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The Kindred

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To save a galactic kingdom from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor…

Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published January 4, 2022

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About the author

Alechia Dow

7 books605 followers
Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher, and Youth Services librarian. When not writing about determined black girls (like herself), you can find her chasing her wild child, baking, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.

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5 stars
287 (22%)
4 stars
477 (37%)
3 stars
372 (28%)
2 stars
117 (9%)
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30 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 427 reviews
Profile Image for Alechia.
Author 7 books605 followers
February 28, 2021
I think it's a blast! The author worked really hard on this :)
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,826 reviews4,645 followers
January 21, 2022
So this was a hard one for me to both rate and review. I was really looking forward to reading this one because I've heard so many great things about The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow; however, I didn't connect with it the way that I anticipated. This isn't to say that it wasn't a solid read, but I did struggle with it a little bit.

From what I understand, The Kindred isn't a sequel to The Sound of Stars; however, they are set in the same world. The Kindred is about an alien race that has created a program called the Kindred program where people in the universe are connected to each other from birth. They can communicate and see each other even if they aren't on the same planet and the connection lasts for the entirety of their life. Readers witness the Kindred connection between two characters Joy and Felix. Joy lives a more complicated life whereas Felix is a part of the nobility. While the two have polar opposite lives and experiences, there is an undeniable connection. After the royal family is assassinated the two flee their planets and meet for the first time crashing on planet Earth looking for a way to clear their names.

Honestly, everything about this novel was interesting until Felix and Joy made it to Earth. I was so compelled by the intricate world building and how these "alien" kingdoms were struggling to battle classicism and discrimination based on a person's home planet. However, as a reader the plot lost steam once they crash land. It felt as if I began to read a different novel that lost it's sci-fi elements and began to feel more like contemporary. The continuous talk about Taylor Swift and cottagcore is something that I believe teen readers will appreciate, but it definitely was lost on me as an adult reader. When Dow attempts to shift back to the sci-fi aspects of the book, it's difficult for the reader to readjust once more to what feels like a genre shift. For me this made the pacing shaky. It would be fast, then slow, then fast again which made the novel feel as if it was all over the place. I almost forgot the intent of the book when it came back full circle.

I did like what Dow did with Joy as a character. She's a fat Black girl and Dow handled that representation in a way that I could appreciate. There were moments when Joy was confident, but also moments where she second guessed herself and it made her feel real as a character. There are explicit instances of fatphobia both external and internal so as a reader I would be mindful of that. I didn't relate to Felix as much. He has a soft spot for Joy which is clear from the beginning of the novel; however, I wasn't sold on his overall development. He's a hard character to enjoy because of his elitist attitude and his change of heart around Joy wasn't enough for me to buy into him. Nevertheless, I must admit that the connection between the two of them is beautiful. They've been kept apart for most of their lives and they have refused to acknowledge their feelings. However, once the get to Earth they have no choice but to work things out together.

The best part of this book, in my opinion, is the queer representation. It is so nice to see queer people of color particularly Black queer people just exist without the struggle of their identities being at the forefront of the story. Joy is coded as demisexual while Felix is coded as pansexual. There is also queer representation in side characters both on earth and on their home planets. I know that Dow also did this in her debut novel, but it was nice to see in the context of this story.

Overall, this was a solid story. It wasn't as good as I anticipated which is a disappointment, but I am interested in checking out The Sound of Stars to see the connection between the books. If you've read that book before you might be interested in checking this one out.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
1,962 reviews3,276 followers
January 17, 2022
4.5 stars rounded up

This was lovely! If you enjoyed Dow's debut The Sound of Stars, you will probably love The Kindred, which is set in the same universe but takes place earlier. This is a beautiful sci-fi romance full of adventure, politics, and unabashed love.

Set in an empire where the high-born are paired at birth with a low-born citizen for mind pairing in the Kindred program, we follow commoner Joy Abara and Duke Felix Hamdi. When the royal family is assassinated, the two become embroiled in political schemes and must go on the run. Joy is a beautiful fat, Black young woman who is also demi-sexual and bi-romantic. Felix is a bisexual playboy, but his true heart clearly belongs to his Kindred Joy.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, but this book has the same quirky yet heartfelt tone as The Sound of Stars. Occasionally verging on cheesy but always winning you over with great characters experiencing genuine emotion. It was also so much fun to see how this linked back to that first novel in unexpected ways!

Beyond that, we get really great fat representation with Joy, and a gentle call to grapple with the ways humanity harm the earth and each other. This was a delight to read. Hopeful, romantic, and a fun space fantasy. I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Shawna Finnigan.
453 reviews298 followers
June 19, 2022

Alechia Dow’s first book The Sound of Stars is one of my all time favorites. It changed my life for the better and it helped me rediscover my love for science-fiction. I had really high hopes for The Kindred since I loved The Sound of Stars so much and since The Kindred is sort of a prequel to The Sound of Stars. The Kindred didn’t live up to my expectations though and while I overall enjoyed it, I felt like this book could’ve and should’ve been better.

My favorite part about this whole book was the romance. Felix and Joy were two beautiful characters that had fun bantering that made me root for them from the first chapter. Their romance was interesting to read about yet it also had a deeper meaning to it because their romance was used to make a comment on class differences. I would’ve loved their romance even more if there wasn’t an arranged marriage thrown in there just to make their love even more forbidden, but I was overall satisfied with the romance in this story.

I really appreciated the representation in this book. There’s non-binary representation, demi-ace representation, pan/bi representation, lesbian representation, gay representation, plus sized representation, and there was a brief mention of genderfluid characters. All of the representation was done really well and none of it felt forced. The way that the characters were all introduced was also done smoothly yet beautifully. All characters were referred to by gender neutral pronouns until their chosen pronouns were revealed. It was such a simple yet powerful way to show that people shouldn’t assume others’ pronouns.

I also really liked how this story dealt with some important political and social issues. However, this story could’ve gone more in-depth into the political issues being portrayed in the book. The major issue that this book dealt with was the problem with class hierarchies, but it mentioned other issues like fatphobia, the covid pandemic, and racism as well. I wish the other topics like fatphobia would’ve been discussed more because they seem like topics that are important to the author, but they were only briefly thrown into the story.

The science fiction elements in this story were very weak. Most of this story felt like a young adult contemporary story instead of the epic science fiction story that this book appears to be.

The story was also very cheesy. I can ignore some cheesiness, but it got a little over the top. The amount of pop culture references to Star Wars didn’t help with the cheesiness either.

All of the issues I had with this book made it so that I couldn’t get connected to the story as much as I wanted to. There were definitely things I appreciated about this book and this story was a nice escape from reality, but this book didn’t amaze me like Alechia Dow’s previous book did. I highly recommend reading The Sound of Stars instead of this one unless you’re really interested in cheesy, young adult romances.

Since I didn’t hate this book, I want to leave my review on a positive note. This is my favorite quote from the book and it’s a quote that feels extremely important in this day and age:

“The problem with men like you is that you think your masculinity entitles you to love and power. You spend too much time pretedning not to feel that when you do, you lose control.”
Profile Image for CW ✨.
627 reviews1,687 followers
January 22, 2022
The Kindred may be about aliens and class differences and escaping getting framed for regicide, but at its very heart, it's a story about love that transcends, and I just... love that so much.

In a universe far from our own, commoners and powerful folk are paired at birth with their 'Kindred', able to hear and feel each other's thoughts and emotions. The story follows a particular Kindred pairing, Joy, a commoner from a poor planet still reeling from its violent history, and Felix, a duke and playboy. Though the two could not be more different, the bond that they share is strong and intimate.

The Kindred has a wealth of awesome ideas that I loved. Being a fan of the 'fated to love' and 'love that transcends' romance tropes, The Kindred feels like a treat. I love stories about love, and the bond that Joy and Felix share isn't just a romantic love, but it's a bond so deep and intimate and intertwined that one could not live without the other.

A significant portion of the story takes place on Earth, and is mostly around how Joy and Felix navigate their feelings for each other while also being confronted by their futures. For Joy, it's to her betrothed, a future she has resigned to even though there is no love and one she feels is her duty to rebuilding and sustaining her people. For Felix, it's his dukedom and his responsibilities. I enjoyed this aspect of the book; Joy and Felix's relationship is truly like no other and I delighted in the demisexual vibes of this book.

The story also features a wealth of interesting themes - the consequences of (galactic) colonialism, classism, fatphobia, and how oppression works in insidious ways. These themes may not be at the forefront of the story, but they do feel seamlessly integrated into the worldbuilding, giving the universe life and depth. How Joy and Felix confront Earth and its problems are also fun and actually insightful.

While I really did enjoy The Kindred, how the story culminates at the end with the antagonist didn't quite work for me. I think the twist towards the end was a nice touch, but I didn't feel sold on the antagonist's motivations, which lessened the impact of the climax for me.

Nonetheless, a lovely story that's character-driven. I can't wait to see what Alechia writes next.
Profile Image for Adiba Jaigirdar.
Author 11 books2,618 followers
December 7, 2021
Alechia Dow has a serious talent for writing the most endearing characters into stories that reflect a lot of the tensions of our world today, while managing to be fun, lighthearted, and romantic. Anybody who loved The Sound Of Stars will love this!
Profile Image for Leo.
4,237 reviews380 followers
July 11, 2022
There where things I really enjoyed with the story and characters. Especially the main characters and the way kindred worked. But it didn't quite go to 4stars, more of a 3.5 stars. But would read something else by this author for sure
Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews184 followers
September 1, 2021

Thank you to the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Dear Alechia Dow, please write more books about aliens including: a book starring Allister, and a sequel to The Sound of the Stars. Please, please, please.

The Kindred is not really related to The Sound of Stars, but does take place in the same multiverse as it, and features several references and at least 1 crossover character. I loved all the references to TSOS so much!! However, let's talk more about The Kindred. In the galactic Kingdom ruled by the Qadins, everyone is paired with a Kindred a birth, someone who is always with you inside your thoughts. The program aims to give everyone a voice no matter their socioeconomic status.

Joy Abarra knows her place: it's with her mother until the day she can marry and do her duty to her planet/culture. Joy has one thing most don't: her Kindred is Duke Felix Hamdi, cousin to the Royal throne. However, the two haven't met yet, but they hope to soon. Then the Qadin royals are assassinated and Felix becomes next in line...and the one accused of murdering the royals. Felix and Joy must escape the galaxy and find some place to hide so they can figure out what happened and how to prove their innocence.

This book was a fucking ride. I loved it soooo much. Felix is a disaster bi and Joy is my precious ace. Also the mutual pining? Off the charts. I loved exploring the new alien worlds/cultures. I'm really hoping this will shape out to be a big multiverse series, mainly because I need to know what happens after the end of TSOS.

I loved how queernormative this book was. Which I'm not surprised, because I'm pretty certain TSOS was the same. But every new character is introduced as them until they give their pronouns and I loved that so much.

I feel like I have more thoughts about this book, but my brain is just racing around yelling at me about how much it loved all the characters and the world, so I think this is a good place to stop.

Rep: Fat Black demisexual female MC, biracial/Black bisexual male MC, achillean Black male side character, Black nonbinary femme side character, fat Black female side character, queer normative world, lots of aliens too.

CWs: Alcohol consumption, body shaming, fatphobia, gaslighting/manipulation, kidnapping, murder, violence, war, torture.
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
543 reviews3,551 followers
February 21, 2022
This is a huge case of it's me not the book and U am incredibly sad because of how much I loved Alechia Dow's debut but I can't get myself to care about anything happening or get invested in the characters. Heartbreaking DNF @ 63%
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,698 reviews623 followers
February 13, 2022
Sundays are for reading, so I just practically inhaled this, and it was exactly what I needed. I'm weak for telepathic connections in books, and it was done SO well here.
Profile Image for kate.
1,105 reviews921 followers
December 7, 2021
A brilliantly fun read that's equal parts a romantic, universe hopping, 'we need to save multiple planets from doom and also, hey humans are kinda awful and great' sci-fi, and an astute exploration of racism, colonialism, oppression and class.

Alechia Dow has such a talent for creating characters and relationships you root for with your entire being. I adored Joy and Felix. They were charming, wholesome, flawed and their different perspectives were great to follow. The side characters were lovable and well developed and the casual, inclusive and accepting language surrounding the queer characters? 10/10.
The pop culture references were also so much fun and I really hope authors take note of the subtle way Alechia acknowledged the pandemic as a part of Earth's story but without without being too jarring.

My only qualm with this book was the fatphobia and the narrative surrounding Joy's fatness. Whilst representing fatphobia, both internal and external, is absolutely valid, I didn't feel as though it added much to this story. There was no growth or real challenging of any of Joy's hateful thoughts about her body or her dieting, nor were there repercussions for those who made negative comments about it. Instead, her self-hate just somewhat fizzled out without any undoing of any of the potentially triggering comments made from herself and others.

That being said, all in all, this was another exciting and multilayered story from Dow. I thought the way she intertwined this with The Sound of Stars was inspired and I really, really hope she revisits this universe and its characters again in the future.

TW: fatphobia and body shaming (internal and external), racism, xenophobia, colonialism
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,258 reviews277 followers
January 10, 2022
I had high hopes for this book, the cover is stunning and I am a huge sci-fi YA fan. This started off great, it set up the story and had that Major Event moment I expect in Sci-Fi. I was shocked and excited when Felix and Joy got into a spaceship and landed in a Earth very much like ours, but post-pandemic. After that though, things started to go badly wrong.

The romance in this is a lot. I don't mind romantic books, but I don't enjoy it when it's all consuming, like early 2010s YA. Felix and Joy think about each other on a constant, using the term Kindred in place of partner (this word turns up 170+ times). This is intended to mean the deeper connection that Kindred have, but I was stuck on how this was just like a sibling romance by having these two know each others thoughts and feelings their entire lives, even playing together as children.

The plot overall was very weak. The villain was stated throughout so there was no surprise there. Any reveals only served to tie the story up faster, and the end chapters felt rushed. The plot wrapped up exactly the way I expected it to, I don't think there was any surprises or twist and turns that really interested me. I'm just glad it's a standalone.
Profile Image for Fanna.
987 reviews499 followers
Want to read
June 11, 2021
11.06.2021 a romantic science fantasy about mind-paired commoner and royal who, as the author said, 'crash on earth while trying to flee those who want to kill them + steal their kingdom' sounds very, very good.
Profile Image for rain.
607 reviews346 followers
January 13, 2022
the best thing about this book is felix waxing poetic about joy unprompted every two minutes. i had fun reading this but i found the plot execution a bit lacking. i recommend the audiobook!
Profile Image for Ta || bookishbluehead.
329 reviews21 followers
February 23, 2022
When I first heard of the concept of ‘The Kindred’ I knew I had to read it. It sounded like everything I needed in a book: Sci-Fi and romance. And it mostly delivered what it promised.

This story is a first contact with Aliens story with a twist. It’s not told from the POV of a human but instead from the Aliens, who aren’t that different to us. That paired with the whole Kindred-concept and the new world to discover made a great plot that I enjoyed reading.

The main characters are Joy and Felix, both brought up under very different circumstances but connected since birth via the kindred program. Joy was sweet, loyal and knew what she wanted from live. I liked her a lot. Felix on the other hand was also kind, to some degree, but also very smug and arrogant. Connecting with him was a little harder for me and I didn’t really like him, but the story wouldn’t be what it is, without him.

I’d love to read more about these characters and this world, it was a great read.
Profile Image for Brianna - Four Paws and a Book.
539 reviews14 followers
January 2, 2022
3.5 stars rounded up!

This book started out a little slow and a bit all over the place, but once you really get to know the characters, you really start to love this book. There were a few confusing bits in terms of the world and what the aliens did and didn't know once getting to earth, but it was fun to have perspective from the aliens, rather than from the people of earth. A strong first read of 2022!
Profile Image for Celia.
Author 6 books479 followers
February 4, 2022
Reasons to read: sweet romance, a diverse cast, and a delightful plot of planet-hopping and swooning over Taylor Swift and cottagecore.

Personal rating: I'd die for this book.

It is December 15th and I am TIRED. I've read 222 books (to date. Note: I don't count any book under 100 pages) This year I've written more reviews than I ever have in my whole life and I thought I had my top book of the year decided, but I saw this book mentioned in a Facebook book group more than once, and me being all fomo-like, I scooted my butt over to Edelweiss and downloaded it.

Side note: if you're a reviewer on Edelweiss and faint every time you see your anticipated reads on the TO DOWNLOAD, can I join your gang? I'll bring coffee and uncomfortable silences.


The first thing that stuck to me about THE KINDRED was the fact that the story was not bogged down with scientific stuff that often takes me out of stories in this genre. The ships fly. Tech is tech and that's all we need to know about that.

The sensitivity when it comes to sexuality, race, caste is done perfectly. There is a wide array of representation in this book including plus-sized characters as well sexual orientations.

The idea of forming bonds at birth in order to stop upheaval within the lower classes is amazing. The higher class is paired with the lower class in hopes that the people will be at peace if they think the poor have a voice. Despite seeing the downsides of this, the author gives us all the pluses of knowing someone your entire life and loving them not because of their appearances but because of their feelings and thoughts is pure feels. I imagine the connection of knowing someone so closely like that is so deep and hopeful and lovely.

Felix and Jo are ride or die. Endgame. First string. A team. I've never known a YA couple so incredibly tethered to each other (figuratively, might I mention since they are tethered in the literal sense)

"I want to kiss you." Nerves threaded through his words. "Can I kiss you?"

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I don't what else there is to say. I'm kind of happy I'm ending a very successful year of reading with a book like this, but my former Best Book of Celia's 2021 should be salty because it may have been bumped.

I need a printed copy of this book to sleep with at night.

Profile Image for Haadiya.
147 reviews74 followers
January 12, 2022
Alechia Dow creates a fascinating world that you can't help but want to explore. This book is set in the same universe as The Sound of Stars, which I have not read but I'm sure to enjoy. I did have some difficulty with some of the exposition and amount of material, but I believe that was due to my lack of knowledge about the world, not the books!

Joy Abarra knows where she belongs: with her mother until she can marry and fulfil her responsibility to her planet/culture. Joy has something that other people don't: her Kindred is Duke Felix Hamdi, the Royal Throne's cousin. The two haven't met yet, but they hope to do so soon. After the assassination of the Qadin royals, Felix becomes the next in line...and the boy suspected of murdering the royals. Felix and Joy must flee the galaxy and seek refuge in order to figure out what has happened and how to prove their innocence.

What Alechia Dow has accomplished in terms of world building has my utmost admiration. It's one of those settings or world-building kernels that I could lose myself in for days. There's a sense of history here, as well as thought and detail. Alechia Dow's world blossoms in front of you at every instant, whether it's the social structure or the past. Second, the protagonists, Felix and Joy, are multi-faceted, quirky, and endearing.

They are lovable, flawed, and amazing in their own way. Joy's optimism drew me in, and Felix's defences, the ways he hides his flaws, were remarkable. They're a force to be reckoned with when they're working together. Their energy, banter, and chemistry are both heartwarming and enjoyable to read. It's so simple to ship them because we actually care about them as people.
Profile Image for alaska.
220 reviews424 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 4, 2022
dnf @ 48%
the story really lost its grip on me and though i was initially very intrigued, the romance was not for me either. i was pushing myself to read on without a good reason, so dnf'ing this. definitely think this is a case of "it's not you, it's me"!
Profile Image for Natasha  Leighton .
359 reviews117 followers
February 3, 2022
Immersive, action-packed and full of intergalactic intrigue The Kindred is a breathtaking exploration of race ,class and body positivity that, as a plus sized woman really resonated with me in way that most books never do.

Mind Linked from birth, Hali Commoner Joy and Noble Playboy Felix finally meet after Felix is framed for the assassination of the Qadin royal family—his distant relatives, leaving him the sole heir to the throne. Fleeing for their lives the pair end up crash landing on a backwards (and primitive) planet called earth. Hiding might just help them uncover the true strength behind the kindred bond, exposing a scandal—and a love— that may just decide the future of the entire galaxy.

I absolutely loved every second of this, the pace was phenomenally quick and yet no detail is spared. Bursting with vivid descriptions and social commentary on Felix and Joy’s home worlds, we get to explore the customs, cultural practices and history that’s just as flawed and unjust as our own—an institutionally racist and classist society which relies heavily on upholding several millennia of galaxy-wide oppression.

The concept of forming bonds from birth was really intriguing (having to share your inner most thoughts and feelings with someone you’ve never met but know more about than you’re own family is kind of mind boggling) and the difference in social status definitely added to the Romeo and Juliet, forbidden romance vibe that I’m an absolute sucker for. The chemistry between Joy and Felix was utterly swoon-worthy (even in their thoughts) and I honestly didn’t expect to get as emotionally invested as I did.

I loved so many characters who were all well written and relatable, though I have to admit Joy was my absolute favourite. She’s clever, compassionate and an just an overall inspiration—her blossoming confidence was a satisfying sight to behold! I liked Felix too, in all his cocky royal adjacent (and occasionally grumpy) glory and his adoration of Joy was heart-meltingly adorable. Honestly, I could read an entire series centred around these two.

The sheer amount of diverse rep with black/mixed raced LGBTQ+ (gay,demi,bi and non-binary) and plus size characters was absolutely incredible,especially the Demi-ace rep which isn’t explored very often in this genre.

Overall, this is a beautifully written, planet hopping adventure that Sci-fi lovers are going to thoroughly adore.

I also wanted to say a massive thank you to Harper360YA and Inkyard press for the arc.
Profile Image for Caylie Ratzlaff.
474 reviews26 followers
November 24, 2021
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of the novel. 2/5 stars.

I don't like to write scathing reviews, but this is a hot mess. I quite literally could not tell you about this story besides it's two teenagers who share a psychic connection, get framed for murder, and crash land on earth, oh, and they're aliens from another system and apparently there's an entire system of alien civilizations that have race and class issues, but earth is newly formed? but it's modern day earth?

I really did not like reading this. It felt like a science fiction fanfiction with all the pop culture references...it made me feel the same way when I see the book on tiktok that quotes ACOTAR as a favorite book series.

The plot was messy. Very messy. Oh no a bad guy does all of this to take control of a kingdom? I knew he was the bad guy from the beginning when he messes with Joy's connection. It's like all of the plot things in a novel were just thrown together.

I really did not want to finish this book, but I did because I hate DNFing books.

Look, it had good moments of black joy and black happiness in it, but 90% of the book was cringey and a mess. It also left off with a cliff hanger and cliche ending at the same time.

The book wasn't for me. I did not like it. Honestly, 2 stars is probably generous but it has a pretty cover and a unique concept...it just was not fleshed out well...at all.
Profile Image for Katie T.
947 reviews74 followers
January 12, 2022
Dnf 16% this story seems good but I can tell I don't care.
Profile Image for Aesha.
63 reviews
February 7, 2022
I was pretty disappointed in this book. The cover caught my attention--not a lot of dark-skinned folks on book covers. The story sounded interesting, too; I was curious how the Kindred Program worked and would influence the characters. I don't read a lot of science fiction, but I thought this would be interesting.

It was alternatively predictable and eye-rolling, for my part.

I was really hoping to like this book because I like supporting authors from underrepresented communities, and I do like YA sometimes. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be reading additional books by the author, because this book was a mess. I'm also really confused because this book came out a few weeks ago (2022), but in an earlier book by the author . But confusing, and not something I'm willing to spend my time trying to find out.
Profile Image for Anna.
1,258 reviews223 followers
January 6, 2022
Y'all, The Sound of Stars is one of my favorite books and when I heard that Alechia Dow was writing another book I was all in. Even better, this one takes place in the same multiverse as TSOS and has numerous references, including everyone's favorite boy band.

I loved The Kindred. The premise was really intriguing to me and it's filled with adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Brief summary: #TheKindred is a program that pairs people through their minds and everyone has a person they're connected to. Usually one poorer and one richer with the idea that all voices would be heard. When a Duke and a commoner are paired, the royal family attempts to keep them apart. Felix is next in line to the throne and Joy is poor and doing her best to survive as a fat Black woman. When Felix is framed for murder, the two finally meet and have to run for their lives. They end up on Earth, dealing with a super wonderful (and strange) group of humans and work to figure out how to save their planet.

Joy and Felix are a delight. Joy is sunshine and literal joy and Felix is a bit of a grump sometimes. I adored all the humans they encountered and loved seeing a bunch of Andarran cameos. My favorite part of the entire book was watching Joy come into knowing her worth and her value exactly the way she is. She finds strength and power within herself and Felix's unapologetic love for every piece of her doesn't hurt.

I highly recommend this one to everyone, especially if you read TSOS. I'm keeping my fingers crossed we'll get more and more books set in this multiverse.

Rep: fat Black demisexual MC, bi/pan Black/biracial MC, gay secondary, sapphic secondary, BIPOC secondary, queer normative world, nonbinary secondary

CW: fat shaming, racism, violence, alcohol consumption, alcoholism, mention of pandemic, discussion death of secondary character parent

#turnthepagetours #alechiadow #thekindredbooktour
Profile Image for USOM.
2,311 reviews194 followers
December 24, 2021
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

There's no lack of things I loved about The Kindred. First of all, I have so much admiration for what Alechia Dow has done with the world building. It's one of those settings or world building kernels where I'd spend days inside. There's a sense of history, of thought, and attention to detail. From every moment whether it be the social structure or the past, Alechia Dow's world blooms in front of you. Secondly, the characters, Felix and Joy, are so fully dimensional, quirky, and charming.

Apart they are endearing and flawed and wonderful. I was enamored with Joy's optimism and I loved Felix's defenses, the ways he hides his vulnerabilities. Together they are dynamite. Their vibes, banter, and dynamic is not only heart warming, but also entertaining to read. It's so easy to ship them because of how genuinely we love them as individuals.

full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
Profile Image for Emmalynn.
985 reviews12 followers
March 31, 2022
I had a hard time rating this book. It more realistically around a 2.7 rounded up to 3 stars because I really liked Joy. The book started out great, I was loving where I thought the story was headed anddddd then nothing, literally, it’s like the action stopped 🛑🛑🚫. I kept turning the pages wondering, wait, what happened?? Did I miss something?? 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️. No, no I didn’t, it’s like the author literally forgot where she was going with the plot once the kids landed on earth.
Me: where’s the space chase?? Where’s the bad guys? Where’s the adventures in space? Where’s the anything????

On the plus side, as noted before, I really liked Joy and her character development. I also liked Rashid and even though Sarah was initially set up to be someone to dislike as a mean girl, I do like that she connected with Joy over shared childhood experiences.

Felix is a mixed bag, for most of the book, I didn’t like him, but he grew on me with his very sincere efforts to do and be better for himself and Joy.

Yeah, but the book- WHAT THE HECK????? Ma’am !!! Why did you do this?? 😒😒😒😒
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449 reviews52 followers
January 10, 2022
Taylor Swift truly is universally loved. And by “universally”, I mean that when aliens land on Earth, they can’t help but really love Taylor Swift too.

Music as a universal language is only one of many themes explored in “The Kindred”, but it certainly is one of the most consistent. Family, both found and not, is another. But love, in all its myriad forms, looms the largest and provides the emotional framework for this story. Because this book has a huge heart, as big as all the galaxies between the home planets of our main characters and Earth.

This book is courageous with its open approach and attitude toward POC, plus-sized people, caste systems, class warfare, religious differences, sexuality, gender norms, toxic masculinity, and patriarchy. And it’s gregarious with its affection, words of affirmation, nonverbal communication as a form of exhibition, fast friendships, the human capacity for true charity, and using plain old kindness to build bridges and alliances.

Our main characters, Felix and Joy (and isn’t it cute that the name Felix means “lucky”?) have been attached at the… brain?… since Joy’s birth, which occurred 3 minutes after Felix’s, and that attachment has taken them through stage after stage of love, to the point where they’re beyond love. They’re woven into the fabric of each other’s selves. They’re stitched together at an atomic level. And somehow that manages to come through in Dow’s writing, through talking out loud, through their internal communications with one another, and through nonverbal communications and gestures you might not think of as communication normally, but communication it is. I’m not usually a fan of flashbacks, but the periodic flashbacks that show just how much Joy has meant to Felix (or vice-versa) or what one has done to avoid punishment or consequences for the other over the years really do a lot to serve as timely reminders of just how long these two have been emotionally tethered to one another and just how much two people can go through in those formative years of life.

On their own, Joy and Felix are each a delight, too. Felix is at turns pessimistic and overly earnest. Joy is wide-eyed and curious while still trying to keep a straight backbone. Even though Felix is the one who went to school, Joy is usually the one who is more capable of putting knowledge to good use. Felix has little to no people skills but is better at assimilation, but Joy is better with the humans. They truly balance one another out and are so respectful and adorable with one another that it makes you want to grab them out of the book and hug them.

The world-building is excellent for once! It was so nice to read a YA sci-fi romance with such good world-building! And I found it doubly impressive since there was a whole lot of story to pack into this book. Dow somehow made it all fit without making the book too long or making it too dense with information (which would’ve interrupted the creative flow).

This is just a great book. Plain and simple. Pure escapist fantasy with its own emotional soundtrack and a lot of love, love, love.
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