The Best of All Possible Worlds

Karen Lord
The Best of All Possible Worlds Cover

Soft SF Obscured by Romance Beats


Let me start by saying that I loved Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo. This book is quite different.

I read Karen Lord's The Best of All Possible Worlds for several of my 2014 challenges. If I had not been reading this on the Kindle, I would have thrown the book across the room at least twice. I wanted to feel better about this book, but every time I would start to get into the story another stereotypical romance beat would appear and just make me angry. Here's the basic plot and you will see what I mean: a smart, spunky woman meets a mysterious, quiet foreign man through her job as a biogeneticist and cultural attaché. They become a part of a team that travels around the planet cataloguing genetic maps of cultures that might be related to his culture. The plot is episodic, and the woman becomes endangered at almost every new location. The foreigner saves the woman each time from physical, mental and emotional dangers. He loves her spunkiness and risk-taking; she loves his strength and mystery. Gaaah! Her name is Grace Delarua (but she goes by Delarua) and his is Dllenahkh, but they might as well be Claire and Raven. While I usually appreciate SFF books, when I can say "that could happen on Earth," I don't this time because all of the SF elements of telepathy, time-travel, alien races, just seems like window dressing.

Despite this, I do plan to read the sequel, The Galaxy Game, which follows Delarua's nephew Rafi at his school for the psionically-gifted. I just hope that it is not Harry Potter in space!