The Kindred by Alecia Dow
The Kindred is a new young adult science fiction romance novel by Alecia Dow, author of The Sound of Stars. Fans of her previous book will recognize a few things, as the books coexist in the same alternate reality, and Dow’s penchant for tying music and lyrics into her books is evident here. So is her love of food, and her fierce representation of beautiful, curvy black girls. Her main character, Joy, is everything we need in a YA main character.
In the Monchuri system, the rich and the poor are bonded randomly at birth to help give all citizens a voice after a failed class warfare. Even so, Duke Felix Hamdi was never meant to bond with someone as poor as Joy Abara. Bonded pairs, called Kindreds, often fall in love due to the close connection they share, but with Felix in line for the throne, any romantic interest between them is harshly quashed by their families and the king’s fix-it man, who closely monitors this unusual pair.
The two live miserable half-lives, separated by circumstances beyond their control, compounded by the physical distance of growing up on two separate planets. The bond allows them to share thoughts and emotions, and to see each other across vast distances. Joy can see the wealth and luxury Felix grows up with, while Felix aches to see his Kindred’s poverty. They have shared everything since birth without ever standing on the same planet. Felix hopes for a chance to meet Joy in person and save her from her unhappy fate, but Joy has accepted that she’s beneath his station.
When the Kindred pair are framed for the assassination of the royal family, Felix escapes, rescues Joy, and they flee the Monchuri system. They are hunted as traitors and crash land on a strange planet far from home: Earth. Together in person for the first time, they can no longer deny the love they feel for each other. That love may be the only thing that can save their homeworlds.
Throughout the book, Felix’s love of Joy is honest and kind. He is the romantic hero every girl needs on her side. When the two come together, it’s simply magical. It’s a love that can save a kingdom.
Advance Reading Copy provided by Inkyard Press via Netgalley at my request.