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Book Review: The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling

Are you familiar with the tweets of @BroodingYAHero? (if no, go check them out, they’re hilarious). Well, this author clearly is, and has used every single one of them to create a ‘plot’. I really hated this book, like to the point where I don’t know if I want to review it, purely because I like to be nice to people and not trash talk them on the internet. Plus I’ve seen that episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory writes a bad review of the ballet and the dancer shouts at her in the canteen. I don’t want that! But I also want to be honest on here and not just post about the books I loved. No one can love every single book they read right? No one has an ability to pick a book that well.

lonely“Even though she knows it’s impossible, Seren longs to have the sunshine on her skin. It’s something she feels she needs to stay sane. But when you’re floating through space at thousands of kilometres an hour, sometimes you have to accept there are things you cannot change.
Except that the arrival of Dom in her life changes everything in ways she can barely comprehend. For a while he becomes the Sun for her; and she can’t help but stay in his orbit. Being with him flaunts every rule designed to keep their home in order, but to lose him would be like losing herself.

In the end they must decide what is most important: loyalty to the only home they’ve ever known, or to each other?”

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking: “Jemmer, you’ve said so many times that you’re done with YA romance, did you even read the blurb before you picked this up?!” Erm… No. The answer is no. To be quite honest with you, I thought this was a different book. I had been hearing lots of hype about a book with a long ass title and a similar cover and similar plot and I found this in the proof pile at work and thought it was the same one, OK? The book I actually wanted to read is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers but I didn’t realise until I was about half way through. Look the cover is basically the same.


Anyway, having realised I was reading the wrong book I decided to persevere; after all it’s an interesting concept, a small crew in the middle of deep space on a mission to find a new planet, never having seen earth. Rules to break, potential coups to stage, characters to meet, all very interesting. *Sigh* if only it could have lived up to it.

It started off well, there was talk of depression and living with mental illness and I was like “Oo! This could be really interesting” and then literally about 3 pages later she meets the guy and they fall in instalove and she instantly forgets the depression and the whole book is basically one big kissing session punctuated by the guy she is being forced to marry occasionally popping up and being a douch nozel, until he randomly does a 180 and goes all Draco Malfoy (AVPM not JKR): “I’m really nice now.” It makes no sense. There are so many themes that could have been explored and so many wasted opportunities. The whole being-forced-to-marry-to-keep-the-population-under-control thing, could have been so much more interesting, but instead we get a whiny 16 year old complaining about her match (whom she doesn’t actually have to spend time with if she doesn’t want to) and swanning off to meet the fish boy in not-very-secret rendezvouses. “We must keep this secret. Let’s not be subtle at all!”

So clearly I liked this enough to keep reading, and you are correct. It was predictable and full of cliches, but it was interesting enough and didn’t offend me as much as some books have in the past (shout out to The Sin Eater’s Daughter), but then came the climax. The end of the book. The part where all the stuff happens and shit goes down and OH GOD WHY!?!? I want to be spoiler free, so I’ll keep it short. How can something set in space be this scientifically inaccurate? Have you never seen Star Trek/Wars/Gate? Why would you set your book in space and then get the one most important factoid wrong?


This is what offended me most. That and the fact that people also don’t come back from the dead if they’ve been dead more than a few minutes. Hours is impossible, even with a conveniently undamaged defibrillator. Just no. They dead. Oh and conveniently-unconscious-4th-character was a great twist too.

Wow. I said I wasn’t going to trash this didn’t I? Erm… I’m sorry. This is just my opinion and there are people out there who have and will enjoy reading this, but it’s not for me. Next time, I’ll make sure I’m reading the right book first. 2 stars, because I reserve the 1 star reviews for book I didn’t finish.

2/5 **


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