Light from uncommon stars

by Aoki, Ryka,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 15 copies
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Summary

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars , a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

A National Bestseller
Indie Next Pick
New York Public Library Top 10 Book of 2021
A Kirkus Best Book of 2021
A Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction Book of 2021

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Transgender violinist Katrina Nguyen runs away from an abusive household and stumbles into the mentorship of "the Queen of Hell," infamous teacher Shizuka Satomi. Satomi made a deal years ago with a toad-faced demon, and now she has one more prodigy soul to deliver before she can be free. But her attention is divided--she develops a crush on the owner of a local family-owned donut shop, Lan Tran, who also happens to be an interstellar refugee protecting her children from a galactic war. This warm, hopeful novel features this entertaining tangle of women all trying to find their true place in a difficult world. Katrina's passion and hard-working determination drive the novel; she stuns Satomi with her intuitive, self-taught playing of video-game-inspired pieces even as she deals with the effects of trauma from the domestic, verbal, and sexual abuse she's endured. Aoki's novel is an exciting, wild web of an adventure, a unputdownable book about music, found family, and identity. Diving into the tough subjects, Aoki's book emerges with a joyful, queer, radical ballad of a story that will appeal to fans of TJ Klune's The House in the Cerulean Sea (2020)."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Aoki (He Mele a Hilo) draws from her own experiences as a queer Japanese American woman to craft a dark but ultimately hopeful sci-fi exploration of the threats faced by queer people of color. Violin teacher Shizuka Satomi has a contract with hell to deliver the souls of seven brilliant violinists. When she meets Katrina Nguyen in Los Angeles, Shizuka is certain she'll make the perfect final sacrifice. Katrina, a transgender runaway and survival sex worker with no prior musical training, possesses a supernatural musical gift and is happy to trade her soul for lessons and a safe place to stay. Shizuka calls on Lucy Mat├Ča, a third-generation violin restorer, to repair both Katrina's beloved violin and the cursed bow that will steal Katrina's soul. But as the women get to know each other, Shizuka starts having second thoughts. Meanwhile, Shizuka's slow-burn romance with Lan Tran, a donut maker and extraterrestrial refugee fleeing danger on her home planet, further complicates her plans. Aoki's depiction of abuse and trauma is unflinching and intense, but at its core, the novel is a love letter to immigrant culture and the power people have to save each other. Readers prepared for the emotionally difficult scenes will find a beautiful, satisfying story of redemption and families of choice. (Sept.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Violinists -- Fiction.
Transgender people -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2021
Edition First edition.
Language English
Notes "A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Description 372 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781250789068
1250789060
Other Classic View