- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Spectra; 1st Printing edition (August 31, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553592653
- ISBN-13: 978-0553592658
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,280,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Native Star Mass Market Paperback – August 31, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Clever and original, Hobson's splendid debut is a colorful journey through Reconstruction-era America. Young country witch Emily Edwards battles a horde of zombies and winds up with a mysterious magical stone embedded in her hand. Escorted by the academically-trained warlock Dreadnought Stanton, who is afflicted with a magical disease and a very superior attitude, Emily reluctantly sets out to meet with warlocks from the Mirabilis Institute in hopes of getting the stone removed. Betrayal sends Emily and Dreadnought fleeing on a rollicking cross-country trip, with military blood-warlock and torturer Captain Caul in hot pursuit and the fate of all magic at stake. Clever techno-magical artifacts with steampunk flair, evil Aberrancies, and a unique tripartite magical system provide a colorful backdrop to the politics of the warlocks, the secrets of the stone, and the mystery of Emily's past. The growing attraction of Emily and Dreadnought is convincingly portrayed, while Caul's willingness to commit evil act in the service of patriotism makes a timely political point without belaboring the issue. The story is complete in and of itself and will leave readers eagerly awaiting the sequel.
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"The Native Star is engaging, atmospheric, and lovely. I was quite taken by the concept of an Old West built on a foundation of magic and zombie slave labor. Oh, and giant raccoons. Bring on the coons! And how spectacular is the name Dreadnought Stanton? This book utterly absorbed me from start to finish—these days you have no idea how rare that is. You have something special in your hands—no pun intended." —Gail Carriger, New York Times bestelling author of Soulless
“M. K. Hobson dazzles! The Native Star is an awesome mash-up of magic and steam-age technology—call it witchpunk. This debut novel puts a new shine on the Gilded Age.” —C. C. Finlay
“Splendid! In The Native Star, M. K. Hobson gives us a Reconstruction-era America, beautifully drawn and filled with the energy of a young nation—and magic! Her heroine, Emily Edwards, is outspoken, rash, loving, and true; a delight to spend time with. Could there be a sequel, please?” —Madeleine Robins
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Top Customer Reviews
I had this grouped with my steampunk books- mostly because when I first found out about it, it was on lists of steampunk books. I've since changed that to fantasy. It does have an alternate late 1800s US (where magic drives expansion, the military, and more), and there is one mechanical beastie, but mostly it feels like a fantasy to me.
We start in a small town in the Sierras (I love this part of the US, so I was drawn to it immediately). Emily is a Witch, crafting charms for her town, taking care of her adoptive father, and working a love charm to get the richest man in town to marry her (so that she can provide for Pap).
A warning of trouble with zombies at the mine has her racing to help, along with Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock studying "primitive local magic". Emily ends up with a strange stone embedded in her hand, and now she must be off to San Francisco to discover what is happening, as well as to get it out so her life can return to normal. They'll encounter deadly magic, Indians, betrayals, secret societies, and magic users of every kind.
I really enjoyed the worldbuilding. Discovering this magical America was a lot of fun. Stanton and Emily have an antagonistic relationship throughout most of the book, but work well together. I enjoyed the other supporting characters as well, although near the end so many new faces were thrown in that it was a little confusing.
I will be looking for the next book from Hobson.
The era is the 1870's and the location is in the American west. Fate has intervened and thrown together two very different individuals...a benevolent witch by the name of Emily Edwards and an out of favor warlock, Dreadnought Stanton. Unusual circumstances lead them to the site of a strange mining accident where Emily finds a beautiful blue gem...and upon picking it up, it becomes embedded within her hand. This gem has mysterious powers and once its presence in known, every necromancer, every magician of any renown, wants to have it for his own. Our heroes flee with the hopes of getting to New York, where the one person who might be able to provide some answers and help resides...the story begins and the chase ensues.
Author Hobson weaves a fine tale. I had the feeling at the beginning that this would be a light hearted 'western' (romance, horses and small towns etc.) with a few zombies thrown in the mix. However, such was not the case, because not only did this turned out to have some very well developed, interesting characters, but also the 'light-hearted' (mentioned above), soon turned out to be exceeding gory and unpleasant at times. All this because of some interesting evil-doers doing whatever was needed to accomplishes their goals...in this case gain possession, at any cost, of the blue gem.
Previously, an unknown author to me; I picked up this book mainly because of an intriguing cover and the high number of 5 star reviews. After a 'quiet' beginning this turned out to be an extremely well written fantasy/adventure...getting better as it went along. Some interesting characters, some unexpected turns and some chilling descriptions made this a very enjoyable fantasy read. The epilogue certainly left room for a sequel. 5 Stars.
The Native Star takes place in a slightly different late 1800's America. Witches and Warlocks are standard fare and there are competing schools of magic. The schools themselves are amazingly well thought out and each have a fascinating culture of their own. Strong world building is what pulled me in to this novel, and a wonderful cast of characters kept me reading. Apart from the magical schools (credomancy being my favorite for the sheer brilliance of it's design) there are the Aberrancies, creatures (and occasionally people) twisted by a dark matter the magical core of the earth exudes from time to time.
The protagonists are wonderfully human, with all the flaws and failings that implies, and the best of the villains are perfectly chilling. It is a love story worked very well into a grand tapestry of adventure, violence, and betrayal.
The book opens with a love charm gone terribly wrong, works its way through zombie miners that would kill to keep something buried, and the woman who unfortunately gets past them and winds up with an artifact of unprecedented power embedded in her hand.
And all of the competing magical schools would kill to have it in their possession.
What results is an excellent, fast-paced read that is very hard to put down.