Book Review: Other Systems

Other Systems Image
Elizabeth Guizzetti
Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: 48fourteen publishing
Published:  2013
(There’s going to be a few spoilers in this review, nothing huge)
*Note: received copy of book from author; all opinions are my own.

                Without an influx of human DNA, the utopian colony of Kipos has eleven generations before it reaches failure. Earth is over ninety light-years away and time is short.
                On the over-crowded Earth, many see opportunity in Kipos’s need. After medical, intelligence, and physiological testing, Abby and her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid, are offered transportation. Along with 750,000 other strong young immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs, and the opportunity for higher education.
                While the Earthlings travel to the new planet in stasis, the Kiposi, terrified the savages will tain their paradise, pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate them.
                When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. Indentured to breed, she is drugged and systematically coerced. To survive, Abby learns the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world; her analytical mind. In order to escape her captors, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.


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                This was a stunning debut novel from Elizabeth Guizzetti, Other System’s is wonderfully imagined and written. This is an easy Science Fiction novel to get into if you’re looking to wet your feet in the adult genre, nothing will be over your head and too hard to imagine. All the world building, and space travel are easy to understand, nothing is too technical or advanced to the point of being frustrating to read or hard to understand.
                Kipos is a very fascinating world, with a really complex and slightly outlandish culture.  In a world struggling to create the next generation there were quite a few things that took place that seemed to strangely contradict this problem.  I would have loved to have seen a little more development in regards to Kipos and its religion however; I completely understand that the majority of this book takes place in space and is not planet bound.
                The main character Abby goes through  a considerable amount of trauma and heartache, it’s surprising to me that she’s not more jaded and perhaps what is more surprising is that she did not become bitter and cruel. Abby stays pure hearted, falls in love easily and only wants to belong, fit in and experience ‘true love’ and find a new family. She does indeed find a new family and each member of that family goes out of their way to protect her and guide her even when they at times don’t seem to like her.
                There was not a heavy romance element, which I was kind of sad about and happy about at the same time. A large part of me felt sad that Abby didn’t find anyone in the book because she’d been through so much and it would have been nice to see her with someone that actually cares about her romantically, emotionally and physically. There was such a heavy influence of Mark that I was really hoping that they would eventually pair up but that didn’t happen and when that didn’t happen I thought she’d pair up with Harden (Not that I really wanted that but you know) but nope! That’s okay though because Abby learned what her potential is and how to stand on her own two feet. She’s been through some battles and though she didn’t come out quite unscathed, she did come out with her fists up and her dignity intact.
                This novel does tackle a few sensitive issues, such as rape and abortion: including forced sterilization so if any of those subjects bother you, I’d take notice before you read this book. However, I can say that it is done tastefully (Thank goodness) and there are no real graphic details or emphasis put on those aspects of the book.
                Definitely worth checking out, would recommend and I am looking forward to see where Elizabeth Guizzetti’s next novels will take her in the future.


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