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3.0 

The Blue, Beautiful World

By Karen Lord
The Blue, Beautiful World by Karen Lord digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

As first contact transforms Earth, a team of gifted visionaries races to create a new future in this wondrous science fiction novel from the award-winning author of The Best of All Possible Worlds.

“A complex story of first contact from a unique perspective that is warm, engaging, and wildly original.”—Martha Wells, New York Times bestselling author of The Murderbot Diaries


LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMENS PRIZE FOR FICTION

The world is changing, and humanity must change with it. Rising seas and soaring temperatures have radically transformed the face of Earth. Meanwhile, Earth is being observed from afar by other civilizations . . . and now they are ready to make contact.

Vying to prepare humanity for first contact are a group of dreamers and changemakers, including Peter Hendrix, the genius inventor behind the most advanced VR tech; Charyssa, a beloved celebrity icon with a passion for humanitarian work; and Kanoa, a member of a global council of young people drafted to reimagine the relationship between humankind and alien societies.

And they may have an unexpected secret weapon: Owen, a pop megastar whose ability to connect with his adoring fans is more than charisma. His hidden talent could be the key to uniting Earth as it looks toward the stars.

But Owen’s abilities are so unique that no one can control him and so seductive that he cannot help but use them. Can he transcend his human limitations and find the freedom he has always dreamed of? Or is he doomed to become the dictator of his nightmares?

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7 Reviews

3.0
“This started off really strong then I got lost halfway through. The length impacted the book as it didn’t seem to have enough time to really develop a full story so the pacing is a bit clunky Edit: ok so I’ve realised this seems to be part of a series of connected works? Maybe reading them first may have been a better idea, the galaxy game seems like it would have potentially given more context and a more impact to this one after reading the synopsis”
“(1.5 ⭐) The Blue, Beautiful World was inventive, with whispers of intriguing themes and a few characters who pulled me in, but it ultimately felt quite shallow. The first segment of the book follows pop superstar Owen (one name only), who has taken Earth by storm, but has a secret gravitational pull that allows him to be an joyous influencer or a controlling dictator. There’s a sudden time jump after the first 80 pages to then follow a group of young representatives preparing for (what they believe is) the first contact with alien societies. But this is not an unnerving tale of first contact as the marketing suggests – it is a smattering of events amidst a space opera series. There was no indication that this was part of a series until I opened Goodreads and saw the parentheses. Nothing in the blurb, nothing on the book itself, nothing in the email that offered me an early copy. So that was very challenging. I’m sure that I was missing information that would have made this a fuller read, but I generally wasn’t confused. You are, however, shoved right in without first giving you a reason to care about these other worlds, characters, and conflicts. And each transition was more jarring than the last. With the second segment of the book, there’s a strange amount of dramatic irony (the council members believe they are working on hypothetical situations; we know from the first part that aliens have been in contact for many years already) that wipes away all the tension. We’re waiting for them to catch up, and when they finally do the book ends almost immediately. There were interesting concepts, but I didn’t feel as though they were given enough gravity. Far too much content is covered in only 250 or so pages. I’m into the complexity, into the giant cast of characters, and into the themes that the space opera touched on, but I ended the book feeling unsure why this story was told and if there was a bigger picture. CW: parent death, colonization, grief, suicidal thoughts, war, xenophobia, vomit https://www.tiktok.com/@starrysteph for book recommendations! (I received an advance reader copy of this book; this is my honest review.)”

About Karen Lord

Barbadian writer Dr. Karen Lord is the author of Redemption in Indigo, which won the William L. Crawford Award and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Her other works include the science fiction novels The Best of All Possible Worlds and The Galaxy Game, and the crime fantasy novel Unraveling. Lord also edited the anthology New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean.

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