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Sister Mine [Kindle Edition]

Nalo Hopkinson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
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Book Description


Nalo Hopkinson--winner of the John W. Campbell Award, the Sunburst Award, and the World Fantasy award (among others), and lauded as one of our "most inventive and brilliant writers" (New York Post)--returns with a new work. With her singular voice and characteristic sharp insight, she explores the relationship between two sisters in this richly textured and deeply moving novel . . .


We'd had to be cut free of our mother's womb. She'd never have been able to push the two-headed sport that was me and Abby out the usual way. Abby and I were fused, you see. Conjoined twins. Abby's head, torso, and left arm protruded from my chest. But here's the real kicker; Abby had the magic, I didn't. Far as the Family was concerned, Abby was one of them, though cursed, as I was, with the tragic flaw of mortality.

Now adults, Makeda and Abby still share their childhood home. The surgery to separate the two girls gave Abby a permanent limp, but left Makeda with what feels like an even worse deformity: no mojo. The daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things--a highly unusual childhood that made them extremely close. Ever since Abby's magical talent began to develop, though, in the form of an unearthly singing voice, the sisters have become increasingly distant.

Today, Makeda has decided it's high time to move out and make her own life among the other nonmagical, claypicken humans--after all, she's one of them. In Cheerful Rest, a run-down warehouse space, Makeda finds exactly what she's been looking for: an opportunity to live apart from Abby and begin building her own independent life. There's even a resident band, led by the charismatic (and attractive) building superintendent.

But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to discover her own talent--and reconcile with Abby--if she's to have a hope of saving him . . .

Editorial Reviews


"Acclaimed novelist Nalo Hopkinson is well-known for her unique postmodern mythos, often drawing on Caribbean folklore, and placing complex characters smack in the center of worlds whose magic isn't always kind and in which decisions are rarely easy. Her newest novel, Sister Mine, has a lighter edge than some of her previous work; it's an engaging, messy fable about the interconnectedness of even the little things in our lives...This is a book about family, and Sister Mine remains a suitably imperfect and vibrant story of family in all its unfathomable wonders and annoyances, and the power it holds over us - or gives us."—NPR

"She's a powerful writer with an imagination that most of us would kill for. I have read everything she has written and am in awe of her many gifts. And her protagonists are unforgettable - formidable haunted women drawn with an almost unbearable honesty - seriously, who writes sisters like Nalo? Takes courage to be that true."—Junot Diaz, in the LA Times

"Hopkinson's most wildly imaginative novel since Brown Girl in the Ring.... and some of her most accomplished prose to date; at one point, she conveys the multivalent perceptions of Makeda through stunning passages of pure synaesthesia."—Locus

"While the fantastical is ever-present, it's the personal and familial that make Sister Mine engaging and captivating. Self-doubt, interpersonal conflict and the struggle for acceptance are just as powerful as the novel's magical objects. Hopkinson's deeply saturated, poetic language is perfect to relate this story, which is deeply felt."—Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"The comingling of the fantastical and the real world in this urban fantasy is seamless and surprisingly credible . . . complex relationships and knotty family ties, all with a tasty supernatural flavor."—School Library Journal blog

"Hopkins writes in the tradition of African-American science fiction authors like Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler, but her approach is singularly expansive, a mythography of the black diaspora. (There are parallels with fellow Caribbean native Junot Diaz's work, not to mention King Rat, China Mieville's similarly musical urban fantasy.) . . . Hopkinson's prose intermingles the quotidian settings and cosmic mysticism with sly, assured ease."—National Post (Canada)

"Hopkinson is extremely talented at crafting complicated protagonists, and Makeda is no exception...Her books always feel like glimpses into worlds that are fully detailed and stand on their own...Another great novel from one of the best fantasy authors working today."—

"The author of sci-fi classics The Salt Roads (2003) and Brown Girl in the Ring (1998), conjures up another hit with Sister Mine."—Essence Magazine

"As audacious as it is addictive."—A Toronto Life "Must Read"

"Hopkinson has lost none of her gift for salty, Caribbean-Canadian talk...and the relationship between Makeda and Abby always rings true: resentment and anger enduringly intertwined with love and loyalty."—Kirkus Reviews

"Sister Mine explores kinship, twinship, and the intense rivalry and intimacy unique to sisters...a fast-paced, slyly transgressive, satisfying supernatural adventure."—The Cascadia Subduction Zone

"A most impressive work . . . vivid and richly nuanced, utterly realistic yet still somehow touched with magic."—Toronto Star on The New Moon's Arms

"With sly humor and great tenderness, Hopkinson draws out the hope residing in age and change."—Toronto Globe and Mail on The New Moon's Arms

"[A] considerable talent for character, voice, and lushly sensual writing . . . her most convincing and complex character to date."—Locus on The New Moon's Arms

"A book of wonder, courage, and magic . . . an electrifying bravura performance by one of our most important writers."—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao on The Salt Roads

"Sexy, disturbing, touching, wildly comic. A tour de force from one of our most striking new voices in fiction."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on The Salt Roads

"Vibrant . . . stunning . . . Hopkinson puts her lyrical gifts to good use."—New York Times Book Review on Skin Folk

"Hopkinson has already captured readers with her unique combination of Caribbean folklore, sensual characters, and rhythmic prose. These stories further illustrate her broad range of subjects."—Booklist on Skin Folk

"Succeeds on a grand scale . . . Hopkinson's narrative voice has a way of getting under the skin."—New York Times Book Review on Midnight Robber

"Rich and complex . . . Hopkinson owns one of the more important and original voices in SF."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Midnight Robber

"Excellent . . . a bright, original mix of future urban decay and West Indian magic . . . strongly rooted in character and place."—Sunday Denver Post on Brown Girl in the Ring

"Utterly original . . . the debut of a major talent. Gripping, memorable, and beautiful."—Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club on Brown Girl in the Ring

About the Author

Nalo Hopkinson has won numerous awards including the John W. Campbell Award, the World Fantasy Award, and Canada's Sunburst Award for Literature of the Fantastic. Her award-winning short fiction collection Skin Folk was selected for the 2002 New York Times Summer Reading List and was one of the New York Times Best Books of the Year. Born in Jamaica, Nalo has lived in Guyana, Trinidad, and Canada.

Robin Miles is a Golden Voice, Audiofile Magazine's top 30 voices in the U.S., whose numerous performing & directing awards include Audies, Earphones, and several ""Best of the Year"" designations. She has narrated over 200 audiobooks, including bestsellers, Cleopatra: A Life and The Warmth of Other Suns, in addition to museum installations and documentary films. She handles archaic historical fiction, SciFi/Fantasy, Romance, and poetry with equal agility and you will find her memorable work in almost all genres. Additional credits include Broadway's The Violet Hour, many Shakespeare and classic stage plays, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and National Geographic's Tales from the Wild. She is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.) and The Yale School of Drama (M.F.A.), and owns Voxpertise, Inc., a VO production company and voice training company in NYC.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1428 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008TVA6HO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,065 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ FOR FOLKLORE & MYTHOLOGY FANS April 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To me, not much can be negative in a book that features Jimi Hendrix's guitar as the male character Lars, boyfriend to one of the twins in this masterful mythological work. With the exception of the mention (not an actual description) of incestuous relations (consensual, at least), the book is exquisite: prose-worthy, humorous, all-around different than the usual publications. As in mythology, one twin--Abigail--is divine and the other--Makeda--is not. Their relatives include the Grim Reaper, the Ocean and the Bejis who are also twins (according to the Yoruba in Nigeria who call them Ibejis). Twins appear in most world mythologies so rather than trying to match them up, I just sat back (against my pillow in bed) and enjoyed the story. Accessible and imperfectly perfect, it is easy to relate to these Geminis. If you are interested in family, love, jealousy, and the childish but very real desire for justice, be sure to add Sister Mine to your reading list.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nalo is in good form April 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual, Nalo tells a good story. Some of the references she makes would not be easily or quickly understood by those not familiar with Caribbean culture and folklore. Those who do will appreciate Nalo's clever twist(s) on things. But I'm not going to give the plot away.
Without trying to genre-lize it, I would say if you are a fan of sf, postmodernism, Caribbean lit, magical realism and/or Nalo herself, I would say, take a read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Part of the fun of reading Sister Mine is digging deeper and deeper into Makeda and Abigail's story to find out what truly happened when they were born, how their mother disappeared, and where there daddy is.

Not to mention who their daddy is. And who their uncle is. Because Makeda and Abigail were born into a family where some of the members usher humans into life and death. They are Shiny, in Makeda's words, and what Makeda wants more than anything else in the world is to find her own mojo; just like her sister Abigail.

She starts out looking just for independence from her Shiny sister in a battered old loft in a converted industrial building. But her new digs house a band, and a boy, who are more than they seem. Now if only Makeda can escape the haint following her around, find enough money to make rent, and somehow deal with daddy's wandering....

This is an urban fantasy, and the tight-but-rich writing weaves a first layer of Toronto over Makeda's Orisha family, and as you discover more about Uncle Flash, Grandma Ocean and the others and more of their secrets, the more you dig deeply into human fears and foibles.

These are gods and demi-gods we are reading about, and while some of their antics are not ones modern society approves of, they are based in the deepest parts of human history and psyche. This is a story to bathe yourself in, not to enjoy for intricate plots or clever action.

This Book's Snack Rating: Kiss Trinidad Fruit Cake for the rich, delicious characters containing sweet nuggets of universal human truth
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Yay, an urban fantasy novel based on African diaspora culture, myths, and legends! This was utterly unique, a quick read, with lots of unexpected twists and turns. I appreciated how the author did not stop the story to do an exposition-dump somewhere in the first few chapters, but I did wish that I had a cast of characters, or that it was based on an easily-recognizable (to me) set of myths that I could do internet research on. Basically, I wanted to know more. However, that said, I always knew enough to follow what was going on, and discovering the various characters, their relationships, and the structure of the world they lived in as the story unfolded was part of the fun. I would definitely read a sequel or another novel set in the same world, were she to write one. I recommend this to any fans of urban fantasy... who are over the age of 16 or so, as this was decidedly not a PG novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book May 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It took me a few tries to get started, but once I got involved, I really liked this book. It's fun and crazy and colorful and unexpected but very sound at heart. I loved the love between Abby and Makeda and the rest of her powerful, crazy family. I loved that the whole family, despite being deities, was "normal" with the same squabbles and slights and snits and love that most extended families have. I liked that I never really knew where the story was going to go next. However, it's a very slight story for all the flash and glitter. Nothing much happens except Abby and Makeda come to a better balance in their relationship with each other. I guess I expect more movement and growth in the characters of a novel. This book reads more like an extended short story. It's excellently written though, and I'd certainly recommend it as a fun quick read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd book April 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Stretched my mind. Some images are still with me. Science fiction, alternate reality, skipping around but a connection with nature, music and others that worked.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read July 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book simply transports you, the writing is tight and flows beautifully. This is all about the joy of reading. The characters are complex and engaging, funny and somehow familiar. I am usually not a sci-fi fan, and this is my first time reading this author -- but she earned herself a new fan. I will no doubt be back to read more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars and I like weird books...
Um... this book is really weird, and I like weird books, but this was weird even for me. I didn't really connect with the writing style and the plot seemed to be well defined at... Read more
Published 1 day ago by KiddyTiger
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic system is wonderful, the characters real and flawed
This book is so different from anything else you've read. The magic system is wonderful, the characters real and flawed, and it is just beautifully written. Highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Beverly Ann Kodak
3.0 out of 5 stars but I liked Brown Girl in the Ring better
Engaging story, but I liked Brown Girl in the Ring better. I felt a little bit let down by the ending here. Read more
Published 6 months ago by IAmBecomeAName
4.0 out of 5 stars Magic and Mystery
Enjoyed this book about a unique sister relationship. The magic and the mystery made it that much more interesting.
Published 7 months ago by Patricia M. Payne
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but felt like it was going to be deeper.
I liked the premise of this book, and particularly liked the character of the protagonist. But I found the plot a bit twisty and hard to buy into near the end. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Anne K. Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual entertaining adventure
This book took some work because although it's entertaining it is not easy to read. The best comparison of how it feels to read this book would be how does it feel to learn to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by N. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Slow start, but worth the time. Rich story telling. Interesting take on myth, urban fantasy. Glad I took time to read.
Published 11 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars unique
Very unique and imaginative. A great read with plenty of surprises. You will appreciate your family and recognize them here
Published 13 months ago by Nancy C Dentlinger
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
this story has: gods demi gods, humans and jimmy hendrix's guitar
story of self discovery and family love and understanding
Published 14 months ago by gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Such an interesting story- kind of reminded my of Neil Gaimin. Read the whole thing and wanted more. Great character development but I wanted so much more. Read more
Published 15 months ago by catmama
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More About the Author

I'm a novelist, editor, short story writer. I also teach, and I freelance sometimes as an arts consultant. Most of my books have been published by Warner Books, now known as Grand Central Books. If you like knowing about awards and such, my work has received the Warner Aspect First Novel award, the Sunburst Award for Canadian literature of the fantastic, the World Fantasy Award, the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, and Honourable Mention in Cuba's Casa de las Americas Prize for literature.

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