For What It's Worth


Thursday, April 7, 2022

Review: The Kindred by Alechia Dow

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 mightcowlitz covid 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

Source: Audiobook - Hoopla

Review: I want to start by saying the narration by Dominique Moore and Amin El Gamal was fantastic. I fell in love with Joy and Felix immediately, flaws and all

In another universe, Joy and Felix are Kindreds - a system of mind-pairings. The bonded pair can experience each others thoughts, sights and sounds through their connection. It was designed during a turbulent time of uprisings to join people of different class systems (to see how the other half lives) in order to give the lower classes representation. 

Joy is a commoner linked with Felix - a Duke, playboy and all around slacker, but they adore each other and would do anything to keep each other safe although they have never met in person.

After Felix is accused of the murder of a royal family member, his parents in danger or maybe even dead - he fears for Joy's safety and steals a ship to get her and flee their galaxy. They end up on a planet called Terra, or as we know it, Earth.

The Kindred is frothy, intergalactic hopping, fated pairing, fish out of water aliens on earth fun. Felix, the humans, and especially joy just ooze sweetness and understanding. 

At times the story felt bogged down by music references (Taylor Swift and another (fictional?) group Joy loves) and Joy's determination to help the humans with all their earthly problems before they went back home but there was such an earnestness to it and hey - I just want people being nice for once! so I was able to roll with it.

This book is heavy on romance but it makes sense. They are pair bonded after all. Not every connection ends up being romantic but every pairing is a strong one. They might even die if the other is killed because it hurts so much. Even after all the years they've spent as Kindreds, Joy & Felix realize there are still things to discover about each other once they meet. Forces have conspired to weaken their bond and it has hurt both of them terribly. But if you are romance adverse - then I'd skip this one.

I enjoyed the twists and turns and the conclusion but I think it could have been a stronger story if it didn't get so in the weeds about Earth and all its problems. Both Joy & Felix point out all the things going on that shock them about Earth - guns, BLM, racism but kind of (acknowledge but) gloss over that the reason they have Kindreds is because of their own uprising. And from what I can tell they still have class systems, racism and poverty anyway. It's so bad that Joy seems to like earth more or at least feel a better sense of belonging despite being Black and plus size - things we know would make her a target here as well. 

I wish we got to see a little more of the Kindred system - outside of Felix and Joy who are obviously different because of his status as a royal. Overall, other than technology, and the Kindred, there wasn't a huge difference between them and us. I wished there was more of a contrast between planets, I guess. It was different enough though to hold my interest. 

I did have those few quibbles but you've heard of cinnamon roll characters - well, this is a cinnamon roll book. There's so much kindness, inclusivity (lots of rep here - LGBQT, fat positive for example), acceptance and friendship. There's adventure, twists and villains but it's mostly a gentle story with a rag tag team of huggable characters. I also loved how their human friends got over their OMGALIENS shock and jumped right in to help. Cute story - especially on audio. 

16 comments:

  1. I can certainly see why a few elements of this one didn't work for you, but overall I love that more and more books are being inclusive in the characters that are presented!

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    1. I think I just wasn't the (younger) target audience. Otherwise it's the sweetest book and was fun to listen to.

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  2. That's great it was inclusive! Not sure it would be a book for me, but thanks for sharing!

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I actually think you might like this one Lauren!

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  3. For some reason I thought this was something different- more horror- ish (maybe it's the name) so when I read the synopsis I was like oh- that's not horror! lol Sounds good though! The pair bonding thing is interesting. Nice that it was a feel good book too- we need those :)

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    1. Definitely not horror lol Maybe more Roswell-ish. It was fun and nice little shot of escapism and lightness.

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  4. The Sound of Stars also talked about music a lot, probably the same fictional band in The Kindred. They actually played a role in the book, though. I wonder what you'd think of The Sound of Stars.

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    1. The band (I can't think of the name) has a role in this one too. I didn't really mind the music references but it was odd to go to be more concerned with going to a concert than escaping for your life lol

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  5. I love the sound of this one. I like the Kindred mind bond premise, that's kind of unique.

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    1. It could have come off as Ibarra love or not genuine but it really worked. They had a true connection and love.

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  6. It's an interesting concept. Even if it wasn't perfect, it sounds like it worth the listen.

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    1. For some reason, I thought you read this one. Hmmm

      The audio was definitely worth it.

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  7. YAy you liked it too :D
    And yes amazing narrators

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  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 📚

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