RoAnna Sylver's Reviews > Failure to Communicate

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 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 the sheer exquisiteness of it."

* * *

Sometimes theres no better words to read than 'Book 1.'

This is the first book in a series, and I am more grateful and joyful for this fact than I have been in a long time. (I'm also in love with TESTING PANDORA, the novella precursor, check my review of that out here! https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... )

This took me so long to write for two reasons:

1. Like Xandri, words escape me the more significant and intense a situation, feeling or concept is. The more I need to express it, the more difficult. This book is extremely important.

2. This book is so filled with amazing lines and moments and validations that choosing any to focus on - like my customary review-opening quote - was nearly impossible. Xandri's narration and voice and the acknowledgement of neurodiverse and autistic experience is incredible, the kind you only get from ownvoice writing. When we write our own stories, they ring so, so amazingly true.

They are beautiful. So I had to start with the beauty.

Synesthesia is something I have never read in another book so well-portrayed, so lush and vibrant and swirling and all-encompassing. The overwhelming, cataclysmic beauty of the universe, the awe, the sound and fury and color and movement in a voice, in stars, in motion, in breathing. My wonder is cerulean and my relief is violet swaying like reeds. My gratitude is tart orange-melon brush-whispering in a warm breeze.

Thank God, the glorious universe, and everything good in it - for this book that speaks my language. This is the first successful communication I've ever read, and a book that changed my life. There is nothing like being heard. There is nothing like not being alone.

And there is nothing more fun than lemony wicked-awesome aliens and intergalactic intrigue and starships that go really, REALLY fast. Or easy, natural, wonderful inclusion, growing bi polyamorous relationships with beautiful, wonderful people (who not only accept but adore Xandri for who she is), and adorable birds (and super-cool birdlike aliens!).

I just love this book so much. It deserves to be seen. It deserves to break out in a huge way.

I want it to explode across bestseller lists and public consciousness, and I want every sad, lonely, frightened person whose brain doesn't mesh with others or function the way we've been instructed... to read it. And take in the colors and people and "yes" waiting here. Yes, you belong. Yes, you are heard and understood.

Yes, it's going to be good.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 8, 2017 – Shelved
April 15, 2017 –
8.0% ""All these people in such a small space… it exhausted me, left me feeling like the ragged edges of worn out cloth."

This is forreal one of the most relatable/#Accurate nd/autistic povs I've ever read lmao"
April 15, 2017 –
11.0% ""Don’t apologize… The words were drowned out by other voices in my head, voices that scolded in familiar tones. Don’t speak so loud; it’s rude - and Calm down, Alexandria, you’re making a scene - and Alexandria, why must you flap your hands so?"

This is so good. Just. So good."
April 15, 2017 –
13.0% "Ahhh I love the bord people"
April 16, 2017 –
14.0% ""Why am I always surrounded by people who are infinitely more beautiful or infinitely more organized than I am?"

Same, Xandri, same"
April 16, 2017 –
15.0% "SYNESTHSIA. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. (This is wonderful and I've never seen it in a book before!)"
April 17, 2017 –
25.0% "Holy crap, was this book actually written for me? Best ND/autistic POV I've ever read, social overload, light/sound sensitivity, smooth polyamory rep, SYNESTHESIA. Super cute stimming with fuzzy alien friend's fur. Also really cool aliens. And the dialogue/interactions are so lively and natural - this book is slept on. It FEELS like it should just be a lot more known than it is.

...I'm just Happy. (SO FAR AT LEAST!)"
April 18, 2017 –
39.0% ""With these two, life sometimes looks like a really bad Ancient Earth romance novel."

...Am I getting MC poly-vibes? There's already canon bg poly (JOY!), but.

I will *scream* if this has main/endgame poly. (With boundless delight.)"
April 18, 2017 –
49.0% "“You’re amazing.”
“I am no one’s tool,” she retorted.
“I fail to see how that’s supposed to make you less amazing.”

...Same. So heart-eyes at Kiri rn

(Also, I'm kind of shipping Xandri/Everyone by now, which, given Poly Implications, is the opposite of a problem)"
April 18, 2017 –
54.0% "“The only thing I care to ride is a starship or the two of you. Unless either of those are an option, my feet are staying on the ground.”

EXCITED ACTUAL POLY NOISES!!!!!"
April 18, 2017 –
58.0% "“Don’t worry, fireball.” His breath was warm against my ear. “I’m getting you out of here.”

OH WOW MY FREAKING EMOTIONS, I DIDNT EVEN EXPECT THIS"
April 18, 2017 –
59.0% "I know I don’t have empathy like other people, and I don’t—feel the things I’m supposed to, I guess, because I never told my parents I loved them even when I felt it.... All they cared about was hunting her down and hurting her more. Twisting her life to their world and will. She wasn’t the right sort of thing, the acceptable sort of life, so they shoved her in a cage and—”

...god"
April 18, 2017 –
69.0% ""I almost went to them, almost coiled myself into that tangle of limbs and warm bodies."

POLY SCREAMING!!!!!!!! IS IT REALLY?!??! I HAVE BEEN HURT TOO MANY TIMES, SURPRISE POLY DONT FAIL ME NOW

(also, this is at 69% and i am twelve)"
April 18, 2017 –
70.0% "...Suspicious Noises......"
April 18, 2017 –
73.0% "SCARED INTENSE NOISES HOLY CRAAAAAPPP (Shit just got real Very Fast)"
April 18, 2017 –
80.0% "“I’m synesthetic. It—it basically means my senses are kind of mixed up. Like I can see sounds, and names and words have colors, and all sorts of things like that. Um, like, Diver is blue with a bit of gray mixed in, and Kiri is yellow, and—”

SCREAMS IN SYNESTHETE (it red)"
April 18, 2017 –
81.0% "Suspi...cious... Noi..ses..."
April 19, 2017 –
82.0% "SUSPICIOUS NOISES CONFIRMED
Whole book. Freakin called it."
April 19, 2017 –
83.0% ""There were two groups of people in the universe who would love to sabotage this alliance."

NEVER STOPS SCREAMING BC THIS IS SO GREAT, this is a WELL DONE twist and also i love being right ok"

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Alex 131 highlights!! Wow. But also I completely understand.


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