This Thursday we are bringing something different to our blog. We don't usually feature much sci-fi and after today things will change. We are today's stop on the Starglass Blog Tour hosted by Itching for Books. A spotlight, our review, an excerpt and a giveaway can be found below. Thanks for stopping!
Starglass (Starglass, Book One) by Phoebe North
YA sci-fi, dystopia
Paperback.eBoo, 448 pages
Expected Publication: July 23rd 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
In this futuristic, outer space thriller, Terra has to decide between supporting the rebellion she believes in—and saving the life of the boy she loves.
For generations, those aboard the Asherah have lived within strict rules meant to help them survive the journey from a doomed Earth to their promised land, the planet Zehava–which may or may not be habitable, a question whose imperative grows now, in the dwindling months before touchdown.
Sixteen-year-old Terra’s situation is tough. A dead mom. A grieving dad. A bitchy boss, and a betrothed who won’t kiss her no matter how bad she wants it. She’s doing her best to stay afloat, even when she gets assigned a vocation she has no interest in: botany.
But after Terra witnesses the Captain's guard murder an innocent man, she's drawn into a secret rebellion bent on restoring power to the people. The stakes are higher than anything she could have imagined. When the rebellion gives Terra an all-important mission, she has to decide where her loyalties lie for once and for all. Because she has started to fall for the boy she's been sent to assassinate...
Phoebe North spent the first twenty-two years of her life in New Jersey, where she lugged countless library books home to read in the bathtub, at the dinner table, in front of the television, and under the blankets with a flashlight when she should have been asleep.
After college, Phoebe went south, enrolling in the University of Florida’s MFA program to study poetry. But after studying children’s literature with kidlit scholars (and geniuses) Kenneth Kidd and John Cech, she started writing books about magic, robots and aliens for teenagers. And realized she loved it almost as much as she loved Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Now, Phoebe lives in New York State with her husband, and many licensed novels. She likes to cook, watch Degrassi, sew, take her cat for walks, and, of course, write. Despite many soaked pages, she still loves to read in the bath.
I don't read much sci-fi as I should and after reading Starglass by Phoebe North I know I need to. What a cool, intriguing read and impressive debut! What a trip! Outer space, life aboard the spaceship Asherah, and a young girl named Terra who is so normal but in many ways is so much more. I liked her character and her friends, Rachel, Van and Koehn. We watch them interact, grow and deal with life on the confining ship. Introduce a murder and romance and suddenly sci-fi is thrilling and fun.
Slightly slow in the beginning, I thought the references to Judaism really made this book different. Life, celebration, marking passages, grief, rebellion, and more, there are so many themes touched upon and explored. This is the type of book to be read (and reread) when there are no things to distract the reader. The author successfully creates a multi-dimensional world I easily imagined, covering all the senses. The plot twists had me wondering what to expect next as I savored the author's prose. When I find myself rereading passages and stopping to let an image or thought conveyed on the page be appreciated, I know that author's writing has made an impact on me.
For someone who easily writes paragraphs about books in my reviews, employing excess exposition here isn't fruitful. Starglass is a trip into a galaxy and into the marvelous world of Terra. Her normalcy makes her an appealing character, her idiosyncrasies complex. Board your passage and make sure to grab a copy when Starglass is released on July 23rd. As for me, I'm still letting pictures and words float around my mind. That ending did frustrate me since I now have to wait for the second book. What an absorbing read! What an unexpected treat!
The deep blues and Terra staring out into space works for me. I like her partial image reflected on the glass--like I still don't know everything about her, there's more to come (see, I said she was complex)--her stance seems defiant and strong while her hands in her pockets conveys something completely different. The greenery gives the cover a softness, a natural touch while that world below could hold the promise of anything.
(This excerpt is taken from the ARC for my tour stop)
..."I thought you wanted to be normal."
"I do," he said. "Of course I do. But . . ."
"But what?" I asked.
"But when it comes down to it, I don't think I ever will be."
I didn't know what to say. By then, Pepper had settled in on Koen's lap. Koen's big hand rested between the cat's shoulder blades. His knuckles were bony, and blue lines lined his skinny wrists. Despite their size, they were fragile, delicate-looking hands. When I reached out and finally put my dirty, work-hand on top of his, they presented a strange contrast. Koen didn't turn his hand over, didn't take my fingers in his, squeezing them tight. But he also didn't draw his hand away.
"That's okay," I said gently. "I don't think I'll ever be normal, either."