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Sister Mine

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  751 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
Nalo Hopkinson--winner of the John W. Campbell Award, the Sunburst Award, and the World Fantasy award (among others), and lauded as one of our "most inventive and brilliant writers" (New York Post)--returns with a new work. With her singular voice and characteristic sharp insight, she explores the relationship between two sisters in this richly textured and deeply moving n ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)
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Kasey I am currently reading this via audiobook. The author has a wonderful feel for description of all kinds. The characters are rich and well flushed out.…moreI am currently reading this via audiobook. The author has a wonderful feel for description of all kinds. The characters are rich and well flushed out. The dialogue and dialect of each character alone tells you so much about their backstory. Ms. Hopkinson describes Toronto in such lush detail that it makes the reader crave the place. And for all the description, the action of the narrative is still well paced and intriguing. Makeda has a strong voice and you feel like you are traveling along beside her, navigating the world and demigod family dynamics all the way. I can't wait to finish, and I'll regret it when I do.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Makeda and Abby were born conjoined twins, but that isn't the strangest part of their birth - their father is a demigod, from a family of demigods, and had reproduced with a human to the great chagrin of his family.

When they were split apart, only Abby got any mojo, making Makeda a useless, normal, human. This is their story during a family crisis.

I have been wanting to read Nalo Hopkinson ever since meeting
Tobias S. Buckell at a Shared Worlds reading. We chatted about Caribbean fantasy and sc
Book Riot Community
I came out of The Library at Mount Char with a craving for contemporary demigod fantasy and missing father misadventures and, as luck would have it, I picked up a copy of Sister Mine. This is a book about gods but, moreover, it’s about dysfunctional families. First of all, I am all about family dysfunction (in fiction); secondly, I have an older sister so the tense muscle of sibling rivalry that runs through this book spoke to my childhood and the close yet snarling relationship I shared with my ...more
Apr 21, 2013 Allison rated it really liked it
Yay, an urban fantasy novel based on African/African diaspora culture, myths, and legends! This was utterly unique, a quick read, with lots of unexpected turns. I appreciated how the author did not stop the story to do an exposition dump somewhere in the first few chapters, but I did wish that I had a cast of characters, or that it was based on an easily-recognizable (to me) set of myths that I could do internet research on. Basically, I wanted to know more. However, that said, I always knew ...more
Olga Godim
Apr 03, 2013 Olga Godim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy readers
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
Originally posted at

A totally original modern fantasy with a unique, exotic perspective. The protagonist Makeda, a twenty-three-year-old woman, was born to a family of demigods, but she doesn’t have magic of her own. Her twin sister Abby has a double share, in addition to being gifted by an unearthly musical talent. While Abby creates beautiful music and earns money for the family by performing, Makeda is trying to make sense of her directionless life.
Wow. Just wow. Talk about compelling writing. I picked this up on a whim and then couldn't, and I mean couldn't, put it down. Technically, this novel is contemporary urban fantasy, but it's more than that-- it's mythological, hip, edgy, out there, vivid, and startling (there's got to be something about Canada that brings out a certain talent for creative description in authors!). It's a fast read, but complex all the same, with a rich collection of characters-- most of them not-quite-human!-- ...more
Sep 25, 2015 Ginny rated it it was ok
I feel bad for not really liking this book, but I didn't really like this book.

I enjoyed having an entrée into a mythology that I was not previously acquianted with (heavy Googling of Vodoun, Hoodoo, Orishas, Yoruba, etc. was instrumental to understanding the characters in the story). The interesting characterization of all the enthralling (literally) demigods was the highlight of the book for me.

The humans, however, I could have done without. The protagonist was annoyingly juvenile for a woma
Bridget Mckinney
May 26, 2013 Bridget Mckinney rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

This is the first novel I've read by Nalo Hopkinson, whose work I discovered through her short stories in a couple of recent anthologies (After and Unnatural Creatures).

Sister Mine was a bit of a slow-starter for me, and I struggled at first to understand what was going on. In particular, one early change of scenery and point of view didn't make sense to me until about two chapters later in the book. However, in the second half of the book everything came together and things got really exciting

When I was telling my girlfriend about Nalo Hopkinson’s urban fantasy, Sister Mine, she said it sounded like the author was on LSD when she was writing it. I think that’s a pretty apt description, and I mean that in the best way possible. Let’s see—what really epitomizes the wonderful oddities of this book is the fact that there’s a character who used to be Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. You know, he’s an enspirited object, currently in human form. The main character’s sister is dating him. No big deal. ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Sumayyah rated it really liked it
I'm not SAYING its about a family of Orisha but... Abby and Makeda Joli were born as conjoined twins. Surgery separated them, but left Abby with a shortened leg and limo and Makeda with no mojo. Tired of being different from the rest of the Family, Makeda moves I to a building with Shine. There, she meets a motley cast of characters, gets chased by a dangerous spirit, and learns the Truth about her birth. Plot twists keep the reader guessing in this magical and moving novel. Some familiarity ...more
This was pretty good--I didn't find it as compelling as Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, or The Salt Roads, but it's pretty awesome to read a world with disabled-queer-poc central characters. Hurrah!
K. Lincoln
Jun 27, 2013 K. Lincoln rated it it was amazing
Part of the fun of reading Sister Mine is digging deeper and deeper into Makeda and Abigail's story to find out what truly happened when they were born, how their mother disappeared, and where there daddy is.

Not to mention who their daddy is. And who their uncle is. Because Makeda and Abigail were born into a family where some of the members usher humans into life and death. They are Shiny, in Makeda's words, and what Makeda wants more than anything else in the world is to find her own mojo; jus
Aug 21, 2016 Lila rated it really liked it
Sister Mine is a throughly enjoyable, quirky and imaginative coming of age story!
As the blurb goes, the main storyline is Abby and Makeda are ex-conjoined twin daughters of a mortal woman and a demi god. At their separation Abby got all the mojo, where as Makeda is the family outcast with no powers. As punishment for their forbidden union, their mother is turned into a sea monster (residing in Lake Ontario!) and their father is made mortal. Now susceptible to illness, he develops Alzheimer's. T
Abby and Makeda (am I the only one who wanted her name to be Makeba?) are twins in their early twenties, they were born conjoined twins. Abby walks with a limp, one of her legs is shorter than the other. But Makeda is the one who really feels different: she has no magic in a family of demigods in Toronto. Also, she has seizures.

Meanwhile, she’s moving into an apartment, trying to establish boundaries with her sister. But then life happens. This is a delightful book! I’m very glad I read it.

Apr 24, 2013 Yvonne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love a good story, well told
Recommended to Yvonne by: Goodreads
An amazing story. Myths, fantasies and legends will never cease to multiply with writers like Nalo Hopkinson among us.
Makeda and Abby are sisters, twin sisters bound closer than by only sharing a womb. But Abby has a huge talent and Makeda has no talent, no affinity linking her to the world, no individuality. Then when Makeda tries to launch out on her own to live her own life, however simple and dull that may be, the girls learn that talent may be more than they know of.
Clarissa Simmens
Apr 15, 2013 Clarissa Simmens rated it it was amazing
To me, not much can be negative in a book that features Jimi Hendrix's guitar as the male character Lars, boyfriend to one of the twins in this masterful mythological work. With the exception of the mention (not an actual description) of incestuous relations (consensual, at least), the book is exquisite: prose-worthy, humorous, all-around different than the usual publications. As in mythology, one twin—Abigail--is divine and the other—Makeda--is not. Their relatives include the Grim Reaper, the ...more
Holly the Infinite Book Dragon
Longing tapped me on the shoulder and enclosed me in its arms.

I read this urban fantasy novel in two sittings. It is almost compulsively readable.. yet I felt somewhat meh once finished. This is about conjoined twins, who are no longer conjoined. They also happen to be the daughters of a demigod & a human, who has been turned into a water monster that lives in Lake Ontario. There is an eclectic cast of characters, which I really liked. It is a weird book, which I am known for loving. Give me
Ian Mond
Aug 10, 2016 Ian Mond rated it it was amazing
It’s times like these when I realise how limited my vocabulary is. Because there’s only so many ways you can say how astonishing a novel is without falling back on cliche and shitty platitudes. So I thought I’d quote this representative passage instead.

"Uncle likes to keep things lighthearted. It’s important to him to always have a smile on his face. It keeps his spirits up, and sometimes it prevents people from being too scared when it’s their time and he shows up to ferry them to the other sid
Aug 18, 2013 Gerhard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Beguiling blend of urban fantasy and magic realism that is quite irresistible to read. Not much plot in this simple tale of sibling rivalry, but the sisters Makeda and Abby quickly endear themselves to the reader.

And the simple story is spiced up by the fact that the sisters' family is the local pantheon. Yes, it is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, but Nalo Hopkinson adds a unique flavour to the proceedings, in particular a running riff on racial stereotyping (Aunt Suze's diatribe on 'Obamanegroes' i
Jul 30, 2013 Jessica rated it it was ok
The story had a lot of things going for it: a deep wealth of spirituality and myth that it was drawing from, an interesting main character (a conjoined twin), and some serious world-building. The voices were strong and compelling.

However, I felt thing was a YA book that was classified as an adult book because of some mild incest (yes, I know that sounds bizarre but in context, it's not). The POV was very juvenile and seemed to be a coming of age story at its heart. The characterization of the si
John Sloan
Mar 10, 2016 John Sloan rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. I love Nalo Hopkinsons world, im always looking for more fantasy books with more women characters, and people of colour. This book successfully breaks a lot of the genre stereotypes and i loved that. She has some great ideas but i feel the story wasnt the best, it was a little too intricate and muddled i would have liked a more gripping storyline or a more compelling mystery. The character of Jimi Hendrix's guitar was very original but i was waiting to see where ...more
May 03, 2013 Micah rated it really liked it
This book is absolutely magnificent. Nalo Hopkinson's use of language is superb and the way each of the characters are written is so clearly done with care. Like usual, Nalo creates a world much bigger than what we see in the book. Instead of being frustrating, it just adds life to the book. Small story lines come in and out of the book without interrupting the flow in any way, and when the plot shifts in direction late in the plot it feels appropriate and in no way disorienting. It's just a ...more
Miquel Codony
Aug 09, 2016 Miquel Codony rated it it was amazing
Hace unos meses que lo leí pero en su momento no dije nada de este libro. Se merece una reseña mucho más completa que lo que voy a decir aquí y espero encontrar el momento de escribirla. Es uno de los mejores libros de literatura fantástica que he leído este año. Me ha parecido increíble (en el buen sentido) sofisticado, muy bien escrito, divertido y con mucha personalidad. Me declaro fan de Nalo Hopkinson y seguiré leyendo sus libros. Corred a por él.
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
I liked this book a lot. It's a weird winding tale of family love and dysfunction and it's pretty fun. It challenges a lot of out social mores and spins them on their heads.
This book did feel a bit slapstick sometimes which wasn't my favorite but I really enjoyed this.
Tudor Ciocarlie
Apr 08, 2014 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it really liked it
A very unusual coming-of-age story with some of the most extraordinary characters you'll ever encounter in the speculative fiction.
Tony Lindsay
Feb 14, 2016 Tony Lindsay rated it liked it
Riding Voodoo spirits, Conjoined/Siamese twins, sibling rivalry and love, non-gender specific lust, non-living objects transformed to living, wonderings souls and a flying carpet.
Mar 06, 2014 Jean rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantastical
Not only did I strive to creatively open my mind to the possibilities of fantastical things but I closed my eyes and tried to mentally place myself in the situations in this book. Didn't work.
Nov 22, 2016 Shelley rated it really liked it
I chose this just because the audio book was available at the library, and I didn't really know what to expect, but I liked it a lot! At first, I wasn't that interested in the demigod family, and I was not into the (view spoiler), but I really liked the whole story about Makeda striking out on her own for her first time, and the sister ...more
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
This book is the Chuck-A-Rama of books. You know - you walk into the restaurant and suddenly realize there are so many food choices. It's buffet heaven! There's ham, roast beef, turkey, tacos, fish, salads, fifty million dessert options, people running around with food thermometers preventing food poisoning - man it's a lot to take in. Suddenly you are seated at a table with corn on the cob, pancakes, a quiche, seven different flavors of Jell-o and a steak, and you don't really know what ...more
Oct 29, 2016 Amber rated it really liked it
Nalo Hopkinson writes Caribbean magical realism, set in Toronto, Canada. In Sister Mine, the relationships between her characters really drive the story. The social dynamics of these two twin sisters, one with mojo and the other without, is full of the complexity of real social relations--dependency, rejection, jealousy, warmth, trust, frustration, etc. The arc of the story is woven loosely and unevenly, so that the motivations of the sisters aren't always straightforward, which can be ...more
Karin Gastreich
Nov 09, 2016 Karin Gastreich rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A great book from beginning to end. Makeda is a wonderful character; the fantasy elements unique, grounded in Afro-Caribbean mythology, and richly imagined. Toward the end, there were so many fantasy threads running I had a hard time keeping it all connected, but that didn't detract from my five star rating. If you're looking for a fresh and original fantasy read, this is it.
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Literary Fiction ...: Discussion: Sister Mine 58 113 May 24, 2014 01:18PM  
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Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born writer and editor who lives in Canada. Her science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling.

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