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Original Syn

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Fifty years after the Singularity, the world is divided into two populations locked in a cold war: Synthetic Citizens, or Syns, human-computer hybrids with extraordinary enhancements and potentially infinite lifespans; and Originals, the women and men who did not merge their bodies with the machines.

But the decades-long battle between Original and Syn is almost at an end,
Paperback, 474 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Homebound Publications
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  108 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Full disclosure: I'm biased. I wrote this. I'm really proud of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who will share in these adventures with me <3 ...more
Scott Stinson
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this exciting first book of a trilogy. Let's be honest...we love a good dystopian story and no worries this is that. But, it's so much more. I know I have read an exciting book when I find myself reading a chapter and I can't move to the next chapter...I have to reread that chapter had too much...I didn't get everything that was there...I read it too fast...I need to saturate and bath in it more. I had this type of moment a few times while readin ...more
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember the last time that I sat down to a book and blazed through it over the course of a weekend. Original Syn can now lay claim to that status. (I was lucky enough to get an ARC.) This is true, character-driven sci-fi, where the concepts are lofty, but the people living in this world are as real and identifiable as can be.

Original Syn takes place in a future that's only a couple of generations removed from present day. Science has advanced to a point where human life can be augmente
Don Zolidis
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wild, fun, and twisty book!

I appreciated the level of depth and detail in all the characters, and the novel ramped up in the second half to an unpredictable and heart-pounding conclusion. Great read!
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Speculative fiction with page-turning action, surprising twists and turns of plot, and a web of relationships among characters that draw you in to this world. Original/Syn connects with issues in science, religion, politics, ethics, and more while delivering a compelling story. It's hard to wait for book two- but I know it will be worth the wait!
Carolyn O'Doherty
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a super fun read! The characters are strong, the world well developed, and the conflict between humans and synthetics well thought out. The author also uses a variety of points of view very effectively to add tension and complexity to the plot. I zoomed through the book pretty quickly. My only complaint is that now I want to know what happens next.

And such a clever title, too!
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually one for YA dystopia stories in my reading list, but this one.... Of course, it's not "just" a YA story or "just" a dystopia either. That's definitely where it will likely be classified, but this book is rather more than those.

Without spoiling the story for future readers, I don't know that I can really go into much detail on what I loved so much. In general terms, characterization, plot, pacing -- all of the things that go into making a great story are done superbly well. Of cour
Jenna Jo
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is the kind of book where you simultaneously NEED to keep turning the page but you also NEED to slow down so that you can prolong your time being immersed in the story. The expert sci-fi dystopian world building is rich with details, threads of which parallel many social/political issues of our time. The (Chicago based) author combines all of these details within the core story line of a hidden resistance and a Romeo-and-Juliet-esque love story, creating a page-turner that is sure to captur ...more
Leah Rachel
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book and I can’t wait for the next one! The writing is beautiful and the characters are compelling. What impressed me most about this book was the world building. Too many times in dystopian fiction, the reasons things are the way they are don’t make sense (read: separating people by personality traits or painting them all different colors because they are on Mars). Kander takes the real world problems of inequality and disease and imagined what would happen if one group came up ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This innovative Sci Fi novel is eerily relevant to today's society, while putting a unique spin on what the future could hold for humanity. The verbiage and descriptions are absolutely gorgeous and the plot line is riveting!
Frank LaRue Owen
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A stunning, shapeshifting tale with bold, endearing characters and a haunting premise. Through a deft and delicious use of the writer's craft, Original Syn takes us into a parallel world whose future may not be far from our own. Lovers of Le Guin's The Dispossessed and The Lathe of Heaven, or Jenetta Penner's The Configured Trilogy, will love Original Syn Book One, which sets up nicely what is sure to be a riveting ride in Books Two and Three. I hope it's optioned for a movie.
Oct 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: guest
Author's guest post at my blog:
Grace Tenkay
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and absorbing tale. I enjoyed it.
Heather Barnes
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book from beginning to end. I am not much of a sci-fi or dystopian lover, but this book was more than just a sci-fi dystopian. It examines what it truly means to be human and how valuable our experiences, relationships, and memories are. I formed strong feelings about characters - some good and some bad - but I have a feeling my opinions may change in future installments. The ending left me ready to read book two now, and I imagine it’s going to be quite difficult to wait for Born I ...more
Alison Schultz
I have so many mixed feelings about Original Syn that I'm leaving a review as a result. I want it to be clear from the go that I'm not into the trend in media and fiction perception today that things need to be sanitized to be good. In fact, I don't think this book needs to be sanitized in the least. However, there are parts of it that fail to hold up for me.

After writing out my long list of issues that I had, I find that this book would likely benefit from two things: not trying to fit within
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I literally read this in one day (I am definitely not a wait-for-more-M&Ms-later kid), and not even the fear of an entire day on zero sleep with a toddler could stop me from devouring this book. As a mother, as a former high school teacher, as a lover of dystopian fiction, and an allaround big ol' nerd who grew up dreaming of marrying Data from Star Trek (I have it written in a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper from second grade if you need proof), this seems to unite all my favorite things, but still m ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to John by: Author
You might ask yourself what a 73 year 0ld man is doing reading this genre of book. Well, I was familiar with the author through her plays (excellent, by the way) and offered to read her new novel and give her some feedback. This certainly is not my normal reading material. When this book arrived, I reluctantly sat two other books aside and began the job of fulfilling my promise to read her book.

WOW, was I in for a surprise! By the second chapter (they are very short chapters, by the way) I was h
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once I started this book, I could not put it down. I enjoy Sci-Fi media but often have a hard time connecting emotionally to the story. However, that was not the case with Original Syn. Kander paints the world and its inhabitants with such heart; I was fully invested. The technological "Syn" world created the book feels very immediate despite the futuristic technological advancement (which is where Sci-Fi often loses me). Kander does a great job plotting out the story and setting up characters f ...more
Francesca G. Varela
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Original Syn is storytelling at its finest. Kander’s characters are fascinating, complex, and immediately relatable, and the future world they inhabit feels both mythical and tangible. Original Syn is the kind of book that stays with you long after you’ve read its final pages; an unforgettable story that pulls you in and takes you along for the ride.
Heidi Barr
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Can't wait for the next book!!!
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gah, this book was so good - the kind you stay up too late reading because you have to know what happens next. And now I have to wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out!!
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gah, this book was so good - the kind you stay up too late reading because you have to know what happens next. And now I have to wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out!!
Lauren Haynes
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fun, read-2018
This was a delightfully fun read. I can't wait for the sequel.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Though I haven't been a huge sci-fi fan in many years, Original Syn lives up to some of the best classic science fiction I read when that was a mainstay in my reading life. The novel is inventive, has compelling characters, and has a fast-paced plot that is never predictable. Moreover, it explores ideas that are as relevant today as they might be in the imagined not-so-distant future. Kander considers the effect of technology on humanity, as does most great science fiction, by positing an earth ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book! I admit, I was about 75% finished with it during my lunch break at work and I stayed out for a longer break just so I could finish those last few chapters! The story is unique, the pacing is perfect, the characters are layered, compelling, and sympathetic. I wish the sequel had been published at the same time, I need to know what happens next! I highly recommend this book for any fans of fantasy and sci-fi, but also mystery and adventure novels! I loved it and can't wait f ...more
Bird Of
Mar 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
I read 330 of the 460 pages and then I finally gave up. Although the story and characters were interesting enough, the book never really hooked me.

I stopped reading because all of the woke tidbits throughout the book became overbearing in the second half. Gays, strong female Indian characters, black characters, mixed race characters, evil rich people, and white Texas bigots became annoying, ridiculous, and distracting.
Jerry Landry
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read - if you're a fan of dystopian science fiction, then this is a book you should pick up. I enjoyed the character development and world building in the plot and look forward to reading the next in the trilogy.
I loved the world building in this novel and found parts of it quite compelling. However, the love story part of it made me cringe.
Enter Morality: are humans to eradicate suffering and live forever? Or does that take away the meaning of “human”?

(I might be crazy but is that a hint of biblical allusions I smell????)
Ian McGowan
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Good premise, but loses steam in the middle, unsatisfying ending
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Apocalypse Whenever: READ WITH ME, APRIL 2020: "Original Syn" by Beth Kander 23 65 Apr 04, 2020 01:54AM  

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Beth Kander grew up in the small-town Midwest and spent more than a decade in the Deep South, always collecting stories. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. Her novels draw readers in to her characters' lives, often exploring haunted pasts, interconnected narratives, or re-imagined folklore. An award- ...more

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