The Best of All Possible Worlds

Karen Lord
The Best of All Possible Worlds Cover

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Carl V.

In Lieu of a proper review, here is my mini-review.

The humanoid Sadiri have been the victims of a planetwide genocide. The remaining members of their race reach out to their adopted homeworld, Cygnus Beta, as there is a shared genetic heritage among the people. The Sadiri hope to find genetically matched tribes willing to partner with them to maintain their genetic and cultural lineage.

The Best of All Possible Worlds is a unique reading experience. It is in part an anthropological study of a fictional race told in diary format from the point of view of Grace Delarua, a delegate of the planet sent on this year-long journey to visit the various tribes of Cygnus Beta with delegates of the Sadiri people. It is also a story of budding romance. As a recorded journal the story has understandable gaps which actually serve to give it an authentic feel. The reader develops a greater awareness of these fictional humanoid races as Lord's story unfolds.

In addition to the way in which the story is different than most science fiction one would pull from the shelf, the reason it stands out is that you get to know these characters and develop an emotional bond with them. You care about what happens to them and you keep reading hoping that your desires will find fulfillment. This was my first experience with the work of Karen Lord. It will not be my last, she is a true talent.

The Best of All Possible Worlds has garnered both fanatic praise and sound criticism, often because of similar reasons, the crux being whether or not the story structure works for you. I enjoyed it not just because it was different, but also because it offered much in the way of character exploration.