The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling 

As you can probably tell by now, i cabt resist a beautiful book cover. I have a hectic fortnight ahead of me with work trips and 2 weddings back-to-back, so I actually planned what I was going to read until the first week of September. It’s written in my planner and everything. I was supposed to have started reading Lorali next, but after Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls I needed a palate cleanser. 

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling is a young adult novel space. I felt positive it would not be disappointing. 

From the blurb:

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 hurtling 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. He becomes the sun for her, and she can’t help but stay in his orbit. To lose him would be like losing herself . . .

In the dark, can a heart still hope?

Randomly they called a little girl in my GP’s waiting room Seren yesterday whilst I was reading this book. I thought it was a made up name. It must be Welsh.*

Seren was born and will die on the space vessel Ventura. She is one of the 84th Generation of people born aboard the ship, part of an ongoing joint US-European mission to seek the source and meaning of a mysterious signal. 

The mission is expected to take 350 years each way, 700 years in total, and is currently on year 84. To ensure that the mission is successful there is a compulsory breeding programme; every child in every new generation is paired up with a “life partner” when they graduate the education programme aged 15-18 years old.  The graduates then have a mandatory 2 year service, during which they work in low-level jobs, establish careers, and begin to procreate. The teens have no say in who they will be forced to marry. There is no mention of same-sex pairings. Only procreation is important. 

At the beginning of the book Seren is mourning the loss of her great-grandmother, Bea, who was the last person aboard the ship with memories of Earth. Seren is extremely depressed, and doesn’t see the point in living out the path chosen for her, to aid a mission she didn’t choose to undertake, and of which she will never know the outcome. 

Seren’s family have accepted their lives, and don’t understand why Seren is unhappy with her lot in life. They are very worried as depression runs in the family, and Seren’s mother suffered from depression and killed herself as a result. 

Seren is sent to the mental health clinic where she meets Dom, and falls in love with him almost immediately. 

Seren and Dom have both already been assigned Life Partners and are expected to marry. Friends, family and co-worker all try to warn Seren & Dom to forget about each other, to accept their Fates but they can’t.  The Ventura’s mission relies on the breeding programme, and the people in authority will not allow anyone to interfer with their plans, however Seren and Dom refuse to give up their love, no matter the cost…

This was an interesting YA spacey read. I enjoyed it and will definitely read the next book in the series. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. If I hadn’t read Illuminae last month I probably would have given it a 4/5. That book has ruined me for all other space novels.

Let me know if you have read this book or plan to read it in the comments.


Stephani Xxx 

*Yes, it’s a Welsh name meaning star. Appropriate. What would we do without Google?


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