Publication Date: May 25, 2011
In The Story in the Stars by Yvonne Anderson, Dassa survives a horrible plague that kills everyone else on her planet. She knows that her life’s work is to one day repopulate her beautiful planet. To make that happen she needs the help of her enemy, Pik.
The Story in the Stars is the first novel in the Gateway to Gannah series and is unique in that it is a mixture of science fiction (sci-fi) and Christian fiction.
I grew up in a very restrictive Christian home and to say I don’t practice religion might be mild. I actively avoid the topic. That said, when I realized that this novel was a mixture of sci-fi and religion, I was intrigued. These are not two topics that would seem to naturally go together — especially as we’re talking traditional religion on this planet. What Anderson has pulled off in The Story in the Stars is nothing less than astounding. Not only was I pulled into the story and interested in the fate of Dassa, I didn’t constantly scoff and roll my eyes at the religious aspect because the author joins her topics logically.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll recommend The Story in the Stars all day to those who read Christian fiction. The idea that God is greater than we could imagine was pretty heavy-handed though Anderson’s writing skill kept this reader from the feeling of being hit over the head. Dassa, the main character, is deeply religious and invested in her faith. But her culture and world are not ours. There’s also the idea that suffering is inherent in religion. There’s a need to have faith in oneself and not believe what the world thinks of you.
Anderson’s settings are vivid. At the start, Gannah reminded me of the Neverending Story kind of landscape. Foreign and unique, but familiar. Dassa puts on skates to cross to the palace and the image is recalled a vivid wonderland, but so empty and silent. The spaceship in which Dassa is cared for in the medical bay feels cold and impersonal. Her relationship with Pik antagonized, but human. If you can find common ground with your enemy, does that enemy become a friend? We run the gamut of emotions with Dassa as she embarks on a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress.
Anderson’s writing style is sometimes funny and sometimes intense but with a flow that is to be admired and makes for a solid feeling story when the book is closed. There are some moments I found odd as they relate to sci-fi but this is a truly unique work. If you’re a Christian or a Sci-fi lover, read it and let me know if you found it as captivating as I, a sci-fi lover but not practicing Christian, did.
Book 2 in the Gateway to Gannah series, Words in the Wind was released in August 2012.
You can read an excerpt and buy The Story in the Stars (Gateway to Gannah Book 1) by Yvonne Anderson on