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Astra: The Gaia Chronicles Book 1 Paperback – March 1, 2022
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Is-land is a Gaian paradise in the middle of a blasted world - but its success comes at a dark price.
Like every child in Is-Land, all Astra Ordott has ever wanted is to get her Security Shot, do her National Service and defend her Gaian homeland from Non-Lander 'infiltrators'. But when one of her Shelter mothers, the formidable Dr Hokma Blesser, tells her the shot will limit her chances of becoming a scientist and offers her an alternative, Astra agrees to her plan.
Then the orphaned Lil arrives to share Astra's home and Astra is torn between jealousy and fascination. Lil's father taught her some alarming ideas about Is-Land and the world, but when she pushes Astra too far, the heartache that results goes far beyond the loss of a friend.
If she is to survive, Astra must learn to deal with devastating truths about Is-Land, Non-Land and the secret web of adult relationships that surrounds her . . . or her actions could bring the whole community toppling down.
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A friend recommended Astra as an invigorating sort of escapism. She was right. My first experience of SF enchanted and stimulated me―Dervla Murphy, author of Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
Foyle has built a fascinating portrait, often reminiscent of Ursula K. Le Guin in its layered complexity, and threaded into a fascinating coming of age story. Gripping―Love Reading
I enjoyed Astra immensely. The novel's plot is fascinating . . . all of it set down in Foyle's smooth and flowing writing style―A Fantastical Librarian
It's hard-hitting, but it's poignant and incredibly thought-provoking . . . Naomi Foyle has a mastery of plotting and a way with words that's truly remarkable―Over the Effing Rainbow
This ambitious, thought-provoking take on a dystopian future paints a depressingly credible picture of environmental collapse . . . as events go hurtling towards the book's dramatic conclusion, I couldn't put it down . . .―Brain Fluff
This is excellent Science Fiction and I heartily recommend it . . . reminiscent of LeGuin―Birmingham SF Group
About the Author
- Publisher : Quercus Publishing (March 1, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 178087636X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1780876368
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.13 x 1 x 7.75 inches
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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In a dystopian future that has led to a culture who has turned back to a simpler life that is reverent to nature, Astra lives the life of a happy little girl. She has a bright future ahead of her, but all of that changes when one of her Shelter mothers shares a secret with her that causes her to rethink everything she knows. And when a young orphan girl comes to stay with them, Astra's life changes again, and so do the lives of everyone around her.
I wanted to love this book, and when I read the description, I thought I would. It's a dystopian story with some fantasy elements and everything about it screamed "THIS IS UP YOUR ALLEY!" And while the core of the story might be, there are some really, really problematic elements of this story that got in the way of what could be an otherwise great book. First, though the main character here is nearing adolescence, this is NOT a young adult book. There is a heavy focus on sex and sexuality, including between the children, and the focus on it really detracted from what the book could have been. There were several times I had to flip ahead and also considered stopping reading entirely at one point. It didn't advance the story, either, which made it seem even more gratuitous. As a result, I can't recommend this one...
Top reviews from other countries
The tension builds brilliantly to the story's conclusion, and though the viewpoint convincingly inhabits Astra at various ages, whether 7, 12 or 15, it never reads as a children's or YA novel. The only negatives I could find are that there might be some exposition in the first couple of chapters that could have waited till later, and the rebuilding of the world after the Dark Time seems to have been better handled and more successful than I think might perhaps be the case. But those really are quibbles. This series (now complete with the fourth book, Stained Light, hence my reread) really does deserve to be much more widely read than it is.