Book Reviews

Review: Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall

Stars Uncharted captured my attention completely. It was the type of book where I had trouble finding my next read because I couldn’t get it out of my head. The characters were endearing and entrancing and the plot was this constantly shifting and mesmerizing puzzle.

Summary

Three people who are not who they claim to be:

Nika Rik Terri, body modder extraordinaire, has devoted her life to redesigning people’s bodies right down to the molecular level. Give her a living body and a genemod machine, and she will turn out a work of art.

Josune Arriola is crew on the famous explorer ship the Hassim, whose memory banks contain records of unexplored worlds worth a fortune. But Josune and the rest of the crew are united in their single-minded pursuit of the most famous lost planet of all.

Hammond Roystan, the captain of the rival explorer ship, The Road, has many secrets. Some believe one of them is the key to finding the lost world.

Josune’s captain sends her to infiltrate Roystan’s ship, promising to follow. But when the Hassim exits nullspace close to Roystan’s ship, it’s out of control, the crew are dead, and unknown Company operatives are trying to take over. Narrowly escaping and wounded, Roystan and Josune come to Nika for treatment–and with problems of her own, she flees with them after the next Company attack.

Now they’re in a race to find the lost world…and stay alive long enough to claim the biggest prize in the galaxy.

Review

book review Stars uncharted by sk dunstallCW/TW: Domestic abuse

I adored so many parts of this novel: the characters, the world building, and the technology. I love the varying swirling ideas of technology in the future in Stars Uncharted. It’s like a twisting nebula where you can pick out these strains of colors and then you lose them when they morph into something else. This was like that. You think you’ve got a handle on it, and then it kalediscopes into something else. Yes I used that as a verb. I could have a lengthy talk on the technology and what it means for the future. But you haven’t read it. Go read this book.

Characters

Josune and Kika may be my favorite SF pair ever. Their friendship is so genuine and each of them are so unique. I loved them both for different reasons. But even as their individual amazing selves, they have these distinctive thought patterns and personality traits that make them something more, something touching, something resilient, something endearing.

And you just get hooked. Not to mention that they are totally and 100% badass. Give me some of that please. There’s something about Nika’s honesty, her no muss no fuss attitude, her genuine straightforwardness. At the same time you love Josune’s vulnerable cracks and her fierce loyalty. They stand so easily on their own and shine so brightly together.

The side characters are also stunning because you want to find out more. This crew is wonderfully faceted and entirely quirky – exactly what a good crew should be. At the end of the book I wanted to have Jacques’ cooking, to have dinner with Roystan, and just generally hang out with them. They’re a crew with past mistakes and trust issues. Come take me! I love each character for their individual personalities, the little knick’s in the clock face that make them tick, the way you kick the door that squeaks to make it open. They become your own crew, partners in crime and fast friends.

Overall,

And at the heart of this book is a fantastic plot which is motivated by revenge, by necessity, by freedom, by survival. This is a great story with a crew that feels more like family, oodles of science (excuse the lack of science in that description) and a fantastic story. It grapples with these universal themes that have transfixed readers since stories. We see people searching for treasure, hunting and still not realizing the clues in front of you. It’s about surviving, getting through the day to fight another battle tomorrow. And at the same time it’s about changing our expectations and choosing our loyalty. There’s darkness and there’s the limits we push to buy another chance at tomorrow but there’s ultimately hope, friendship, and the promise of a new world.

Please check out Stars Uncharted on Goodreads. You won’t regret it.

Discussion

What’s your favorite novel in space?

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