Publication Date: May 25, 2011
Dassa survives a horrible plague that kills everyone else on her planet. She knows that her lifes 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 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 to be 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 the reader from the feeling of being hit over the head. Dassa, the main character, is deeply religious and invested in her faith. Her culture and world though 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 a Neverending Story kind of landscape. Foreign and unique, but familiar. Dassa puts on skates to cross to the palace and the image is called of 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 you enemy does that enemy become a friend? We run the gamat 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 read 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.
For more information about Yvonne Anderson and her work, visit her blog and homepage. You can connect with Yvonne Anderson on Goodreads, The Independent Author Network (IAN) and Twitter @YAnderson101.