Yesterday's Kin

Yesterday's Kin - Nancy Kress

(I got an ARC courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

This was a quick and pleasant read, though I must admit I guessed the twist fairly easily (am I getting good, or what? I used to never see them coming...).

I quite liked the science the story rested on (mitochondrial DNA). I'm not knowledgeable enough to tell whether everything was right or not, but it seemed to me it was, and I didn't find it difficult to follow the more technical explanations later in the book.

The relationships between characters were interesting, and echoed the way aliens and terrans remained estranged from each other: isolationist aliens, communicating only with a select few, in an isolationist country, while the world has to face the prospect of a widespread, lethal disease... yet all the while, the concept of "family" keeps playing an important role, as a reminder that no matter what, emotional ties remain strong.

The reason why I didn't like this book more is mostly because I thought it was too short. There would have been so many aspects to explore, go deeper into: the characters themselves (interesting family dynamics, that would've deserved more "screen time", especially as far as Ryan and Elizabeth were concerned); the reactions in the months between the aliens' arrival and the actual beginning of the story; the reactions of the rest of the world, too. The novel broached these topics, and gave more than just a few pointers—yet for me, it was a case of "either you've said too much, or not enough". I wanted more, plain and simple, more of what looked like a fascinating society (the aliens), more of the humans' actions and views on what would happen after the end. There's a strong opening there, with two equally strong possible outcomes, and I felt it just ended a little too abruptly.

A good and entertaining story nonetheless. I do'nt think I've ever read any novel by this author (though I have one of her "how to write" books), but I'd definitely check out for more of her works in the future.