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(Twin-Bred #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Note: Alternate/new cover edition for ISBN: 1463578911/9781463578916

Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb?

Humans have lived on Tofarn, planet of creeks and rivers, for seventy years, but they still don't understand the Tofa. The Tofa are an enigma, from their featureless faces to the four arms that sometimes seem to be five. They take arbitrary umbrage at the simple
Paperback, 354 pages
Published October 13th 2011 by Karen A. Wyle (first published October 12th 2011)
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3.65  · 
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 ·  141 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Rachel Cotterill
In many ways, Twin Bred reminded me of China Mieville's Embassytown. In both, humans have reached out into space, forged a home on a planet already inhabited by another sentient species, and struggled with their limited ability to communicate with said aliens. And in both, the proposed solution is a kind of bioengineering involving twins.

Twin Bred starts with the conception of this project, and proceeds with great leaps and bounds through the following twenty or so years. The sparse style makes
Red Haircrow
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quoting myself from a previous review, “Human and alien interaction in sci-fi is one of my favorite themes when it’s done in an intelligent manner, such as in C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner Universe and many others by her, or with humor, such as in the League of Peoples series by James Alan Gardner’s, which began with Expendable.”

In Cherryh’s Foreigner Universe, human and alien contact began eagerly on both sides, as they seemed similar superficially similar, yet the situation precipituously dipped in
Twin-bred certainly wins points for complexity and intricate plot development. It wasn't the easiest book to read and Karen recognizes that as she has included a handy appendix at the back of the book outlining the list if characters and puts them in groupings that make sense.

I am not a twin, but there are twins in my family and I found the description of the bond between twins (view spoiler) to be both fiercely strong and delicate at the same time. It was tr
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
The summary may sound very sci-fi and off-putting to some readers, but this was a very accessible sci-fi story. It is very character focussed, with very likable characters. I may be a bit biased since I love sci-fi, but found it was a great story that should hold wide appeal to readers.

I loved the extended length of time covered in the book. The story was told over decades, which really allowed the reader to see the longer term effects of the project, and the growth of individual characters. I p
Laura Thomas
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twin-Bred is not my usual type of reading. When I grasped where the story was going I became absorbed in it.
The planet of Tofarn. Humans and Tofa trying to live side-by-side. Lack of communication and social understanding makes them incompatible. One woman's experiment to enable both species to co-exist in harmony.
Filled with characters you can engage with and intricate detail, Karen Wyle has written an edgy story that quickly takes off and makes you believe in the possibilities.
This story i
Leslie Barrett Garel
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Karen takes you on a journey that really grips your imagination. I enjoyed it!
Twin-Bred was a very interesting read. I started it as something to read while my niece was sleeping. At first, it was hard to get into the story as the formatting for the kindle app on the PHONE was horrible. Once I had it on my actual Kindle paperwhite, I was able to following the plot and characters more easily. And there's a lot of plot and a lot of characters. There's a handy list of characters at the end of the book, but I didn't know that when I was halfway through.

The actual story is a f
Brittany LeMoine
This sounded interesting on here, and then it happened to be free on kindle at that moment, and it was great. It really pulled me in. Only problem was how it switched characters too suddenly and left me confused a lot.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans
From the blurb:

Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb?

In Twin-Bred, the human colony on Tofarn and the indigenous Tofa have great difficulty communicating with and basically comprehending each other. Scientist Mara Cadell, who lost a fraternal twin in utero, proposes that host mothers of either or both species carry twins, one human and one Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara has secretly kept her own twin, Levi, alive in her mind as a co
Jill Elizabeth
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twin-Bred involves travel into a fantastically inventive world of aliens, twins, and super-science. My review copy of Twin-Bred was oh-so-generously provided by the author, Karen Wyle.

[NB Feb 13: I was just informed by the author that Twin-Bred is now part of KDP Select, which means Amazon Prime members can borrow the book for free, at least from now until May 10, 2012 or so, and everyone will be able to download it for free from Amazon on February 15-16. Happy Reading!! J-E]

This book was fab-yo
After 70 years of colonizing on the planet of Tofarn, humans and native Tofa still can't find a way to communicate or learn about each other in order to live in harmony together. Blended Tofa / Human communities have not done well, some have formally disbanded and others are on the verge of falling apart. Because of continued misunderstandings and communication failures, a new way to learn about each other is needed. Dr. Mara Cadell, a scientist comes up with a plan proposing to have Human and T ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Mara Cadell is a human scientist on Tofarn. Like every other human, the Tofa, Tofarn's indigenous inhabitants, are a mystery to her. But it's become clear that humans and Tofa are on the path towards conflict if a way of communicating and mediating disputes isn't found. She begins the LEVI project, named after her long-dead twin (who she has kept alive in her mind), in attempt to forge a bridge between species. Human and tofa children will share a uterus and be raised together, in an attempt to ...more
Kat (Why Read)
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Big thanks to the author for entrusting me with an honest review.

From the moment I first saw the cover, I knew this book would freak me out. I'd admit I was kind of scared. Hey cover art is a VERY powerful thing. I've been known to love a book far more then it deserved or pass it up completely as because of the creativity invested in that one single image. But Fear? Fear is an entirely NEW emotion. Therefore true to my nature, no way was I going to let an eerie drawing, as they used to say in my
Lauren Smith
When considering the possibility of alien contact, I worry how humanity will behave. As a species, we have frequently proven to be intolerant or hostile when confronted with difference (of race, gender, culture, nationality etc.). Sf has frequently used the alien as a metaphor for the other, exposing and critiquing modes of prejudice and oppression. Less socially conscious tales often reveal our assumptions about the other; consider the stereotype of aliens kidnapping humans for experiments or h ...more
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having exhausted Earth's resources, humans have been forced to find another planet which will sustain them. Crossing galaxies, they finally come upon one that looks as if it'll be able to do just that. Unbeknownst to them, another indigenous race already lives there. Nonetheless, the humans will not be deterred and are determined to live amongst these weird, yet intelligent, beings whom they have learned are called Tofa.

Colonizing the new planet is not easy. Relationships between the two races a
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
TWIN BRED is the fantastic debut novel by Karen A. Wyle, about the human colony on Tofarn as it struggles to interact with the native Tofa. The two species can barely communicate, and fundamentally do not understand each other. But Mara has a solution.

Mara is a scientist who lost her twin brother, Levi, in utero. She always knew about him, and over the years, kept his memory by imagining him as he would have been. As a result of this connection, Mara believes that communications between the spec
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
The novel, “Twin-Bred”, investigates a problem that has plagued mankind, and the animal kingdom, for centuries. Author Karen A. Wyle takes the reader into an ingenious idea that is put forth by a human scientist on the planet Tofarn.

Tofarn is the world that humans settled on after leaving Earth and have lived side by side with the planets native race the Tofa. The problem the humans have had with their neighbors is there is a large communication gap. Over the many years of cohabitation on the pl
Todd Fonseca
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twin-Bred: A Richly Imaginative and Thoughtful Look into First Contact

Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Karen Wyle
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Communicating with the planet's indigenous species - the Tofa – was close to impossible for the human colony. As a result, it was inevitable that tensions between the two races continued to escalate. If there was going to be long term success and at least a neutral if not successful partnership between Tofa and Humans, something different needed to be tried. One scienti
Danielle Evans
Karen A. Wyle has created a whole new world in Twin-Bred. In this futuristic novel, humans are now living on a planet called Tofarn where they must co-exist with the Tofa species that was already there. Of course this is never an easy thing to do, particularly when there are communication issues and huge biological and sociological differences. The main character, Mara, is a human who comes up with a plan to try to get humans and Tofa to understand each other better. The Project is then born, wh ...more
Tony Parsons
Colony Year (C.Y.) 49, 55, 61, 67, 70.
Both the blended human & Tofa communities seem to be doing quite well.
Fast forward Mara Cadell (1/2 human 1/2 Tofa, Elizabeth’s daughter) is all grown up & now has 2 PhD’s,

Mara has claimed she has a twin named Levi Thomas.
Mara (scientist) was appearing before Councilman Alan Kimball (Chairman) presenting her updates on the Project.
Siri O’Donnell also informed Alan about Dr. Cadell involvement with the Project entitield Long-Term Emissary Viviparous
Long years ago humans colonized a planet already occupied by Tofa. The parallels with Europe invading America are obvious and delightfully underplayed. The science fiction aspects of a brave new world, genetic engineering, and ordinary people pursuing ordinary lives under extraordinary circumstances are enjoyably low-key and convincing. With misunderstandings between human and Tofa abounding, scientists and politicians look for solutions, and in Karen A. Wyle’s Twin Bred, bereaved twin Mara offe ...more
Cathy Speight
This was a complex book with quite a long cast of characters. It was just a little too complex for me, and whilst the sci-fi/fantasy genres are comfortably settling themselves onto my bookshelf, this didn’t enthral me as much as I hoped and is probably a novel for true aficionados of the genre.

The story is about humans cohabiting with the Tofa on their planet, Tofarn. The Tofa are quite an enigma, and neither race fully understands each other. Mara is a scientist who proposes a selection of hos
Charlie Kravetz
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi readers looking for something a bit different.
This review is for the Kindle edition ebook.

Disclosure: I was offered a copy of this book by the author as a review copy.

Fraternal twins, born together, sharing a bond, diplomats between species.

Twin-Bred is about the ability of twins to communicate with each other. It is also about the inability of humans to get along with anyone different from ourselves. This book is very much about the struggle to understand and communicate with others who may be so radically different speech is impossible.

Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very satisfied with how Twin-Bred turned out. It was a very unique story. Don’t expect a lot of action though. This book is more about character relationships and growth. It follows the project, from how the plan started to the inevitable conclusion that comes. We learn about what happens from third person POVs from many different characters as well as “status reports”.

The author did a ridiculously good job with the characters. Mara was just so strong even though she had so much loss in he
Mary Findley
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who Is "Us" and Who is "Them"?
Humans and Tofa share a planet but don't understand each other. Tofa make loud noises night after night. They object to the color blue at election time. We only know the human viewpoint but assume the Tofa don't understand humans either. Universal translators don't fix this perplexing relationship. The "evil aliens" aren't trying to wipe us out. In this classic "Us or Them" story, "Us" isn't who you think it is, and neither is "Them."
Mara Cadell lost a twin brother
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
The idea that twins have such a strong bond that it would transcend even difference of species is an interesting one. People of strong anti-abortion or religious views might find some aspects of The Project controversial. There is also a moral question as to whether it is justifiable to create “abnormal” babies either for scientific or social purposes. Those issues make this a powerful, thought provoking book.

The story covers a broad range of time, alternating narrative with ex
Sandra "Jeanz"
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initially I found the book a bit hard going as the concept is quite complicated, but as you get further into the book and more is explained about "The Project" things become much clearer and you soon become attached to the main character Mara and of course the twin-bred themselves. Mara is a complicated character and at times you wonder if she has made up an imaginary friend whom she talks to and then you learn her true tragic story. You learn about the Tofa, the race that the planet really belo ...more
Rachel "Rai29"
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On Tofarn, the human colony and the indigenous Tofa have great difficulty communicating with and basically comprehending each other. Scientist Mara Cadell, who lost a fraternal twin in utero, proposes that host mothers of either or both species carry twins, one human and one tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between te species. Mara has secretly kept her own twin, Levi, alive in her mind as a companion and collaborator.
Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backin
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a young human girl growing up on planet Tofarn, Dr. Cadell saw the unrest that results from the inability of two species to successfully interact. As a young woman, she vowed to make it her life’s mission to bring the planet’s native species, called the Tofa, together with humans. The idea she proposes is radical: what if a select group of human and Tofa females agreed to carry twins—one of each species—to term? What if the resulting children were raised together, educated in the same school? ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wyle offers us an interesting twist on the alien contact genre, putting Humans on another planet, but in a situation where their own impatience/intolerance makes war a seeming inevitability. In order to ward off that conflict, Mara Cadell comes up with the radical proposal of intentionally developing fraternal twins, one human and one Tofa, in order to create a bond. Of course, such a bond is only as good as the intentions behind it, and when the government believes in knowing the enemy . . . we ...more
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Karen A. Wyle is the author of multiple science fiction novels, including The Twin-Bred Series: Books 1-3; near-future novels Division, Playback Effect, and Who: a novel of the near future; and YA near-future novel The Link. Her first novel outside the SF category was the afterlife fantasy/family drama Wander Home. Most recently, she has made a foray into historical romance with her novel What Hea ...more

Other books in the series

Twin-Bred (3 books)
  • Reach (Twin-Bred, #2)
  • Leaders: a Twin-Bred novel
“I remember that story. You have read it four times." Samson shrugged. "Why should I stop with the first reading? Nobody says, 'That was a fine piece of music. I'll never listen to that again." But some people treat books that way. Not I!” 7 likes
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