An Unkindness of Ghosts is an incredible science fiction book that hit my radar recently. I requested it, and upon receiving it (and once I finished drooling over the cover, which is spectacular) read it in less than 24 hours. It isn't a light read, I was simply unable to put it down.
Aster is different; people think she is a freak. Aster lives in the lower decks of the HSS Matilda, a generation ship that left Earth centuries ago searching for the Promised Land. The ship is organized like the antebellum South- those of lighter color are higher rank, and the darker you are, the lower your status. Harsh moral restrictions and various indignities are piled on top of the "lower decks", who are viewed as little more than tools and animals by some of the leadership of the vessel- a necessary evil.
This is an incredible book. I'm not even certain where to start- a diverse range of characters, gender fluidity and diversity among the characters, and Aster being non-neurotypical are all parts of what makes this book so great. The narrative follows Aster for the most part, but breaks off here and there with the views of those characters closest to Aster: Theo, the Surgeon of uncertain parentage who was born pale enough to be allowed an upper deck existence, Aint Melusine, who raised Aster, and Giselle, Aster's friend and instigator. The world and character building are detailed and smooth, and the development of each character is articulate and makes sense (I hate when a character goes in a nonsensical direction of a sudden).
An Unkindness of Ghosts touches on/grabs by the throat and shoves into the light social and racial inequalities, gender issues, and so much more that is relevant today. It is what I wish every book could be: an exploration of the best and worst parts of society in a literary setting. If you read this when it comes out, you will not be able to forget it.