Hi everybody! We have gone from a cold January to a rainy February. I’m still dealing with the general nonsense that life tends to throw at you when you need it least. That is why I turn to books. I have some longer novels I’m working through and I will eventually start The Priory of the Orange Tree, which is especially long. Normally, I avoid extra-long books, but I do like a challenge here and there. Now, let’s talk about Light from Uncommon Stars, which has been on my radar for the longest time.
Content Warning: Discussions and Depictions of Racism, Discussions and Depictions of Transphobia and Homophobia, Depictions of Non-Consensual Sex, Abuse, Loss and Grief, Harsh and Offensive Language, Some Graphic Depictions of Death
Shizuka Satomi, aka the Queen of Hell, made a deal with a demon. To escape damnation and play the violin again, she would train and sacrifice seven students. She is currently looking for the seventh. That is when she crosses paths with Katrina Nguyen. Katrina is a young transgender woman who is running away from home. When Shizuka hears her play for the first time, she realizes that she has found her seventh student. Shizuka also happens to cross paths with Lan Tran, a mother, refugee, and captain of a starship disguised as a donut shop. Shizuka tells herself that she doesn’t have time for love or relationships but she finds herself drawn to Lan. As Shizuka forms a bond with a Katrina and develops a relationship with Lan, she starts to think that maybe she can finally break her curse.
This novel was so beautifully complex and carefully written. All of the metaphors and realism are finely balanced through Ryka Aoki’s deft hand. The various characters are intertwined, yet their stories are unique to them. I loved the honest representation that Aoki presents. While there are certainly heavy topics presented, Aoki gives a sense of hope to the characters and readers alike. All aspects of gender, race and class were taken into careful consideration throughout this book, and are honest with the struggles that people from demographics go through. This really was a captivating read that is a beautiful blend of science fiction, fantasy, and romance. Light from Uncommon Stars is sure to engage you and touch your heart.
One thought on “The songs will change, but the music is never truly gone: Reviewing Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki”
Great review! This certainly sounds like a unique read..