We are also introduced to a young woman; first seen as a fairy by the dying "clockmaster". Which, in this world, is more likely than an actual woman being alone in the frozen north; as, women have been outcast to Islands to work, toil, donate eggs, and keep their distance from men. They are considered dangerous, diseased, second class, and contact with women is a crime. So, when our soldier first saves her life, we are astounded that he is able to move past his conditioning and help.
Her story is the most horrifying in this novel, and relevant to what is happening around the world today. You become swept up in her life, routing for her survival and her bravery. You are disgusted with society, angry, unprepared for this new and terrible world. After the soldier saves her, the story unfolds slowly and methodically. They really do save each other, and from that moment they become tied together, their lives intertwined.
This is the first novel in a trilogy, so it makes sense that No Ordinary Star is heavy with exposition, history, character development and more. So, while the entirety of the book takes place in one remote location, with only two characters, you feel you have traversed the map of this new world, including the settlements on planets outside of Earth. As a reader, I felt the isolation of the two characters; as well as, the ever imposing presence of a tyrannical law and order, and all of the crimes they are committing just by staying alive together. This is a world that has programmed its citizens, is full of corruption and injustice. Both our main characters are fighting against their own prejudices the entire novel in order to survive. However, their unlikely alliance could shred the fabric of this world.
I loved it! The novel is described as an homage to Ray Bradbury, and you can see why. I was on the edge of my seat. Astra, the young woman, is my favourite character. After everything she has been put through, she is still bad-ass, self reliant, determined, proud and caring. Felix, our soldier, is slowly shedding his programming, become human, caring, considerate, and strong. He has heart, and is smart enough to start seeing the cracks in this so-called perfect society. These two are "steadfast" in finding their place in their own stories, in history, and how it is they fit in to the upcoming year 2525.
A gripping story with nods to science fiction masters and ties to the cultural crisis's happening within the world today. Powerful and poignant, I am waiting on baited breath for the second installment to this story of two star-crossed lovers, broken souls, finding shelter in the frigid north.
Bonus points for Ursa, the polar bear, playing a major part!
I am so excited to be part of the #nosstreetteam! I will be reading the entire trilogy, and was so lucky to receive this novel from the writer herself for an honest review. Thank you M. C. Frank!