I was drawn to Kinship: The Covering because the premise of the book sounded intriguing. There is a mixture of fantasy and science fiction as humans travel in space and come into contact with 2 distinct groups who are at odds with each other.
The world of Kinship: The Covering has a strong foundation. There’s technology that makes sense and the two factions (Kin and Elves) have a history that lends to the tension in the book. I could visualize the technology and feel the animosity between the two groups when they had encounters. However, there is not enough explanation as to why the Kin and Elves are at odds. They just are and when flashbacks or references to past events happened in the course of the story I felt like the author expected me to just know what happened. Knowing this is expected to be a series, I did let this go, thinking that perhaps in future installments some of this history and background would be fleshed out further.
The biggest reason I did not connect with Kinship: The Covering was the lack of character development. The characters felt two-dimensional and there was little motivation behind their emotions beyond being uncomfortable in a particular situation. The characters lived at the extremes of their emotions and moved little on the spectrum towards (or away from) understanding and acceptance of their situation. The reader doesn’t witness the characters that do grow emotionally as the change happens off page due to an event in the plot that takes the two characters that are most at odds with each other out of commission for short while. Once they are back, the secondary characters have miraculously moved on.
Watson does have potential as a writer. I did enjoy the descriptions of the world the technology. I was able to see those elements. However, more time needs to be spent fleshing out the history of the world and the true motivations for the characters. These are the elements, I need as a reader to engage completely with a story and I found it sorely lacking in Kinship: The Covering.