My rating: 4 of 5 stars
WARNING: I couldn’t bring myself to use commas(,) in this review because for some reason they are pissing me off. Please bear with me.
Note: The extra half-star was given in the throes of subjectivity because this book brought me out of what could have been depression.
This proved to be a very challenging read for me. First off it’s been a while since I’ve read of a totalitarian or tyrannic or just any bad type of government that tells you when to marry and when to have kids and sometimes who to marry. Secondly I’d been reading a lot of sad books and everything depressed me. Moreover this isn’t much of an action-oriented novel.
And then they tell me Jews are going to take over the world.
There burst my bubble of hope that this book will help me get better.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Jews; it’s the taking over the world part and the “we’ll keep our culture alive” that depressed me as it very rightly should.
But you know what? There came this point in the book and I had an epiphany.
No, not one of this kind.
See at this point I was laughing happy sad and relieved laughter. And I realized the marvelosity and awesomosity of this book and then I had to go back and read it all over again.
*please insert mad and sad fangirl raving*
I haven’t felt the need to insert so many spoilers since The Eternity Cure but I will start right and proper now with the review since I didn’t before.
Starglass is a mellow sort of book. The rebellion the murders the fates of peoples is all in the background. This is a coming-of-age(you tell me a better term and I’ll use it) in all its entirety. Terra the protagonist is a teenager who’s lived all her life inside the Asherah. She’s like a normal teen when we grow up and realize that the world wasn’t what we expected it to be.
(Except we don’t have to take part in rebellions and go up against murderous government-types. Well most of us.)
She knows there’s something off-kilter about her world and that she doesn’t fit in but this is all she’s ever known; hasn’t even the slightest clue as to what could be different or what should be.
So instead she tries to fit in; she tries to grow into pretense and maybe come to tolerate it.
Terra was a terrific character. She makes mistakes she owns up to them in her mind but it’s difficult to do so to the wronged party like it’s for all of us. Terra does bad things doesn’t defend her friend when she needs it and above all tries to take the easy way out thus not remaining true to herself in those moments. She is just looking for acceptance and love after losing every bit of it she had in the past. Her dreams are consumed by it and so are her actions.
And I could relate with her every step of the way. The rest of the characters are also touching and ambiguous- which is yet another thing I want to madly and sadly rave about.
Rooted in Jewish culture and perverted to meet the people’s needs the world was fabulously crafted in every aspect. It’s rich and terrifying and utterly not what I expected. The fundament of the ruling and working of this world is good deeds- mitzvot. There is a hierarchy in the social structure correlating with their professions and it’s a spiral(can’t say anything proper as it will be a spoiler but you’ll see if you read this book). This is a very strict world and every bit of your life is monitored and tailored to achieve tikkun olam- which you should look up. There is tightly wound tension in the background
And then what we’ve been waiting for- the rebellion. For revolution junkies I’m sad to say that Terra is on the very lowest of the low pedestal in this rebellion. She wants to overthrow the government just about much as the other person but be realistic. She’s naive young and quite a recent addition so obviously nobody will put her at the center.
Unless they did. Or maybe they didn’t.
*giggles like a maniac if maniacs actually giggle*
But like Phoebe North said in her very own review in other words that this is not a fairytale and there is no evil queen to overthrow and Terra wield no sword. In the end there is no black or white or even gray and the evil queen is in-existential, a notion.
Starglass is about growing up finding your place or making your own cave. It is about the distinction between what sounds right and what feels right. All the pain of growing up and losing and losing yet again and finding yourself in this one fantastic book.
There is some abundance of predictability and a couple other things I couldn’t figure out like- but spoiler! Moreover the beginning found me nodding off at places and there isn’t much action but the cons are so so few I don’t mind them. At all.
Now I’m going to do something bad and quote from the ARC(oh please S&S give me that one liberty)
I lost something in waking. I always did.
Note 2: Did the lack of commas piss you off disorient you? Good. Humans have become so dependent. Depending on commas! Hmph!
So many thanks to the publishers for providing a review copy.