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Failure to Communicate

(Xandri Corelel #1)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  72 reviews
As one of the only remaining autistics in the universe, Xandri Corelel has faced a lot of hardship, and she's earned her place as the head of Xeno-Liaisons aboard the first contact ship Carpathia. But her skill at negotiating with alien species is about to be put to the ultimate test.

The Anmerilli, a notoriously reticent and xenophobic people, have invented a powerful weap
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Going To Mars
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Average rating 4.37  · 
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C.G. Drews
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to C.G. by: Maraia
Oh there was so much to love about this book!! It was really complex and had incredible world building and the CHARACTERS WERE THE BEST. I am hugely craving the next book that ending??! How dare it leave me like this. I have questions and concerns and aghhhhhh. (Apparently there's a novella so I will go dig for that soon and devour it.)

So full confession: I don't really do super well with sci-fi. So I admit a lot of the politics and long discussions were lost on me. This is more a me
I really enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to devouring the rest of the series.

This is a futuristic sci-fi book that is unique in a number of ways. Xandri, the lead character of the book and the one point of view we're given in the read, has Autism. She's one of the few neurodivergents known in the universe since "undesirable" genes were removed through genetic engineering and she only happens to exist because of a short-lived natural birth fad.

Though figuring out human behavior is Xandri's
RoAnna Sylver
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gems, reviews
"I’d read Ancient Earth books, watched Ancient Earth vids, and more often than not, FTL travel was described in terms of colors. Shifting colors, prismatic colors, the colors of a rainbow or a nebula; but always colors, as if the state of the universe itself was not already beautiful enough without paint splashed on. But I—I watched the universe turn to cosmic fabric around us, the warp threads of silver and gold stars, the weft strands of eternal darkness, and I let out a small, joyous laugh at ...more
This was amazing! I highly recommended it. We need more diverse sci-fi like this. The characters are the best part about this book, and I can't wait to read more about them. ...more
Avery Delany
For anyone who loves The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Mass Effect, or otherwise diverse A.F sci fiction - this is the book for you! I absolutely love this book to pieces and have found a new series, and author, to devour my soul.

The thing that had really drawn me into Failure to Communicate was the idea of a science-fiction book which had a female, autistic main character who is also HEAD OF XENO-LIAISONS.

Firstly, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE books with super diverse alien speci
Claudie Arseneault
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: disability, sf, lgbt
Friends, allow me to flail with pure love.

This book does everything right. It managed to get completely past my natural editor tendencies to take a novel apart and get hung up on the bits that could work better. Probably because I'm not sure there ARE much of them.

The characters in this are absolutely wonderful. ALL OF THEM. Xandri is so relatable in so many ways--her determination, her kindness, her honest reactions (both internal and external). She has so many layers of complexity and awesomen
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another one I had on my "to read" shelf for way too long. I truly loved this book. Some books I read(well a lot of them), I can multi task at the same time. I can walk around with my iPad doing various boring, yet required tasks like house cleaning, laundry, work(shush don't tell my employer), driving(i'm kidding. Just seeing if you are paying attention). But this book required my full 100% attention. I needed to sit still w/no distractions, while I read. That is not to say it was a heavy, cumbe ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-ebooks
I’m really glad I picked this up, my interest was piqued when I read that the protagonist was not your usual sassy heroine but an expert in communication who is also autistic. What sold me though, were the favorable opinions about the portrayal, because there is nothing that backfires like stereotypes when dealing with diversity.

I’m ignorant about the whole concept but Xandri felt realistic and engaging, not always easy to understand but following the story through her voice was a great experien
Apr 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Three point something rounded up to four because I'm currently of the mind that three stars is indicative of a story being unremarkable and this certainly isn't that.

This is a story about a bisexual, autistic woman named Xandri whose difficulties with understanding her own species, humans, has made her more receptive to understanding other species. Its really quite relatable and endearing on that front, especially when the found family aspects of the tale are front and centre.

There's very little
Skye Kilaen
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Space diplomacy sci-fi novel with an #ownvoices autistic protagonist, and she's bi/pan? I almost didn't read it, only because I didn't want to be disappointed if it didn't click for me! Thank goodness I came to my senses. It's superbly well-plotted, every single character is distinctive and fascinating, and it manages to both resolve the main story and set up for the second book in a totally satisfying way.

Xandri Corelel, one of the few neurodivergent humans in the universe, has trained herself
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
(4.5 stars) I shouldn't have waited so long to write this review, because there is SO MUCH to talk about in this book and I'm almost guaranteed to forget like five things.

First of all, I bought this book because it was on sale for 99 cents and I'd heard good things about it, so even though I wasn't really interested in the blurb it seemed like a good deal. And obviously, I ended up LOVING it. So let that be a lesson to you all. (I'm not sure what that lesson is — take advantage of ebook sales? D
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-the-book
I loved Failure to Communicate! 4.5stars.

This is in immersive and intimate read from one pov Xandri Corelel. She has autism. It is a scifi world different races, humans being one of them. A time where all 'errors' get filtered before a human is born. But there was a hype when some wanted to do au naturel and that is when Xandri was born. She finally found a group of people she fits in, a team she works with on a ship called Carpathia. She is the head of the Xeno-liaisons team that do first conta
Ceillie Simkiss
*clutches ebook to my chest*
Read my full review
Read on my blog.

LGBTQAI+: Xandri, the protagonist is bisexual and polyamorous, and there is also at least one sapphic side character/potential LI.
Sex on page: No

I have seen several people recommend this book on Twitter as an amazing indie book with an #ownvoices autistic protagonist, and I was not disappointed. Failure to Communicate was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to read the sequel (not to mention the beautiful covers for both books).

Xandri was a detailed, three-dimensional protagonist
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
4,5 stars

TW: Ableism / Anxiety Attacks on the Page

Failure to Communicate is one of those books that is easily approachable and that doesn’t need a whole lot of pages to still hit you hard.

This book has come highly recommended to me by a few readers who I think of highly. And they were not wrong in thinking I’d enjoy this book. There is a such a spark of life in this book that I just want to embrace.

The book focuses on Xandri, one of the few humans who was conceived in the natural way. As suc
Chasia Lloyd
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Goodness, I only meant to read for 30 minutes but had to finish the whole book in one go. I cannot wait for the next one! FtC has a LOT of great things going for it - the sweet, autistic, bisexual, biracial MC Xandri pulls you into the story immediately. The side characters are all fabulously interesting - Diver was my fave, but I was also equally intrigued with Marco. The polyamorous relationships are amazing. The alien diplomacy politics and plot twist are RIVETING.

So much good stuff!!!

TWs: me
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I received a review copy of Failure to Communicate from the author.The blurb sounded quite fascinating even though I don’t usually read sci-fi. I was intrigued in the idea of communicating with aliens.

It’s #ownvoices for autistic representation.


The friendships that the various characters had with each other was beautiful. You could tell that Xandri was respected and trusted by a lot of the non-humans, which showed how much de
This is very much an "it's me, not you" type of situation. The book was off to a really good start for me: it was suspenseful, I liked the characters, I felt invested. But then the more I read, the less invested I felt, and I ended up losing interest rather quickly. It all just felt so slow, and I didn't feel like I really got to know the characters, and so I found myself a little bored.

However! I would still recommend this for the autism rep, I thought it was great!
I don’t read enough self-published books. I get so caught up in the new release cycle of traditional publishing, that indie gems tend to slip under the radar. Such is the case with Failure to Communicate, a delightful sci-fi first contact novel with an autistic, bisexual protagonist and a subtle polyamourous romance.

Xandri Corelel was born during a brief phase for non-genetically altered children. That phase ended as soon as parents figured out that some of those children were neurodivergent in
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this within 3 days, on the tiny screen of my phone, and I could not care less because I've never enjoyed a book this much

The protagonist is a bisexual autistic woman. There's a strong focus on her inner life and thought process, and it's just so real. If you're autistic and have anxiety, here's finally a book that will make you feel understood, and have a truly relatable character.

For a large part the plot was intricate but lightweight until it got really intense toward the end. For the f
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun book to read. She, and her friends, were compelling and well developed characters. Xandri has a wonderful voice for a narrator. Failure to Communicate wasn't a fast paced story, but it was very well paced. It was refreshing to see autism/neurodivergence in an own voices treatment. We also got a well built world that didn't suffer from whitewashing or heteronormativity. I want more worlds and novels like this, and I look forward to reading what Sønderby produces in the futur ...more
Aiden Feltkamp
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Feminist and Diverse

I loved the realistic and positive representation of neurodiversity, racial diversity, polyamory, and LGBTQ characters. Really well written and a refreshing change from other male-dominated sci-fi.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mooni by: Maraia
Beautifully constructed, developed and written.

Elegantly works some crucial social topics of our current world into the narrative as Xandri tumbles her way through a future time space and mingles with a colourful and loveable cast of aliens.

Very much worth a read.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie, 2019-fav
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
☆ Madison ☆
Oh my gosh this book was so good. There was nothing I didn't love about it

Plot: 4.5/5 - I was hooked pretty much from the beginning and never grew board. But this book scratches every one of my itches, so to speak, so that's really not surprising.
Setting: 3.5/5 - Two alien planets and a (lovely) sentient spaceship (who made me cry. I love AI). But with all the politicking, there wasn't much exploration.
Scifi: 3.5/5 - Similarly, I wish we could have spent more time on Stillness or learning mor
*Deep breath* Okay. I'm okay.


I've seen people raving about this book for quite a while now; many trusted sources from all over the place. I even picked it up at some point, but I didn't get past the first few pages. I must have been in a weird headspace or something, because as well as being objectively a fan-freaking-tastic book, it includes so many of my favourite things that it's kind of like Sønderby wrote it for me personally!

Suffice to say, I love this book. I bought the sequel and pr
This was cool! I'm always here for diverse scifi.

And honestly, the characters were probably my favorite part of this book! Xandri is such a strong character-- not physically strong, or even butt-kicking strong necessarily, but she's so raw and honest and complex and just really realistic, I felt. I liked her a lot, and was definitely rooting for her.

And Diver and Kiri? The love interests? My FAVES. They're both so cute and smart and kind and funny and I love them So Much. I can't wait to see m
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good.

Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z3-2019-read-in
This #ownvoices book was an engrossing, imaginative read that treats ableism, neurodivergence, and first contact. Read the prequel Testing Pandora first. ...more
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Autistic Authors ...: Failure to Communicate 1 4 Apr 13, 2019 12:06AM  

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