Review: The Kindred by Alechia Dow

Review by Eliza

Review first appeared at Leviathan Libraries

In the far reaches of space, every person’s paired with a kindred. Kindreds have birthdays close together and the idea is that with the ability to communicate with someone inside your mind, everyone has a voice.

The trouble is, some voices are listened to more than others. 

The royal family are supposed to receive comparable kindreds instead of being paired with commoners, but Duke Felix Hamdi was mysteriously paired with commoner Joy Abara. Like many other kindreds, they have a close bond, but their bond—and their lives—are in danger from a conspiracy to overthrow the royal family. Felix and Joy are framed for the assassinations of royal family members and must flee while they figure out how to clear their names and rescue Felix’s adopted parents. Their journey takes them to earth, where they must evade bounty hunters and figure out what’s going on before it’s too late to save their worlds.

The Kindred

The Kindred | Inkyard Press | Pub Date: 2022-01-04 | Pages: 400 | ISBN13: 978-1335418616 | Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Romance | Language: English | Source: NetGalley | Starred Review

The Kindred Review

True love finds a way during an intergalactic manhunt and a coup d’etat

Events in The Kindred predate the events in Alechia Dow’s The Sound of Stars, but each book features different characters so either book can be an entry point into Dow’s worlds. Like The Sound of Stars, romance is at the heart of The Kindred, although there’s plenty of action and intrigue as well.

Dow may have made Felix a gorgeous, royal male protagonist, but Felix is more than eye candy. He has asthma and suffers from stage fright, and those qualities humanize him from the start. Joy’s life is a struggle on every level. Her mom’s prompting her to marry a man who treats her like a commodity to ensure her financial security. She longs to write stories, but settles for selling books to make money to keep a roof over her head. At one point she tells Felix, Life … is not about getting the things we want. Her reality contracts with Felix’s situation, contrasting the life of a person with privilege against the life of a person without. 

While Dow does a great job showing the lack of equality in their kingdom, the humor is where she shines. There are plenty of twists and turns and the contrast between these two characters sets up humorous scenes from start to finish. Dow writes fast action scenes, which keep the story moving at a brisk pace. You could even argue Dow uses the humor and romance to deflect from other plot developments unfolding. There are subtle threads that don’t always seem pressing, but all the pieces matter in the end. At points, I wasn’t sure where things were going, but the ending resolved more than I expected.

The secondary characters are also fleshed out, and Dow does a nice job touching on grief and healing. It echoes the fears buried in Felix and Joy’s minds because of their concern for their families.

I’m not crazy about the vignettes included throughout. I understand they’re used to keep readers informed about developments Felix and Joy don’t know about and there’s nothing technically wrong with them. I just didn’t like stepping away from Felix and Joy for those short segments.

Ultimately, I think your opinion of The Kindred will depend on what you’re looking for from your read. If you’re looking for hardcore science fiction, this isn’t it. This is sci-fi lite with romance and heart. It’s a feel-good story where two teens find themselves and the courage to fight for what they want and save the ones they love. 

Consumers needing content warnings are urged to check out The Kindred‘s page on Does the Dog die by clicking this link: The Kindred (Book, 2022) –

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