Author: Alexandra Duncan
Synopsis: SOUND is the stand-alone companion to Alexandra Duncan’s acclaimed novel Salvage, a debut that internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins called “kick-ass, brilliant, feminist science fiction.” For fans of Beth Revis, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica.
As a child, Ava’s adopted sister Miyole watched her mother take to the stars, piloting her own ship from Earth to space making deliveries. Now a teen herself, Miyole is finally living her dream as a research assistant on her very first space voyage. If she plays her cards right, she could even be given permission to conduct her own research and experiments in her own habitat lab on the flight home. But when her ship saves a rover that has been viciously attacked by looters and kidnappers, Miyole—along with a rescued rover girl named Cassia—embarks on a mission to rescue Cassia’s abducted brother, and that changes the course of Miyole’s life forever.
Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy of this book!
Last year I read Salvage by Duncan and I fell in LOVE with it. It was one of my top reads of the year. So I was so excited when I saw that she had a companion novel coming out this year! Sound takes place 20 years after Salvage. You do NOT have to have readSalvage to understand Sound. There are some crossover characters, and Miyole, our MC in this, is an important character in Salvage, but you can read this and understand it on it’s own.
One thing that I can’t help but ask is HOW ARE NOT MORE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THIS BOOK!? We have a queer bi-cultural person of color in this incredibly strong feminist sci-fi novel and I’ve hardly heard a thing about it! Come on guys! Miyole is Haitian by blood but she grew up in the Pacific ocean on basically a trash barge until it got blown away and then she moved to India with her adoptive sister Ava. This happened in Sound, but we get to see the results of this in Sound. Being Haitian means nothing to Miyole without her mother there to tell her stories about her native land. Instead Miyole, who is working on a deep sound research ship, struggles with her cultural identity. She doesn’t look ethnically Indian, but she grew up in India. I LOVED when Miyole was dressed in a sari and the Indian crew members commented on her effort to understand their culture. I could relate to her feelings and displacement SO WELL after having spent so much time in Japan, trying to fit in and be accepted and just not.
I also enjoyed how Miyole is unflinching in her sexuality. She doesn’t struggle with it and when she starts to fall for someone she goes for it. This is Miyole’s downfall at times, her heart speaks loudly and her brain doesn’t always catch up. But this is what got the story going, a beautiful girl and her family get their ship blown up, the brother gets captured, and Miyole takes off on a quest to save him.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this was the unique mix of cultures. It does take place in the far future, so it’s not surprising that cultures would blend and mix in such interesting ways once they leave the earth. I really enjoyed the mix of Japanese culture and language into this.
I also really liked how the pacing of this was so much different from Salvage. That takes place over a very long span of time, and it’s almost operatic. This is a much more contained story. I thought it was a nice juxtaposition against it’s predecessor.
Overall I really enjoyed this (maybe not as much as Salvage) and hope that it gets more recognition. It’s a very well done story that weaves important issues into it without coming off as cliche or overkill, and it’s a fun scifi that will keep you up late at night (as it did me!)