Book review: The Best Of All Possible Worlds

The Best Of All Possible Worlds


Karen LORD

320 pages

Published by Del Rey in February 2013

Ebook received from Del Rey/Random House
via Netgalley

The Best Of All Possible Wo

This book counts for the following Reading Challenge:

New Authors 2013




I had a really hard time with this book. I guess I was not smart enough to figure out who was who, what was happening, and even going back a few times to read the Goodreads synopsis did not help. In fact, I was wondering if I was reading the same book, same with a few hyper positive reviews published there. Was my egalley flawed and very different from the hardcover??

Maybe it was too much pure scifi to me? Actually, it was not even completely pure scifi as suddenly some fantasy elements appear, unexpectedly.

I even thought the writing was not that good, and rather disjunctive, and it was hard for me to make the connections between the different episodes.

I didn’t feel any real depth in the characters either; and I found the dialogues really superficial.

It was also a very slow read for me, I felt stuck in the mud not seeing where we going, if we were going anywhere. The only real good scene I thought was precisely when the characters got stuck themselves, in this subterranean city near the end of the novel.

The only reason I finished it was I had requested it! The synopsis sounds so much better than the book itself to me.

Seeing the author’s award, I guess you should read it if you really know how to appreciate scifi, or even dystopian?


A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all. [Goodreads]


Karen Lord

Karen Lord has been a physics teacher, a diplomat, a part-time soldier, and an academic at various times and in various countries. She is now a writer and research consultant in Barbados.

She won the Frank Collymore Literary Award for 2008 with the manuscript of the fantasy novel Redemption in Indigo and again for 2009 with the science fiction manuscript The Best of All Possible Worlds. She was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (2012).

Redemption in Indigo, which was published in July 2010 by Small Beer Press, won the 2011 William L. Crawford Award, the 2011 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, the 2010 Carl Brandon Parallax Award and the 2012 Kitschies Golden Tentacle (Best Debut). It was also longlisted for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and nominated for the 2011 World Fantasy Award (Novel).


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7 thoughts on “Book review: The Best Of All Possible Worlds

  1. Pingback: 2013: March wrap-up | Words And Peace

  2. Pingback: New Authors Reading Challenge 2013 | Words And Peace

  3. It’s a shame you had such a bad experience with this title. As you know, while I found much to like with it (and ultimately awarded it 4 stars), it was not without its faults. Its differences compared to the usual fare were what struck a chord with me I think.

    Emma, have you read The Scream by Laurent Graff, or its original form, Le Cri in French? It is not sci-fi. I would call it literary dystopian.


  4. Pingback: 2013 Ebook Reading Challenge | Words And Peace

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