An Unkindness of Ghosts Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak.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, whom 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.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 54 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 03, 2017|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #95,175 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#107 in Black & African American Science Fiction (Books)
#1,173 in African American Literature
#1,383 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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The reasons I ultimately settled with a 3 star rating are as follows:
P.O.V. switches: several times we move into the P.O.V. of other characters. Solomon writes these characters' voices well, but I felt like the switch in P.O.V. allowed an unwelcomed reprieve from Aster's conflicts.
Temporal shifts: along with the change in P.O.V. there were flashbacks(?) to a younger Aster with a younger Giselle, but the transition into the flashback didn't signal to me I was in the past, so I spent several moments wondering what happened to the almost-detective story I was reading.
I would recommend this to folks who like a hard sci-fi backdrop for their dystopian narratives. I would also recommend this to folka interested in a diverse cast, or want a narrative which doesn't shirk away from the horror of race-based caste systems which are perpetuated across human civilization.
This is one of the first science fiction books in a long time where I saw myself in the protagonist. I was told going in that there were queer characters and that the main characters were black, but I was pleasantly surprised by a recognizably autistic protagonist. Often when people write about characters with difficulty recognizing their emotions, it feels false to me, but this felt very familiar to me.
An Unkindness of Ghosts is interesting, and emotional, and clever, and although it's a hard read (the ship is basically Plantations In Space and Rivers Solomon does not shy away from the horrible aspects of that) it is very much worth it. It's satisfying and rewarding, even if it's not comfortable.
It is one of those rare finds that pulls you in—body and soul—after a mere page or two. Aster was magnificent as the protagonist. Such an odd character, but one I couldn’t help but love.
The story takes place on a giant spaceship, one that’s been traveling for about 1,000 years. Solomon brilliantly used this ship as a microcosm for greater society. She expertly spoke volumes about human nature, gender, the stratification of people by economic status.