An Unkindness of Ghosts
By: Rivers Solomon
Narrated by: Cherise Boothe
Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
Release date: 10-03-17
Courtesy Audiobook Jukebox
The Matilda is a generational ship. It is a massive and awesome ship. Her power comes from the “Baby Sun”. Everything and everyone on the ship is dependent on the Baby. The Matilda has a stricter class system than the Titanic. The top decks are where the rulers and other elites live and work. The work they do is not labor intensive. Decks P through T are where the Tarlanders live. Second class citizens with no chance of upward mobility.
The Tarlanders also carry a genetic mutation where they are not always born male and female. Many are born with characteristics of both sexes. Each deck functions as its own society and chooses its own pronouns. Some are all “she” no matter how they present, other desks use “they”. It is their own solution to what pronouns to use. No matter what deck they come from, all Tarlanders live in a state of insecurity. Tarlanders can be killed, beaten, raped and have no recourse, no justice, no hope.
Aster is the main character. She is a medic. She cares for the residents of the lower decks with no supplies or support. She watches as the Elites cut rations for the Tarlanders, cut the heat back to freezing, and treat them as sub-human. She has a complicated relationship with the surgeon from the upper decks. She has a complicated relationship with everyone.
An Unkindness of Ghosts is a fantastic book and an incredible audiobook. I cannot do this book justice. The science fiction components of the book are brilliant. It is presented in such a fashion that a non-science person like myself understood it. The characters are very well done. There are no two dimensional characters. They are all very real. Rivers Solomon has created a wonderful story that compels the reader to keep turning pages. Cherise Boothe does a fantastic job as narrator. There are many different accents just among the Tarlanders plus the different accents of the upper decks. Boothe smoothly slips through the different voices without any hesitation or any missteps. She is clear and understandable at all times. The projection values are very good.
Solomon’s book gives a voice to the powerless. She shows us the fierce will to survive among those who one would expect to have no hope. An Unkindness of Ghosts is a powerful story. I highly recommend it and look forward to Solomon’s next book.