Book Review: Sisters of the Vast Black

Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather

🌺🌺🌺🌺/4

“We should go because I would want someone to come for us. We’re all just scattered, lonely specks out here, unless we try to be more. We shouldn’t be brutal just because the universe is.”

The sisters of the Our Lady of Impossible Constellations live a life of austerity and piousness aboard their living ship—and they face decision points that threaten their internal and external way of life, bringing relief to the pockets of humanity scattered about the vast black.

I don’t know what it is, but this is the second book about queer nuns in space that I’ve read this month. And I loved both books!

This one is very much a bleak dystopian of humankind after the nuclear holocaust, when those who left Earth tried to break away from those who stayed, and the aftermath of that struggle. It’s a book of choices and sacrifice, of centralized government and decentralized command, of second chances and trying to make the world a better place. Of theology and humanity. Of small worlds intersecting with a larger one, and small actions beating rapidly into something much, much bigger. Of insignificant and significant consequences.

It’s also vaguely a biohorror book? The sisters live inside a living creature, and some of the descriptions of the ship made me not want to eat ever again, along with descriptions of the many diseases plaguing humankind in this brave new world.

All of the sisters had their own motivations and desires, and for the most part felt real (at least the ones who were given more page time—others felt like names on pages). I did like the deep mystery involving the Mother Superior, and the idea that every single sister had a past that informed and influenced her present.

Anywho, this was a very bad review, but the book was enjoyable. If you enjoyed Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion or other hard-ish sci-fi stories, try this one out.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

Sisters of the Vast Black releases 29 October 2019 from Tor.com

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