Astra Idari must keep the last living star alive in a galaxy lost to shadows.
Astra Idari is a mess. She drinks too much, remembers too little, and barely pays for it all as a Stargun Messenger. She hunts down thieves who steal filamentium, the fuel that allows for faster-than-light travel. When Idari meets Gen Emera, she meets the girl of her dreams and the last living star. There’s just one problem.
Filamentium is only found in the blood of living stars.
Everyone wields knives and justifications for butchering the living stars, but once Idari knows the truth, she faces a stark choice. Either she turns Emera over to her employers who control the filamentium monopoly, or risks everything to help Emera fulfill her quest to save her people. The choice should be simple, but it’s not losing her life that terrifies Idari. It’s finally living. Idari knows she’s human despite outwardly appearing to be an android with a failing memory stitched together by her ship’s irascible AI, CR-UX. She’s been just getting by for longer than she remembers, assured in her humanity, but not enough to risk it.
Idari has lived her entire life in darkness. The dark comforts and shields. The dark preserves in its cold, and Idari may not be able to keep her star out of her shadow.
I love a good space opera, and this one was no exception.
The universe Idari wanders is filled with interesting people from a variety of species. Some are human, some are living stars (Lumenor) like Emera, the “shadows” or Scath… But there are so many others too. and Idari herself is an android. Not human, but wishing she was, and with the constant presence of her ship’s AI in her head.
I really enjoyed the dynamic between Idari and CR-UX (the snarky AI that pilots her ship.) CR-UX also guides Idari through her various missions; her memories aren’t terribly reliable, so she definitely needs the AI’s help. Their exchanges and banter were so much fun.
This universe and all of its worlds were fascinating. There were underground factories, treks through windswept desert, a battle on the remnants of a star where gravity is crushing, sketchy space stations, and so much more. I loved every environment presented, and most were written in fantastic detail.
And although this book is on the longish side, it didn’t feel that way. There’s plenty of action, betrayal, intrigue, found family, epic battles, and something of a romance too. It’s everything you could hope for from a space opera, so if you’re a fan of the genre, definitely give this one a read. It was a lot of fun.