Review: Tomorrow’s Kin by Nancy Kress

Series: Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy #1
Published by: Tor
ISBN: 0765390299
ISBN 13: 9780765390295
Published: July 2017
Pages: 286
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Four out of Five
Related Reviews: Yesterday’s Kin (novella) (2014)

Having previously read and loved Yesterday’s Kin, I was eagerly looking forward to this extended version (though the page count doesn’t expand by much). It starts of the same, with Dr Marianne Jenner being collected by the FBI in the middle of an evening celebration dedicated to her and her work, as she’s needed for the alien issue. Because aliens have landed, and it’s her work specifically that the entire world is now relying on.

Four months ago aliens arrived on earth. They set up shop, didn’t allow anyone on board or (to anyone’s knowledge) leave their own ship, but they started communicating immediately with the UN in English that rapidly improved the more study they took. Two months ago they requested permission to land their structure in New York Harbour and in return they’ll share some of their knowledge of physics (though not technology).

Now, though, Marianne along with very few others have been specifically invited on board the vessel. And you’ll just have to read on to find out what happens next.

The point of view changes between Marianne, her son Noah (who’s a bit of a failure at pretty much everything), and though the book starts of with rather a narrow focus, it expands as the plot expands and the deadline of the whole point of the book is revealed. Though the whole ten month thing is almost negligible – what this is really all about is family – it’s what holds Marianne together, and it’s what drives the aliens onwards.

What I don’t really remember from reading Yesterday’s Kin was the slightly awkward choice of deaths – first to one of the few (only?) black characters (Sissy), and then to the only gay character. Marianne also then sleeps with Sissy’s husband, for some reason. Yes, it shows the failings of our ‘hero’, but the actual choices were disappointing.

Overall this is more of a three-and-a-half star rating, but I bumped it up to four in case it’s just my preconceived ideas from remembering loving Yesterday’s Kin way more than I ended up liking this one.

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