The Best of All Possible Worlds

  • by Karen Lord
  • Narrated by Robin Miles
  • 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Karen Lord’s debut novel, the multiple-award-winning Redemption in Indigo, announced the appearance of a major new talent—a strong, brilliantly innovative voice fusing Caribbean storytelling traditions and speculative fiction with subversive wit and incisive intellect. Compared by critics to such heavyweights as Nalo Hopkinson, China Miville, and Ursula K. Le Guin, Lord does indeed belong in such select company—yet, like them, she boldly blazes her own trail.
Now Lord returns with a second novel that exceeds the promise of her first. The Best of All Possible Worlds is a stunning science-fiction epic that is also a beautifully wrought, deeply moving love story.
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.


What the Critics Say

"This fascinating and thoughtful science fiction novel breaks out of the typical conflict-centered narrative paradigm to examine adaptation, social change, and human relationships. I’ve not read anything quite like it, which makes it that rare beast: a true original." (Kate Elliott, author of the Crown of Stars series and the Spiritwalker Trilogy)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Like a series of bad Star Trek episodes

It was a real struggle to finish this meandering novel full of annoying characters. Karen Lord set up an interesting premise and then seemed to forget what she was supposed to be writing about. None of the characters, except perhaps Dllenahkh, is compelling enough for the reader to care about. I found the protagonist, Delarua, uninteresting mostly because she was completely devoid of opinions or direction. Most of the book is written from her first-person perspective as she follows along the adventures of a group of aliens who scope out different towns on her planet. It seems each town pulls the author off of her purported thesis as she explores different social problems in each town. It ended up feeling like a series of bad Star Trek episodes, each one with a different ax to grind. But then suddenly and without a reason I could discern, we would get a scene in third person showing how other characters were reacting to whatever the dilemma of the day was. If Lord meant to write an anthropological scifi novel examining what it would be like to integrate a new population of telepaths into an existing social order, she got off track early and never got her groove back.

[I listened to this as an audio book. The reader was not the best, and since I wasn’t enjoying the story much, but had to finish for my book club, I ended up listening at 1.5 speed, which seemed just about right.]
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- Julie W. Capell "The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history"


I read 'redemption in indigo' sometime back and was captivated by Lord's writing style and Miles's narration. So when I came across this book, I was really looking forward to listening and even bought the book before I read the reviews. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit to being put off, but, I went back and listened to redemption in indigo, to remind myself why I liked Lord's unique narrative style and vivid imagination and plucked the courage to dive into this one.
Let's just say - wow! Definitely ranks in with the "unputdowenable"s" for me.

The world created for her characters, the style, the depiction, the mental stimulation - just does it for me. While I do enjoy all manner of romance, sci-fi, fantasy etc, I really enjoyed this unique take on romance that doesn't have to get bawdy (although nothing against a good dash of bawdiness!) and yet, delivers more with a look and a touch, that convey so much more! The narrator (Miles) did a really bang up job of portraying the characters truly.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out Lord herself is a descendant of some "Tishune" herself!
Really masterful story crafting and weaving. Can't wait for her next one!
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- A. Sunmonu "avid reader"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-12-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios