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A Star Curiously Singing Paperback – October 1, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the DarkTrench Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This novel is further proof that, in the right hands, any genre can be used as an entertaining means of exploring deeper truths."

-- Eric Wilson, New York Times bestselling author

"Just one chapter, I told myself. Just to see what it's about. Yeah right. I read it in one sitting, sacrificing much-needed sleep on the altar of great storytelling."

-- Josh Olds, LifeIsStory.com 

"Kerry takes me somewhere I hadn't previously imagined and lets me live there for a while. His characters are well drawn, his situations thought-provoking, and he writes so smoothly that I can forget I'm actually sitting safe in my chair..."  

-- Kathy Tyers, New York Times bestselling author

"To finish this novel, I stayed up late. And I don't know if I ever sympathized or cheered so much for a fictitious robot."

-- E. Stephen Burnett, SpeculativeFaith.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Marcher Lord Press (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982104987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982104989
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,621,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I almost feel like what I'm about to write should be read by Don LaFontaine. But here we go . . .

In a world where Shari'a law is the rule and norm, SandFly is a debugger. He has an implant in his brain that allows him to access computer systems and robots, fixing and reprogramming them from within. But the implant also inhibits him, blocking "bad" thoughts and actions from ever forming.

His master sends him out on a mission to work on a robot that was part of the first interstellar flight to an alien star. On the trip, something caused the robot to tear itself to pieces. SandFly's job is to find out what that was.

The problem is, if he does, he puts himself and the whole world in jeopardy.

That's the plot of A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz.

I really enjoyed this book. Nietz puts together a very intricate world with its own terminology, rules, and mores and employs it effectively. At first, I had a little bit of trouble digesting it all. We dive in with both feet into SandFly's world, which has a lot of flash and jargon to it. Getting used to the ideas of debuggers, the stream, downriders, and so on and so forth. But once I got into it, everything flowed quite nicely. I especially appreciated Nietz's made up "cursing." Crichton and clarke!

The dystopian feel to it worked as well. Neitz's posited future, one where a certain monotheistic religion basically conquers the world, felt plausible and fully realized. The only thing that bothered me about that was referring to people as "Abduls." It was so constant it almost felt unnecessarily disrespectful. I understood the reasoning toward the end when Neitz explained it, but by then, I wonder if other readers might not be turned off.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a futuristic world where sharia law is in place and mankind relies on technology to perform the simplest task, DR63 "SandFly" is about to find his life turned upside down. A `Chosen One', SandFly was chosen as a youth to be implanted with a device that would allow him to speak to all of the machines that run the planet. Even though this would seem to give him incredible, unstoppable power, it does not because those in charge who `chose him' hold a controller that zaps him if disobeys. SandFly is a tool who belongs to a master, no more, no less. So how can he change the world? And what's wrong with the world anyway?

I'll leave that up to you to find out. Let me just tell you how fun this book was to read.

As an author myself, I read lots and lots of books. Some I enjoy, some not so much. This book, A STAR CURIOUSLY SINGING, is one that I hated to put down and I couldn't get it out of my mind. Because of my work load, I was only able to pick it up an hour at a time, but every time I set it down to go back to work, I thought about it all day. I sympathized and fell in love with the lead character immediately and worried for him as I longed to get back to the book. I can easily say that this is one of the best books I have ever read, and this is my very first sci-fi novel.

A review would not be complete without mentioning the technical aspects of Nietz's method and style of writing. SandFly speaks in first person, and he speaks often to me, the reader. He calls me a `freehead' (I have no implant, you see!) and through his point of view, I know him very intimately--and I like him! He is such a well-rounded, three-dimensional character that I felt often that that if I released just a little bit, I could imagine he is real and this book is true. I am looking forward to reading the sequel to this story THE SUPERLATIVE STREAM.

Bravo Mr. Nietz and God bless,

Ellen C Maze

Author of Curiously Spiritual Vampire Tales
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Format: Paperback
A Star Curiously Singing resonates with me the way Asimov did. Its social issues are carefully considered, informing the sci-fi plot. In the grand tradition of science fiction, the story turns on societal worldview.

The setting:

I've read work where secular thinking becomes the enforced norm; work where Judeo-Christian-based thinking is the threat. Kerry Nietz gives us a glimpse into a world where some variant of Islamic thinking is the state-mandated perspective.

Of more immediate impact than this is the social state of main character Sandfly, who is a powerful slave controlled by an internal brain implant. Even Sandfly doesn't consider himself really human. He's an intellectual cyborg.

Sandfly's circumstances could exist in any sci-fi work involving state control, but actually, the plot hinges on there being a non-Christian religious element to that control. It just wouldn't work with secularism. Nietz gets my full endorsement for weaving the religious elements into an organic necessity, avoiding cliche or sermonizing.

The plot:

Sandfly is dispatched by his master to solve a mystery from space. He hates space. He also soon realizes very weird things are going on. He's been given a robot to fix, but if he does, things will get life-threateningly messy.

And he's not even able to complain. If he does, the built-in controls of the chip in his head will punish him with a hard shot to the pain sensors. Nonetheless, he has a few methods for dealing with his masters' controls.

The genre elements:

The sci-fi elements are great, the balance of technical-vs-vague is excellently handled. I am enthralled by Nietz's spaceship, DarkTrench.
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