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Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
In the far future, travel is made possible by controlled wormholes made in the fabric of space-time. Crystal, a young woman freshly graduated from university, finds herself on her first job aboard the base-ship ‘Crossing Paths’. Workplace politics and a romance make it complicated. The last thing she needs are the frightening errors beginning to crop up on her maps…
Note: The author is my friend, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my opinion of the book or my review of it.
…And the Stars Will Sing has all the makings of a solid 3.5-to-4-star read. It has an array of interesting characters, a great setting, a cool ass plot and every opportunity to captivate its readers. Even the writing is all right. All the ideas and concepts introduced in this short story are downright fascinating. Clearly, it could’ve been amazing.
In the end, where Stars failed was in the execution–it’s told in several journal entries from the penhand of protagonist and heroine Crystal.
I have a difficult time articulating how the use of this storytelling method dampened its potential because, in truth, it’s really not that bad. Author Browne pulls it off pretty well, actually. That being said, there was so much more that could’ve been explored in the story that simply didn’t because to meander into such realms in a journal entry format would ultimately detract from what makes it bearable in the first place.
Merit: Crystal’s voice sounds real (for the most part), and it suits the story.
Demerit: Opportunities to elevate plot progression, character development, worldbuilding, etc. remain unexploited and thereby leave something to be desired at the end of the book.
So, damned if you do, damned if you don’t, when it comes to narration.
Inside its context, the characters receive hardly any distinction much less… well, characterization; the setting, which is rather interesting to imagine, falls to the wayside most of the time; the plot seems dragged out and then rushed, the twists facile, some kinda corny; and the writing… just… suffers.
However, outside of those considerations, the bare bones and ideas behind Stars are pretty remarkable, if I say so myself. There’s a very evident sci-fi presence although the actual inclusion of it is lighthanded if a little oversimplified, as well as a surprisingly action-filled ending that I enjoyed in particular.
It’s a good book. It needs some attention and refinement, but it’s an entirely enjoyable piece of work, and I’ll certainly be reading more from Browne in the future.
Ha. Get it? In the future? No? Okay…
Oh, and the title? I dig the fuck outta that title. :D
Luna. Earth. When will I ever see Earth again? It’s not home, not really–all the smells are different, everything–but I’m used to seeing that bright blue star reappear every night during moonrise, watching like the motherplanet it is.