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If Tomorrow Comes by Nancy Kress

If Tomorrow Comes

by Nancy Kress

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This review and others posted over at my blog.

Thank you to Tor for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

The sequel to Tomorrow's Kin didn’t disappoint. Kress kept it fresh with a new setting and some new characters, but a few familiar faces turn up.

Dr. Jenner joins the crew of the Friendship on the first expedition to Kindred, known as World by the people who inhabit it, the planet the “aliens” came from over a decade ago. Disaster strikes before Dr. Jenner and the rest of the crew can reach World however. Once on the planet, the punches don’t stop coming – rather than the high-tech, advanced society they assumed the people of Kindred possessed, the Terrans find a simplified society and tech even less developed than that of Earth.

This poses a problem for the people of Kindred, as the spore cloud that wreaked so much havoc on Earth is headed there way. Despite using the intelligence of the scientists of Earth when they visited, the people of Kindred have not developed a vaccine to the spores that will most likely destroy most of their population.

Much like the first book, the majority of the story takes place in a lab and revolves around a team trying to develop a vaccine. Unlike the first book, the scientists are dealing with limited tech and resources and find themselves amid a group of hostile natives and “protected” by a small troop of trigger-happy Rangers. The tension is much higher in this book and we get a look at the lifestyle and society of the people of Kindred.

I enjoyed some of the new characters and was annoyed by others and I think this added to the tension that Kress created. Once more, I feel like I shouldn’t say much about what happens in the book. A) You need to read Tomorrow’s Kin first and B) the details are best discovered through reading.

The plot continued to take unexpected turns and I was once again very involved in Dr. Jenner’s lives, as well as some of the other characters. I don’t want to say that not a lot happens in these books, because I’m sure if I broke down the major scenes, a lot happens. But it feels like Kress accomplishes a lot of character development and action within a limited amount of scenes or environments.

Really, I’m not quite sure what I’m saying – surprising none of you. Let me just repeat that I enjoyed this sequel. I think it’s as solid as the first!
I suddenly realized that the prologue left me with some unanswered questions. Either this is something that will resolve itself in the third book, or I definitely missed a detail. If you’ve read this and you know that I’ve missed some explanation, please let me know! Until then, it’s just one more reason to look forward to Terran Tomorrow, which comes out in November (ugh, I have to wait that long!?)

The book ends with a cliffhanger (a…spacehanger?) and I can’t wait to read more. Whereas the first book focused a lot on environmental science and political tension, this book centers more around medical science and social tension. There are some similar themes that certainly link the two books together, but nothing felt stale or repeated. If you haven’t yet started this series and any of this sounds interesting to you, I strongly suggest you pick it up! ( )
  MillieHennessy | Jun 18, 2018 |
If Tomorrow Comes is written well, has good flow and the characters are really quite good. But while the over all plot isn't bad, in detail it is a mix of everything going wrong, complete gimmicky set ups and by the skin of their teeth survivals. Disbelief requires suspenders and belts to get through, and even both can't really hold. Arriving years late on a time critical mission, blown out of space, crash landing on a bombed planet, most of those who reach the planet get through gut reforesting, lack of almost all expected resources, three separate violent group actions by local residents, paranoid drugged misleadership by military command, survivalist kidnappings, not to mention plague and counter plague. Oh, I left out the ectopic pregnancy because there is after all only one, and the wounds and concussions, because not everybody gets one. And there is more. Nancy Kress has added a surprise set up for the survivors which may have an interesting impact on those who eventually make it back to earth. ( )
  quondame | Apr 6, 2018 |
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Ten years after the Aliens left Earth, humanity succeeds in building a ship, Friendship, to follow them home to Kindred. Aboard are a crew of scientists, diplomats, and a squad of Rangers to protect them. But when the Friendship arrives, they find nothing they expected. No interplanetary culture, no industrial base-and no cure for the spore disease. A timeslip in the apparently instantaneous travel between worlds has occurred and far more than ten years have passed. Once again scientists find themselves in a race against time to save humanity and their kind from a deadly virus while a clock of a different sort runs down on a military solution no less deadly to all. Amid devastation and plague come stories of heroism and sacrifice and of genetic destiny and free choice, with its implicit promise of conscious change.… (more)

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