I kid you not. I read two books in a row with a character with the same name.
This was a pure coincidence, because throughout June, the internationally recognised Pride Month, I will be reading novels featuring LGBTQIA+ protagonists and authors. This author, who uses they/them pronouns, has an intersex protagonist and a trans-feminine love interest.
Aster works as a botanist on a starship called The Matilda. As the lower decks face power cuts on a regular basis, Aster’s bunkmate Giselle breaks a code found within Aster’s late mother’s diary entries. This leads Aster on a mission to find out what she was hiding, what is wrong with her home and the history of it. All the while, the medic she is apprenticed other has news that their leader is dying and about to be replaced by a far more corrupt leader.
The writing style was brought down this novel a lot for me. This is not a book for everyone and one I would not call accessible on the first read. The main POV characters, largely Aster, are very scientifically minded and analytical. This meant that the POV from a third person perspective almost felt non fiction and essay like for me. I stay away from non fiction in text form because I struggle to keep focus, and that’s how I felt about this book. Too much like a non fiction author giving a go at writing fiction.
One character was intriguing enough for me to continue reading. Giselle and her derangement was the only thing that kept me going, the only character in this novel with a personality and arc worth observing. Maybe it was just because she was so different from everyone being so monotone? And the things she does to get shit done too, now I write about this and think on it. We see one POV chapter from her perspective, and I think it may have been far more entertaining to read this story through her lens.
The plot had potential when paired with interesting worldbuilding. The politics of this novel was one of the few things I could understand and I enjoyed learning about that side of things and the poverty of the lower levels inside of this spacecraft. But more focus was put into sciences. I understand that it is a trope of sci fi, and maybe I’m realising how I don’t like this specific kind of sci fi. Ah well. I still liked the sci fi politics.
All that was ruined for me by a confusing ending. To my knowledge this book was a standalone. It ended on too many disappointing uncertainties. Too much depression. So much hard work to end in an eternal sadness for dear Aster. Literally. I would be okay with this kind of an ending if I knew why they decided to end this book in such a way, but as established there was a lot in this book I didn’t pick up.
So all in all, I was too stupid to enjoy this book.
An Unkindness of Ghosts gets a score of 2.5/5. Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped the science subjects the first chance I got.