Book Reviews

Review: Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings

Calling all my Trekkies, Under Fortunate Stars is for you! Reading this felt cinematic, like I could see it played out on a screen. With timey wimey consequences, Under Fortunate Stars is a book that is thrilling and fun all at once. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of rescue—until they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be from 152 years in the future.

The Gallion‘s chief engineer Uma Ozakka has always been fascinated with the past, especially the tale of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war with the Felen. When the Gallion rescues a run-down junk freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognize the Five’s legendary ship—and the Five’s famed leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew.

But nothing else about Leesongronski and his crewmates seems to match up with the historical record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, more than the lives of both crews may be at stake.


From the premise alone, I knew I’d fall in love with Under Fortunate Stars. There’s space rifts, time manipulation, and spaceships all at once. You can always intrigue me with the phrase, “this could change time”. Come on! We love this idea of a more complex, flexible, and potentially change-able timeline. At the same time, because of this time jump or shift, there’s a healthy degree of mystery, to find out if everyone is who they say and what could have happened.

It’s easy to get lost in the action, the momentum, and the mystery. By seeing through different characters, Hutchings weaves a story which explores secrets, memories, and ghosts. Part of what I love about the time shift is that it takes place at a moment of change. A glimpse of time with the true possibility of peace or extinction. Therefore there’s the tension of survival with the mystery. And those the government seemed to never care about, just might have to save them all – who can pass that by?

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Under Fortunate Stars is one of those books which makes me so happy to recommend and talk about. While I was transported by the action and intrigue, I loved the world building the questions of ethics and inequality. Find Under Fortunate Stars on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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