An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

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"The HSS Matilda is a generation ship organized much like the antebellum South. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, sharecropper Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she's willing to fight for it."
--Publishers Weekly; included in Fall 2017 Adult Announcements, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

"Immediately immersive and sophisticated...This is a phenomenal piece of work."
--Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series

"An Unkindness of Ghosts marks the debut of a wildly talented writer. Rivers Solomon has put together a heady science-fiction novel that speaks directly to some of the most pressing political and social concerns of the modern day. And yet for all that it remains deeply humane, and it's even quite funny at times. This is a book you'll want to read now so you can tell your friends you read it first."
--Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

"Welcome to the Tarlands aboard the space vessel HSS Matilda--home of the poor and rejected--and the setting of Rivers Solomon’s powerful debut novel. Imaginative in the vein of Colson Whitehead, Samuel R. Delany, and Octavia E. Butler, this novel explores the struggles of slum dwellers aboard a spacecraft sadly reminiscent of our own world: rife with poverty, caste, and discrimination as told through the Looking Glass. With outstanding world-building and an unforgettable protagonist in Aster, An Unkindness of Ghosts is a notable debut by an author whose work I look forward to reading for years to come.”
--Tananarive Due, author of The Living Blood and Ghost Summer

Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She's used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, as they accuse, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cookfire.

Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human.

When the autopsy of Matilda's sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother's suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother's footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she's willing to fight for it.

An Unkindness of Ghosts will appeal to a broad audience, including fans of books such as The Magicians by Lev Grossman, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Cold Magic by Kate Elliott, The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Title : An Unkindness of Ghosts
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1617755885
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 340 pages


Kay rated it ★★★★☆

October 05, 2017

Now that this is out I'm looking at everyone like..."y'all gon' read this or nah?" Pre-publication review below the cut: I wanted to give myself to some to fully process “An Unkindness of Ghosts” before writing my review. There is a lot to unpack. Let’s start with how good I think this book is. It...

Gretchen rated it ★★★★★

May 22, 2017

Incredible, relevant, harrowing and fascinating, this is the story of a young woman in the low class of a brutally stratified generation ship. Her search for clues to her mother's death lead her to discover some difficult truths about the ship's voyage. Aster's voice is so solid, her experiences...

David rated it ★★☆☆☆

September 18, 2017

Somewhat like a mashup between Battlestar Galactica, The Handmaid's Tale, and Roots. The thematic premise of this story seems to be that even in the future (about 300 years) in a situation where humanity is traveling between stars, the current unjust class system will not only be reproduced but w...

Corvus rated it ★★★★★

May 28, 2017

When I read the blurb for this book, "a worthy successor to Octavia Butler" stuck out as quite a claim. I wondered if the book would reach the expectations set by that sentence and honestly felt like that sentence might be too much for any writer to live up to. After reading this book, I can say...

Martha rated it ★★★★★

April 19, 2017

I had an opportunity to read an early version of this book and it was totally breathtaking! A beautifully rich world populated with vibrant characters and a compelling mystery that wouldn't let me put the book down. As I read it I was strongly reminded of the writing style of Ursula Le Guin as it...

Siavahda rated it ★★★★★

October 01, 2017

What a strange and beautiful book. There seems to be a growing trend for generation-ship stories - stories of ships sent into space where only the distant descendants of the original travelers will reach their destination, if anyone reaches it at all. I have to say right now that Unkindness is one...

Laura rated it ★★★★★

April 17, 2017

It's not a coincidence that the ARC of this book likens it to the works of Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler. Truly one of the most special books I have read in years, and a very important one.

Annie rated it ★★★★★

September 03, 2017

Aster’s world is too small for all the people living in it. Her world is the generational ship, Matilda, crammed with thousands of souls that live in a strict hierarchy based on skin color and desk level. Something went wrong with their home planet; then something went wrong with the ship. Matild...

Bianca rated it ★★★★★

June 24, 2017

I read this book so hard - talking out loud to myself, lots of audible gasping, gushing to confused friends, the whole shebang. A chapter in I was being challenged, educated and transported. Generations of people have lived and died on the Matilda, a ship sent from a dying planet (referred to as...

Katie/Doing Dewey rated it ★★★☆☆

October 09, 2017

Summary: Great characters and world building, but I didn't feel totally engaged in the story and I didn't love the plot. "Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South....the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and de...

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