I’m going to be frank with you. An Unkindness of Ghosts is stellar, hard-hitting, but absolutely brutal, honest in its depictions of systemic oppression and its machinations. Second, despite the importance of what this book explores and its insightful storytelling and worldbuilding, this book is not for everyone – or, requires some emotional and mental preparation before delving into this rich and dark story.
The story follows Aster, a lower-class healer that lives abroad the HSS Matilda, a colossal generation ship that is carrying the remnants of humanity to the ‘Promised Land’ after Earth’s decimations centuries ago. Following the mysterious death of their leader, Aster finds herself the key to this mystery – and may be the tinder that will ignite revolution within the spacecraft.
Before I tell you all why you should read this book, I also think it’s important for me to start with the caveats.
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When you visit Varian’s corner of the Pond, they look like they’re busy doing… needlework? When they see you approach, they wave and beckon you over with a big smile.
“Good day to you, friend,” greets Varian. “Give me one moment, I’m almost finished.”
You look over Varian’s shoulder and see a rainbow infinity symbol cross-stitched into the fabric they are holding, and right next to it is a rainbow heart! The cross-stitch isn’t too neat, but you can tell that Varian put a lot of love into this cross-stitching.
“And done!” says Varian as they snip off the thread. They hold it up to you, and give you a shy smile. “Gen suggested that I take a break from making costumes because, even though I love it, it can get pretty tiring! So Xiaolong suggested that I do some cross-stitching — I’m not very good yet, but it is very relaxing, and I quite enjoy it.
“The rainbow infinity is for Autistic Pride Month, and the rainbow heart is for diversity. I want to support our autistic friends, so I also want to recommend some books by autistic authors to you as well.”
That sounds great! It looks like Gen had a lot of fun cross-stitching this, and you have a feeling they are going to have fun recommending some books to you as well.
Hello friends! I hope you all are reading some wonderful books. ✨
In case you’re new to the Pond’s recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has shown you their latest costume, they will always recommend a book that inspired that costume.
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