Review: Singer Distance by Ethan Chatagnier

Author: Ethan Chatagneir
Publisher: Tin House Books
Released: October 18th, 2022
Received: Own (Aardvark Books)

3 1/2 kitties

Book Summary:

How would the human race react if aliens suddenly made themselves known? But in doing so, they didn’t tell us the meaning of life but rather started a series of tests. Would humanity keep taking these voluntary tests or give up with time? These are the questions Singer Distance seeks to explore.

The year is 1960, and Crystal Singer thinks she knows the answer to the latest alien test. But she’ll need the help of her boyfriend, Rick, and other classmates, to prove herself right. In doing so, Crystal’s fame skyrockets. Yet when another puzzle arrives, waiting to be solved, even her mind will come up against a wall of time and space.

“Light-years of distance separate us even from ourselves”

My Review:

Okay, if you’re looking for a book that will make you think while activating nearly every emotion one can feel, you’ve got to check out Singer Distance. I won’t pretend it was my favorite read of the year, but it is certainly one of the most unique takes I’ve read in quite some time.

Sometimes, Singer Distance feels like it’s more of a series of connected short stories. Yet they all weave into one complete narrative. I’m sure that is one of many intentional commentaries we’re meant to spot.

On that note, that is part of what makes Singer Distance feel so complex. It’s a commentary on the human condition while exploring essential cultural and human elements, such as math, communication, emotions, commitment, love, and our obsession with the outer universe.

Ironically, I think the characters kept me from enjoying this story more. I still can’t decide if that is intentional, given the context of the rest of this story.


  • Alternate History
  • Speculative fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Alien communication
  • Unique take
  • Commentary on the human condition

Trigger Warnings:

  • Abandonment
  • Mental Health issues

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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