Review: “Sisters of the Vast Black” by Lina Rather


Release Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction



“Years ago, Old Earth sent forth sisters and brothers into the vast dark of the prodigal colonies armed only with crucifixes and iron faith. Now, the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita are on an interstellar mission of mercy aboard Our Lady of Impossible Constellations, a living, breathing ship which seems determined to develop a will of its own.

When the order receives a distress call from a newly-formed colony, the sisters discover that the bodies and souls in their care—and that of the galactic diaspora—are in danger. And not from void beyond, but from the nascent Central Governance and the Church itself.”


My Thoughts

SistersVastBlack-coverWhen we first meet the nuns, they are in the middle of a heated philosophical debate. Their living ship has set a course toward a mate, something which has never happened before. Is the ship an animal that can make its own choices or a transportation device the nuns have sole control over? If the former, does that mean it has a soul? If the latter, how to account for the creature’s feelings and behaviors? Does the possession of a soul even matter if the ship is dedicated to fulfill a specific duty? Or does it matter because then it means the ship was denied the choice as to whether or not it wanted to be consecrated? As Sister Lucia confided to Sister Gemma, “I—kept thinking about the ship. I kept thinking about…its desires, like it was a person. But that’s not right. And then I thought about it like a tool for us to bend to our will, but that isn’t correct either. I go around and around.”…


To read the rest of my review, head over to


Thanks to Publishing for sending me a review copy.

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