Starglass - Phoebe North

The sole sign of my father’s chaos was the glass that sat encrusted with wine on the floor beside his bed, a line of ants circling the rim.

        Even in the future, in space there are ants

 

This is science fiction, however that is almost the backburner of the story.  There is a spaceship, travel to a new world and babies born from pods but it is also the tale of a girl becoming a woman in a world with very few choices.

 

On a ship headed for a new planet to call home life has been practically the same for everyone for 500 years.  All diseases are practically gone so Terra is different in that her mother died of cancer.  Most children do not loose a parent in their early life let alone to disease it is unheard of.  At 15 Terra is on the edge of adulthood and will have an occupation chosen for her and soon she will have to marry be just like everyone else on the ship.  But she cares nothing for that, the only thing Terra wants is to be loved.  She has been having dreams of her Bashert (twin soul) for as long as she can remember although she doesn’t know who he is.

 

Sweet, hopeful laughter, laughter that rippled like river water over stones.  I felt real and whole and present, like a better version of myself.  I wonder if this is what love might feel like.

 

You know when you think a story is headed in a certain direction and it is traveling on that path just fine and then it up and takes a left turn about a mile before your destination.  Yep that is what this story did for me.  Not in a bad way, I liked the left turn the scenery changed a bit and the new direction seems full of possibilities.

 

Terra witnessed a murder and her life changed forever.  She tried to forget and not be a part of it.  She tried to get lost in the customs of her ship and courting.  But she is pulled into the seedy underbelly of the society and they have a task for her to do.  Terra also discovers along her journey that her parents, the people she thought she knew so well have secrets of their own.  Terra must figure out who she trusts, what she believes and if she can fulfill the role she has been asked to play.

 

Phoebe North did an excellent job of building the world on the space ship Asherah.  It was interesting and the rules of the society were fed to the reader organically through Terra’s experiences.  I was interested in the customs of the ship, the ways the population was controlled and how the political structure worked. It has been mentioned that this is Jews in space.  But honestly some of the language used Yiddish in it and other than that you would never really know they were Jewish at all it really played a very minor role.

 

I loved the ending! It was exciting and I really couldn’t wait to turn the page a see what happened next but then it was over.  Just a minor cliff hanger though enough to make you want to come back for more.