The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling

I won this book in a competition run by Maximumpopbooks (https://twitter.com/maximumpopbooks) and despite not having heard of the book or author before the competition I absolutely loved it.

Also, I just really like the name of the book, it suits the whole story so well, and the cover that I have is just so beautiful!

The setting was really interesting, based on a spaceship that is traveling from Earth to follow some sort of sound beacon coming from a far away planet, and so the characters are all of a generation who were born on the spaceship but are also never going to see the place that the signal is coming from. This was great because of the way that this linked into the mindsets of certain characters and made what I thought was just going to be a love story into something that questions the point of life, relationships, and societal norms.

The ship has a ton of rules and laws, but the one that I’d consider being the main law is that love is banned. In this respect the novel is a lot like Lauren Oliver’s Delirium which I also loved, yet the 2 novels are quite different overall, and something that I felt really set The Loneliness of Distant Beings apart was actually the mindsets of the characters. There are so many points throughout the novel where it all seems helpless and like there is no purpose for the lives of these characters, whereas the books that I normally like tend to be quite optimistic, yet rather than this difference making the book just really bleak, it kept me in suspense the entire time that I was reading.

Then the characters were all so interesting too; the main character, Seren, was really authentic and likeable, even when I didn’t agree with her viewpoints or actions, and Dom was so intriguing as I felt like I was always trying to figure his character out and whether he could be trusted. The whole novel really gave a full view of the characters as flawed, and gave a great insight into their viewpoints on major issues such as their purpose in life, rather than just being hero and villain figures like in other dystopian novels.

Overall I thought this was an amazing book that ended up offering a lot more to think about than I thought it would and has left me wanting to read more by Kate Ling. I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone as it combines a lot of different ideas and themes, kept me on the edge of my seat, and can be seen as both a great plot and something that makes the reader question certain things both within the novel and their own lives.

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