The Loneliness of Distant Beings: Book 1 (Ventura Saga) Paperback – 19 May 2016
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This book will capture the imagination and attention of teenage girls across the globe... A forbidden romance set in space, this young adult debut has the potential to be the next Twilight. (The Bookbag)
Very action packed (Debra's Book Cafe)
Author Kate Ling did a fantastic job shaping a chilling concept into a beautifully haunting novel and I cannot wait to read more by her hand (Page to Stage Reviews)
Kate Ling's writing is crisp, the characters are well-drawn and the background premise is very, very chilling. (The Crime Review)
The story is thrilling, challenging and fast paced. Its themes are thought provoking (School Librarian)
...a gorgeous sci-fi... (Maximum Pop)
Choice is rebellion. Love is an anomaly. And freedom? Freedom is dangerous. The perfect read for fans of Veronica Roth and Beth Revis.See all Product description
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If you enjoy against-the-odds romance in a dystopia setting, then this is a particularly well-crafted example of the genre - recommended.
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley.
This novel is less about the lasers blazing, kill the aliens style science fiction that many of us think of and its certainly very different from Defy the Stars.
Ling introduces us to Seren and the crew of the Ventura, a large ship on a mission to find a new home for a group of humans, a last ditch effort to save the human race - blend the mission of Gravity with the ships of Battlestar Galactica and you're there.
In order to maintain genetic strength of the last population, crew members have their life partners chosen for them. Seren is no exception, finding herself matched with the son of the captain, Ezra - one of those boys who just knows how pretty and privileged he is. But when Seren meets the beautiful Dom, she cannot help but fall in love. In a society where breaking your assigned partnership is punishable by jail time, Seren and Dom risk everything they know for their young love.
There's some really interesting stuff in this book. Seren has quite a few mental health problems which are addressed from the outset, exploring the mental state of passengers on lifetime missions with a frankness that I've not seen done before in scifi YA.Seren and Dom's plight feels very real, begging the question of how fair it is for a generation to sacrifice their own happiness for the future of another. Alongside the sense that their lives are not their own, Ling explores the sheer tedium of long haul missions and their implications in crew health and behaviour.
While the instalove was maybe a tad swift, the kissing scenes were hot so I got over it swiftly. Phew.
While I can't explain too much, the ending dramatically changes things up for the crew of the Ventura and so I'm really interested in seeing this story develop in the sequel The Glow of Fallen Stars which is being released in August (do not read the synopsis until you've finished the first book!).
If you're looking for a swoony space fiction that looks to be building to something really interesting, then The Loneliness of Distant Beings would be a great hit for you.
Thank you to Little Brown Books for Younger Readers for sharing this copy with me.
Oh. My. Goodness. This is a book I wish I had written. It has launched itself right into my list of all time favourites. Yay! Space, and dystopia and forbidden romance mixed with a deep and meaningful message about mental health – I fell head over heels for this story.
Seren is one of my favourite characters ever. She’s stubborn, and thinks about things so deeply that it drives her mad. She doesn’t give up on what she wants, no matter what the consequences may be, and in all honestly, flaws and all, she reminds me a lot of myself. I haven’t felt a connection with a character quite like this in years.
The romance in this novel is fast and furious, and it causes a hurricane that completely upturns Seren’s life. This book contains instalove so sudden and so bold that it actually works for once. It manages to be believable despite its speed because Seren is in such a vulnerable state when she meets Dom. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the instalove was endearing – it just made me love Seren even more.
I wish I could spend more time with Seren and Ezra and Dom and Marianne. I want to know what life has in store for them next, and despite originally thinking that this would be a standalone, a sequel has been announced! I can't tell you how excited that makes me.
I was lucky enough to meet Kate Ling at a Books with Bite event earlier this year, which is where I picked up The Loneliness of Distant Beings. I loved chatting with her, and found her so inspiring, but little did I know how much I’d enjoy her work. Hopefully I’ll have the pleasure of meeting her again one day to ask her all about this world she’s created. It’s amazing.
But I'm reluctantly giving it only 3 stars because:
- I guessed the ending a mile off
- the setting felt unrealistic. Even if you accept the need for controlled breeding, and I didn't believe there was a need for it, why couldn't the ship's crew still be allowed to chose relationships with someone other than the biological father? It was just too unrealistic that the mission's founders could ever think 'Hey, here's a superstressed deprived bunch of people, let's forbid then to fall in love, that'll end well.' No-one is that stupid.
- instalove between main characters.
- main characters are very selfish, they treat their families very badly and that feels unrealistic
- just too many unrealistic decisions made by characters
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