ARC Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress – 4 Stars

Yesterday's KinCover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there

This is a stand-alone short story or novella, release date 9/9/14

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

Aliens have landed in New York.

A deadly cloud of spores has already infected and killed the inhabitants of two worlds. Now that plague is heading for Earth, and threatens humans and aliens alike. Can either species be trusted to find the cure?

Geneticist Marianne Jenner is immersed in the desperate race to save humanity, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Siblings Elizabeth and Ryan are strident isolationists who agree only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Marianne’s youngest, Noah, is a loner addicted to a drug that constantly changes his identity. But between the four Jenners, the course of human history will be forever altered.

Earth’s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent human extinction—and not everyone is willing to wait.

My Review:

This is an interesting thought provoking sci-fi short story that I really enjoyed, once I got around to reading it…  The synopsis drew me in, but the cover almost chased me away.  I know-don’t judge a book by its cove-I know, but this one while beautiful, once you look at it long enough and read the story, is not exciting.  It is overcrowded and too busy, I just don’t think it does this story justice.  This is the main complaint I have about the story.  I put off reading it cause quite frankly didn’t think it was going to hold my attention,  I wondered why I had requested it in the first place.

Had I decided to skip this story, which I read in a matter of hours, I would have missed out on a very creative piece by an award winning author.  This is a smart science fiction story, and all the science sounds plausible and most of the time wasn’t too much over my head.  Near the end there was a few parts where my eyes glazed over and I had no clue what what being mentioned, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.  Science was never my strong point in school, despite the fact that I do enjoy science fiction stories tremendously.

I also enjoyed the story as a study of human nature and the author’s perception to how we would react to an ‘alien invasion’.  Unfortunately I don’t think she was very far off.  I also liked the twist she threw in for the aliens, and I can’t say anymore and remain spoiler free…  The story is told from two different perspective; Marianne and Noah, mother and son who play interesting roles in how this drama unfolds.  I liked the dynamics of their relationship and was sorry for how it ended up, one of the characters needed more closure.

The story reminded me of several movies; The Day the Earth Stood Still, Avatar, Contact, and Red Planet.  If you enjoyed these movies and sci-fi/alien related genre books I highly suggest you add this short story to your to-read list.  It will an enjoyable read for some rainy afternoon or even a short flight.



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