The Story in the Stars by Yvonne Anderson
Contains heavy religious themes
The Story in the Stars by Yvonne Anderson is the story of Dassa, who, after a cruel twist of fate, is the last remaining member of her kind. Saved by her race’s sworn enemy, a grieving Dassa is whisked away to another planet, the promise of her Yasha (God), that she will return and repopulate her planet providing small comfort to her. Dassa, whose race is feared by the galaxy, sets out to share her people’s message of the gospel and repair their fearsome image with one of peace, starting with the doctor that saved her.
I’m going to address the writing, characters, and religious aspects all at the same time, as they’re so tightly entwined it’s hard to talk about them separately, so bear with me. I myself am a Christian, and when I saw this was Christian fiction, I was a little hesitant to read it. I’ve read too many Christian authors that get preachy and pushy about the message they want to impart instead of letting it flow naturally from the characters; basically, the story suffers because the authors are heavy handed and trying to preach. Now, it is an important message, and I can’t fault them for trying to make it as clear as possible, but most of the time the effort comes across as stilted.
That’s not true with this book. The writing is pretty spot-on. The author has created entire worlds and galaxies, with complex histories, peoples, and colorful languages to go with it. I found Gannah, Dassa’s home, to be a bit too good to be true (They have no money. Everyone takes what they need and it’s all good) but I can see the reasoning behind the society the author created for that planet, complete with their own prejudices, customs, and unique voice. This author was able to wind religion throughout the story with only a couple mildly preachy moments. But if you know the Bible at all, you can draw parallels to other Bible stories throughout the novel, which was kind of fun.
The characters are well-thought out and true to themselves. Dassa does have a couple preachy moments, but she does it in a way that seems natural to her character. Pik, despite his constant whining, is fun to watch grow. He has his funny moments, and I think, grows more than Dassa, who lost more. He might have been my favorite character.
That being said, there’s not a lot of action, and I put this book down a few times to do other things. It took me a while to finish. While it’s fun reading about new planets and Dassa’s integration into society, there’s a lot of personal growth instead of action. I found the first quarter and last quarter to be the most interesting and action-packed sections of the book, and read through those fairly quickly.
My Rating: 3.4/5
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