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Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak.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


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks rated it ★★★★★

November 22, 2017

Shiver shiver, tremble tremble. I am not nervous about writing this review at all. I do not have any of my typical book was too good to write a review for it jumbles. Nope. Feeling at my most confident here. *escapes* Can we just agree to make this book as famous as possible and leave it at...

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...

Basia rated it ★★★★★

November 11, 2017

Absolutely FIVE beautiful and gorgeous STARS! My dear fellow readers: I’ve read quite a few books this year (as have we all), many of which I truly loved. But I have to say that this one is beyond question, my most favorite book of 2017. It is one of those rare finds that pulls you in—body and sou...

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...

Cathy rated it ★★★★★

October 26, 2017

Have I mentioned how happy I am that black women are writing more sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian fiction? I love that there are ladies walking in the tradition of Octavia Butler. This novel is set in a nebulous future in which hundreds of thousands of people have been living for centuries on a spaceshi...

Diana rated it ★★★★★

September 26, 2017

AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS is an extremely intriguing, brilliant book. The author is Rivers Solomon and I was very lucky to receive an Advance Reading copy from Akashic Books in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. The title is billed as science fiction (and it is) but it could almost be categori...

Terri rated it ★★★☆☆

November 27, 2017

The spaceship Matilda has been wandering for 300 years in search of a planet that can sustain life. The decks are organized alphabetically, with the most powerful, privileged--and white--people at the top. The lower decks contain people of color who are essentially enslaved. In this environment w...

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...

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