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Review of Natural Selection by Malinda Lo

by - May 28, 2014

Series: Adaptation #1.5
Format: eBook
Genres: Sci-Fi, LGBT, Novella,
Pages: 80
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: 03/09/2013
Find The Author: Website ¦ Twitter 

Amazon UK/US ¦ Goodreads

I was born on Earth, not Kurra. I'm not human,even though I try to be. My people, the Imria, think I'm a little unusual because of that. They call me an Earthsider: as if I've crossed a line, chosen a side. Gone native.
Before she met her girlfriend Reese, before she knew the role she would play in the fate of two worlds, Amber was a fifteen-year-old Imrian torn between two identities. Imrian by blood, Amber was forced to hide her true self to pass as human during the time she spent on earth. And even when she returns to Kurra, her human experiences, including first love and heartache, still separate her from her fellow Imrians. But when Amber undergoes kibila, a traditional Imrian coming-of-age ceremony during which Amber will choose her name and identity for the next fifteen years, she will be forced to either accept her role in both worlds or forge her own path.

Malinda Lo's digital exclusive novella companion to Adaptation and Inheritance takes readers on a journey through Amber's past, giving fans a glimpse into her life on Kurra and a deeper understanding of one of Adaptation's most compelling characters.

I fell in love with Amber when I first met her in Adaptation, and I was really disappointed when she barely appeared in Inheritance. Natural Selection isn't as bad as Inheritance (3/5), but it wasn't as good as Adaptation either (5/5). It was literally inbetween. I only dropped a star because there was a little too much rehashing of stuff I've read in previous books, a trend that I've never appreciated.

Natural Selection is set in two places, Earth and Kurra. It jumps to each world each chapter and I definitely found Amber's time in Kurra more memorable. Amber doesn't really fit in in her home planet and feels more at home on earth, where she isn't treated differently. On Kurra, she's the only one of her classmates that has visited Earth and naturally they're pretty curious about it, but still treat her with suspicion as her Earth ways and clothes are different to theirs.

Something I didn't know about the traditions on Kurra was something called kibila, a tradition where every fifteen years they er... walk a lot, switch off the telepathy thing and if they want to, select a new name. It's supposed to be a pretty spiritual experience and the person or people you go on this journey with on your fifteenth birthday is the person/people you'll go with on every journey.

If you read Adaptation, I'd say that Natural Selection is a must read. You get a lot of new information about Amber and Kurra that isn't mentioned in the books, plus it's all from Amber's point of view so you get a new perspective. 

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