The Best Of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord book review

The Best Of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord is out now from Jo Fletcher Books

Despite initially threatening to read like chick-lit with a sci-fi twist, Lord’s narrative improves and intrigues with progression.

When the Sadiri race is seriously diminished – particularly its females – extinction is imminent unless survivors can find themselves a possible spouse, so they scour the galaxy for potential partners. No, the blurb is not the book’s USP, but Lord’s intricately imagined universe is, which helps detract attention from the somewhat confused plot.

The mission begins with a clear focus: find the Sadiri prospective wives. However, as the narrative develops this is often forgotten in favour of illegal trafficking, unusual abilities and murderous thoughts at the theatre. Although, this likely makes for a better read than if it were to stick to its focus.

It can be a struggle determining who is involved in the mission, as members tend to come and go throughout. Difficulty pronouncing protagonists’ names doesn’t help, and the rather formal tone and non-nonsense attitude exuded by the Sadiri’s primarily makes them read as a lone character. However, their Sheldon-like practical way of thinking adds amusement, particularly when one accesses a colleague’s wife potential by ‘features that are visually pleasing.’

Although not a hugely gripping primary concept, the imagination behind her galaxy and its variations of the human race cannot be faulted. With cultural references – like Indiana Jones holovids and Shakespeare shows – it also proposes a plausible future.

With perseverance, it is an interesting narrative. Sub plots – not focused on soul-mate searching – make a pleasant read, but in true chick-lit style, the resulting couple can be guessed from the outset.