Monday, September 16, 2013

REVIEW: Kindreds: An Alliance of Bloods

Title: Kindreds: An Alliance of Bloods
Author: Tani Mura
Genre: novel
Price: $2.99 (ebook)
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Point of Sale: Amazon  
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

When I started reading Kindreds, I found myself following a mental checklist.  Plucky female heroine with convenient and atypical combat skills?  Check.  Dystopian future America ruled by crazed dictator?  Check.  One big capital city where everybody likes Latin names?  Check.  The checklist was that of “Hunger Games fanfic” and Tani Mura hit all the marks.  Now, she doesn’t have a gladiatorial game, and her society is organized along lines of strict racial segregation, so Suzanne Collins isn’t going to be suing for copyright infringement, but Kindreds is clearly influenced and patterned after Hunger Games

Having said that, I rather enjoyed the Hunger Games, so I was hopeful for Kindreds.  But I find myself ambivalent at best over Ms. Mura’s story.  One of the many tropes of fantasy is “The Chosen One” – some person born to save us all.  Here, Ms. Mura’s lead character Raine is that chosen one, although per the standard script, Raine doesn’t realize she’s chosen until much later. 

And Kindreds is really fantasy, not science fiction.  The technology is more technobabble, and geology seems to have been ignored in the creation of the world.  I found many of the secondary characters cardboard cutouts, and some of the action sequences not very plausible.  Per Mura’s blog, she’s writing as a hobby.  There’s nothing wrong with that (I’m certainly not making a living writing) but this piece of hobby-writing didn’t strike me as worth the effort.  The only reason I’m rating it as a six out of ten is that the presentation and editing is well-done, and if you’re looking for more in the Hunger Games world this may fit your bill.


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