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I was born on Earth, not Kurra. But I'm not human, even though I try to be. My people, the Imria, think I'm unusual because of that. They call me an Earthsider: as if I've crossed a line, chosen a side. Gone native.
Before she fell in love with Reese, before she knew the role she would play in the fate of two worlds, Amber was an Imrian torn between two identities. Imrian by blood, Amber was forced to hide her true self to pass as human.
And even when she returns to Kurra her human experiences, including first love and heartache, still separate her from her fellow Imrians. But now she's going to experience kibila, a traditional Imrian coming-of-age ceremony during which she will choose her name - and her identity.
Malinda Lo's digital-exclusive novella, companion to ADAPTATION and INHERITANCE, gives a deeper understanding of one of their most compelling characters.
back to Earth. Even after we have lovers, and real responsibilities, and children, if we have children.” She’s right. Every fifteen years, I will spend one night with her. The weight of that future suddenly impresses itself on me, and I reach for her without thinking, catching her hand in mine. She’s closed to me, of course, as kibila demands. Her fingers squeeze mine, and she is like an anchor. On this mountain, we are anchored together. She will witness my transformations every time. I
through the Coconino every summer. We are lucky to have him.” “Hey everyone,” Matt Steiger said with a grin. Morgan practically swooned, and all of a sudden the Zach Effect seemed way less important. Nice to meet you, Matt, I thought. Thank you for distracting Morgan. Maybe this camping trip would be more fun than I expected. 3 Kurra I was born on Earth, and I lived there with my parents until I was five years old. That’s when we came back to Kurra for four years. My parents wanted me to go
like during kibila’sa. Everyone says that the experience changes everything. That it builds bonds between cohort members. For one thing, you’re not allowed to communicate via touch during kibila, so your relationship with your kibila cohort is different from your relationships with other Imrians. Since communication through physical touch—we call it susum’urda—is basically the cornerstone of Imrian culture, it’s kind of a big deal. A lot of Imrians get freaked out about the idea of being isolated
they be true friends?” Nasha asks. “It’s not like that. I know some Imrians think that humans are less evolved than us, but they’re not. They’re just different. They make connections with each other too—just not through susum’urda. They… they talk. They share their emotions by speaking about them.” I shift so that I can see Nasha’s face in the golden glow of the overheads. She’s attentive, curious. I find myself telling her about living in the dorm with the other girls at Hunter Glen. About how
lead the audience into a shared emotional experience, and too many people fragment the experience. The seats and the stage in an Imrian theater are made of a special material that can conduct the actor’s emotions—sort of as if everyone were holding hands—and a lot of the performance is silent, although there are incredible costumes and what humans would call special effects. Nasha asks me about my favorite human performances, and I start to tell her about all of Morgan’s favorites, because she