they could save their worlds. The ending was actually quite fascinating and I'd be interested to see what was in store for Joy and Felix next.

Overall, an exciting read and I hope to read more from this author in the future—Alechia Dow definitely has some talent.

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I think what I loved most about The Kindred where the characters. They were written so beautifully and fleshed out. I thought this story did a good job at discussing the tensions in our society as well. Overall, this was a good one that I think my students would really enjoy.

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The Kindred is a sparkling book with a lot of heart, despite mismatched pacing at times.

After an uprising threatened the kingdom Kindred mind-pairings were created to soothe social unrest. The program intimately connects the minds of two people, one from the upper classes, one from the lower, so everyone can have a voice. Except, that’s not how it works in practice. Nobles are not paired with commoners, except in the case of Felix and Joy. Duke Felix Hamdi is a party boy noble, kept apart from his Kindred, Joy Abara, a bookshop worker on an impoverished planet. When the royal family is assassinated the two are accused of their murders. As they flee the galaxy to keep themselves safe and prove their innocence, they end up crash landing on a little-known planet called Earth.

The best way to describe The Kindred would be adorable. This is impressive considering how it tackles serious issues such as imperialism, colourism, racism, classism, and fatphobia. These issues are examined with the care they deserve, but there’s always an undercurrent of hopefulness. There’s so much friendship and joy in these pages. Felix and Joy are a wonderful duo who care deeply for each other, but they don’t turn away from the hard truths that have built a wall between them. The Kindred is embedded with pop culture references: Taylor Swift, cottagecore, Star Wars, Black Panther, etc. This can be a lot of fun, but they were overused in places. The pacing was also odd at times. Pages of character thoughts, flashbacks, TV presenter conversations, and small flashes of action often interrupted the flow and made the story feel disjointed. Regardless, The Kindred is a worthwhile read, best suited to people who enjoy YA with a younger voice and love the idea of a work that combines sci-fi and contemporary elements.

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I loved that this wasn’t a direct prequel or sequel but an expansion of the world that was introduced in The Sound of the Stars. I’m excited to see how the characters from the two books will interact once they meet. Once the Ilori storyline is wrapped up, we definitely need a book on The Starry Eyed and Andarra.

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I really enjoyed this book. This story is so relatable, regardless of the fact that most of it takes place on distant worlds. Felix and Joy are meant for each other. Their love is pure and beautiful, but the world around them is not. They face monumental obstacles, but still manage to find peace in each other. Although their minds and hearts are connected, the rules of society won't allow them to be together. The intensity of their connection and their attraction only gets stronger when these two kindred souls are forced together in real life. This novel contains action, political intrigue, friendship, and a slow burn romance. My only critique, as someone with ADD, is that it jumped back and forth in time. Yes, the flashbacks helped advance the story, but it's something I needed to get used to. I'm ready for the sequel.... If there is one.

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Alechia Dow creates a fascinating world that you can't help but want to explore. This book is set in the same universe as The Sound of Stars, which I have not read but I'm sure to enjoy. I did have some difficulty with some of the exposition and amount of material, but I believe that was due to my lack of knowledge about the world, not the books!

Joy Abarra knows where she belongs: with her mother until she can marry and fulfil her responsibility to her planet/culture. Joy has something that other people don't: her Kindred is Duke Felix Hamdi, the Royal Throne's cousin. The two haven't met yet, but they hope to do so soon. After the assassination of the Qadin royals, Felix becomes the next in line...and the boy suspected of murdering the royals. Felix and Joy must flee the galaxy and seek refuge in order to figure out what has happened and how to prove their innocence.

What Alechia Dow has accomplished in terms of world building has my utmost admiration. It's one of those settings or world-building kernels that I could lose myself in for days. There's a sense of history here, as well as thought and detail. Alechia Dow's world blossoms in front of you at every instant, whether it's the social structure or the past. Second, the protagonists, Felix and Joy, are multi-faceted, quirky, and endearing.

They are lovable, flawed, and amazing in their own way. Joy's optimism drew me in, and Felix's defences, the ways he hides his flaws, were remarkable. They're a force to be reckoned with when they're working together. Their energy, banter, and chemistry are both heartwarming and enjoyable to read. It's so simple to ship them because we actually care about them as people.

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An entertaining and interesting sci-fi featuring two great characters and a fascinating world building.
I liked Felix and Joy and liked how Joy deals with her body and the struggle to accept it.
The plot is well developed and gripping even if it's a bit less exciting after they land on planet Earth.
The author is a talented storyteller and I think they could become excellent sci-fi writer.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Listened on Audio. This was a very well written book. The idea of a Kindred, someone you are linked to at birth and for the rest of your life is a different and interesting concept. I enjoyed the story and liked how it flashed back and forth into the past to help better understand their relationship and connection. Their adventures on Terra/Earth were very funny, connecting with humans, Felix believing they were a little below him and Joy “redirecting” his thoughts. Their connection was strong, the secondary cast of characters were great. Would love to see another story about Joy & Felix and their friends.

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4.5 stars rounded up

This was lovely! If you enjoyed Dow's debut The Sound of Stars, you will probably love The Kindred, which is set in the same universe but takes place earlier. This is a beautiful sci-fi romance full of adventure, politics, and unabashed love.

Set in an empire where the high-born are paired at birth with a low-born citizen for mind pairing in the Kindred program, we follow commoner Joy Abara and Duke Felix Hamdi. When the royal family is assassinated, the two become embroiled in political schemes and must go on the run. Joy is a beautiful fat, Black young woman who is also demi-sexual and bi-romantic. Felix is a bisexual playboy, but his true heart clearly belongs to his Kindred Joy.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, but this book has the same quirky yet heartfelt tone as The Sound of Stars. Occasionally verging on cheesy but always winning you over with great characters experiencing genuine emotion. It was also so much fun to see how this linked back to that first novel in unexpected ways!

Beyond that, we get really great fat representation with Joy, and a gentle call to grapple with the ways humanity harm the earth and each other. This was a delight to read. Hopeful, romantic, and a fun space fantasy. I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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This book was really promising and I honestly really enjoyed it for the most part. The characters were really fleshed out and I found the romance cut and believable. The book just kind of lost me in the second half. I felt like the whole book changed vibe and wasn’t nearly as enjoyable.

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I'm sad to be only giving this 3 stars. There were some things in here that I truly loved and I had such high hopes. Unfortunately, the cheesy romance was too heavy handed for me and it brought the rest of the book down.

Let me tell you about what I loved:
- This sci fi world where two beings can be paired to one another from birth and hear each other's thoughts and share each other's experiences. I love this idea. Such great potential.
- The fast paced action - their worlds turned upside down in a moment and I was so into their escape and this big bad plot to usurp power.
- The social political details. Dude my mouth dropped open when Joy took notice of things on earth like the big important man pushing people aside who looked like her for a photo op. I was like "Oh my god, is that what's gonna happen? These aliens come to earth and notice everything that's wrong with how we live? AMAZING." And yes, there were several beautiful moments like that in here.

The above is why I'm so so sad to be giving this 3 stars.. There were things that I really did love. But the romance was over the top and pretty cringey at times. I also personally hate when YA characters write their own songs and perform them. I have yet to read a YA book where this happens that doesn't make my eyes roll to the back of my head.

Guys, such great great potential in here. Unfortunately, overwhelmed by cheese.

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A joy ride!
Fun and fast with loads of representation. Great exploration of sexuality and a new world Lots of fun reading.

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Loved this book from beginning to end. Read it in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. The bond between the characters was so sweet and beautiful. My favorite thing about them though was the banter and back and forth it was cute and funny. Literally had me laughing out loud. Definitely would recommend.

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GUYS, I'm not gonna say alot BUT READ IT :) (not forcefully of course?). I'm dropping the synopsis in the comments, find it there. So basically the main question, why you should read it?

1. THE SHEER WORLDBUILDING: guysss I was so damn amazed at how brilliantly the world was created. Just perfect and makes you want to keep on reading.

2. Joy, my bundle of joy (all pun intended): anygays, Joy is my favorite protagonist, like a badass but softie ace who is so pure at heart that I want to keep her to myself :)

3. Queer & POC Normalised Society: I don't need to elaborate on this, y'all smart


5. The yearning of their relationship just makes me soft, it was amazing, their sync is just what made me even more single I already am

So guys in short (which was not so short) this was amazing first read of the year! Did I like it? NO, I FREAKING LOVED IT :)

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While The Kindred reminded me of any number of YA, space-based, empire usurper books at first... it quickly became a creature of its own... and one worthy of attention! The relationship between Joy and Felix is beautiful: comforting and erotic, vulnerable and trusting. All the more so once Arren’s override wears off and Joy can’t shut Felix out anymore. It’s built on a lifetime of intimacy; of sharing themselves with, and absolutely accepting, each other as they are. There may be judgement at times, but they (i.e. Joy) judge with love.

Joy also experiences two new friendships on Earth with Rashid and Sarah and those develop quickly into something deep and affectionate. Honestly, how lucky are Joy and Felix that everyone they bump into 1) faints upon learning they’re aliens and 2) treats them like the pen pals they finally get to meet? It’s probably the most unbelievable part of The Kindred but I am glad of it! It adds to the fun. While Joy is gaining these friends, though, Felix continues to resist other people. His biggest weakness is believing Joy is the only one he can count on, despite having some pretty great parents.

I didn’t like Felix initially. He’s shallow, selfish, and emotionally dependent on Joy. He doesn’t do much, he’s kind of cowardly, and he doesn’t care that Joy works hard while he gets drunk and lounges in bed. But. He also thinks Joy is perfect... and at least some of his shallowness is defensive (to protect both himself and Joy). He’s also very conscious of his faults and chooses to own them. I do love self-awareness, especially when others call him on his vanity and Felix just points out that this doesn’t change the fact that he is also legitimately hot.

As far as Joy goes, I fell for her the moment she jumped over the bookstore counter to escape the Soleil. It was kind of badass. She’s also kind, responsible, careful, and cares very much about building up Felix and her other loved ones.

The whole story is full of kindness, bravery, and honesty. After finishing The Kindred, I’m looking forward to picking up Alechia Dow’s other books, especially The Sound of Stars, set in the same universe.

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This book was so beautiful I thoroughly enjoyed the epic journey these two characters embarked on. I usually don't read sci fi but this one was amazing.

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I'll start this review by stating that I am not a big sci-fi reader. The Kindred got my attention with its incredible concept of mind-pairings across planets and class positions. I had also heard great things about Alechia Dow's debut, so that pushed me to try The Kindred, and I am so happy that I gave it a chance!

While this is primarily sci-fi, The Kindred is also straight up romance in my eyes. Joy and Felix are kindreds, their minds are connected so they can communicate and hear each other's thoughts. Felix and Joy come from different planets and have very different positions in their galaxy. As they reach their 17th birthdays, Joy and Felix are set on following the paths expected of them, but when the royal family is murdered, and Joy and Felix are named suspects, they must come together and flee to protect themselves and their galaxy. The Kindred features an interesting world with political intrigue and a forbidden romance.

Some of the stylistic choices of The Kindred are usually not my cup of tea. The pandemic is mentioned in the story and there are tons of pop culture references. I'm usually really picky about these kinds of things in books, especially if they are just there to be mentioned, but I feel like both the pandemic and the pop culture references have their place in this story due to the nature of where Joy and Felix end up in this story and the discussions of class, privilege, opportunity, and more that Dow threads throughout this book.

The Kindred is a young adult sci-fi novel different from any I've read before. If traveling through galaxies, political intrigue, and forbidden romance appeals to you, I would recommend reading The Kindred!

I am happy I went outside of my comfort zone (i.e. sci-fi) because The Kindred was such a vibrant and unique read. I'm looking forward to going back and reading Dow's other novel, The Sound of Stars!

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A science-fiction novel that builds a society that is attempting to address the gaps in socioeconomics with mind bonds. This book builds off a fascinating concept - from birth a duke and a commoner are bonded through mind-pairing, growing up together in an inescapable way. Duke Felix, however, as been warned to limit this relationship. He has expectations and an image - despite his every attempt to shun all responsibility placed on him. But when the royal family is attacked and both become suspects, they flee their home planets to save themselves and each other.

This was a fantastic book to read, with themes of class, race, patriarchy, responsibility and differences woven into a meaningful but fun story. The plot is fast-paced and interesting. Both main characters offer a lot to the story, despite Felix being a incredibly obnoxious character at times. The storyline itself was pretty straight forward and nothing mind-bending, but overall Dow has created a fantastic and enjoyable young adult science-fiction, with obligatory romance tropes thrown in. Something that a lot of readers are going to love.

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I really enjoyed Alechia Dow’s debut, THE SOUND OF STARS, so I was really excited about reading this book. The first chapter was a bit rough for me. I felt like there was a LOT of worldbuilding that kind of got squeezed into a busy scene, and I didn’t always feel like I understood the connections. Like, it outlined Felix’s connection with the ruling Qadin family, but at that point, I wasn’t sure what exactly that meant. By the end of the first chapter, I wasn’t sure about the book.

In the second chapter, we meet Joy, who is joined to Felix as his Kindred, and shares a connection to him through her mind. I immediately adored her. She’s a bright, determined girl raised on a planet where women’s primary worth comes from their ability to bear children. More than anything, Joy wanted to be seen and valued. I couldn’t help but identify with that.

The storytelling smoothed out a lot from there, too. Felix learns about the assassination just before realizing he’s the number one suspect. Immediately, he sets out to find Joy (whom the authorities will target for her ability to communicate with and locate him) and escape to a place he can set about proving his innocence.

Once that happened, I felt like the story picked up pace and the characters became all the more compelling. I liked their encounters on earth and the way those relationships shaped their decisions going forward.

All in all, I thought this was a super fun read, and I’m glad I had the chance to review it. I think readers who enjoyed WE LIGHT UP THE SKY by Lilliam Rivera will enjoy this one.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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