The Blighted Stars is my favorite book I read this year. It’s loaded with things I like in science fiction: great action, compelling characters, complicated worldbuilding that isn’t spoon fed to the reader, and a mystery where the stakes just get bigger and bigger. It’s a five star and will undoubtedly find a place in my 100 favorite SFF novels list when I revisit the rankings.
The reader is immediately thrown into the action as something we don’t quite understand (involving misprints…you’ll get it later) is happening on a spaceship above the blighted planet and our characters must escape. They do, to the planet below and now must survive. But survival also involves understanding of the lichen that is devouring worlds (including this planet) and each little reveal regarding the lichen adds to the tension and stakes.
We experience the story primarily through the two main characters. One is the son of what seems to be the most powerful man in the most powerful family in the galaxy, who is leading the expedition. The other perspective is from a girl who is not who she says she is and is trying to bring down that powerful family. Their relationship ultimately becomes the heart of the story, as both characters are complicated, and likeable. Their interactions are filled with tension and complicated feelings they are both trying to understand. Both are easy to root for, even if they aren’t exactly on the same side.
I can’t wait to continue this series. The novel works in so many ways, and there is plenty more to explore in the universe…and an incredibly high stakes problem still to solve.
Seventh Contact is now available!