Aopato by Margaret Afseth

Source: Own collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Sonia appears to be a typical grandmother at seventy-five. She thinks her worst fears have been realized when she is forced to move into a city senior complex.

She has always felt she was different. When a tiny sphere appears out of empty space, informs her she belongs to a lost race, she is not surprised. As the device knocks her in the forehead, a whole new reality opens up, and Sonia finds herself responsible not only for the welfare of dysfunctional family, but also holding the lives of a rag-tag inter-racial band of survivors. She calls these the invisible ones: Aopato (Ah-or-atos in Greek).

Sonia’s life goal will forever be the safety and happiness of those in her care. Why should it be any different now?

But there are those who oppose her, believing she has neither the skills or qualifications to carry out her function. Add to a contentious daughter and jealous brothers is the fact that the species has a natural vicious predator intent on eliminating all of their kind.

How could agape love be sufficient to conquer such hurdles? Will this struggling new remnant die at its birth?

When I read the first few chapters I must confess I found it difficult to settle into this book, as it sets off to rather a wobbly start. However, it soon settles down into the development of the alien civilisation.

The worldbuilding is plausible and very well-structured. Although quite complex in terms of relationship structures, Afseth handles this aspect very well, gradually building up the picture of how the race survives. I especially appreciated the red herrings that surrounded the climax of the story.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I did not give it five stars because I feel it could have done with some more editing to make it stand out, but it is nevertheless a memorable tale.

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