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The Star Host Paperback – March 3, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Seventeen-year-old Ren has had a rural upbringing as a duster. He has never known his father and has grown up listening to his mother's legends of Star Hosts. When he's abducted by the power-hungry Baron along with his friends, Ren finds a power awakening within him. When a ruthless general discovers Ren's potential as a technopath, the teen struggles to master his overwhelming new abilities and escape before he can be used in the Baron's scheme to conquer not only Ren's home planet but the entire alliance in their part of the galaxy. Anchoring Ren to his humanity as the star power consumes him is Ash, a hostage member of the Phoenix Corps with an irreverent attitude and an interest in Ren that only intensifies when they're on the run. As the two race to keep Ren's ability out of the Baron's control and seek the aid of the Corps, their connection deepens even amid the fear and suspicion they encounter at every turn. In direct contrast to the energetic plot, the flirtation between the two develops at a tantalizing pace, from their first introduction, in adjacent iron cells, to the final conflict. Lukens writes a satisfying balance of action and romance in a science fiction setting that will feel familiar to fans of the genre. Readers of Shannon Hale's Dangerous will appreciate this work. VERDICT Add this title to young adult sci-fi collections, and expect readers to eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.—Amanda Foulk, Sacramento Public Library

About the Author

F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.


A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college's science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels--especially anything by Douglas Adams.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press (March 3, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941530729
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941530726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,242,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this world (Earth and the world in the book), there are people whose bodies are home to a kind of power that can either be harnessed and used consciously, or can overpower the host and crumble him to its own use.

The Star Host by F. T. Lukens is the story of one such person, Ren, whose body holds a small piece of a star, which gives him immense power to commune with—control or be controlled by—machines. He’s taken prisoner by a power-hungry ruler and isolated in a cell. In the cell next to him, however, is Asher, a former Phoenix Corps military man who becomes his confidante, friend, and eventually, his love.

The novel tells the story of Ren’s capture, his attempts to harness and hide the power he has, and his witness of cruel and sometimes deadly treatment of his friends. The novel also tells the story of how Ren and Ash become close, how they come to depend upon and support one another, and how—finally—they plan an escape from the dungeon in which they’re held.

I’m not doing it much justice here: it’s absolutely riveting. With a plot strung tight with anticipation and sharp writing in which two very different, very distinct and real characters come to seem real, The Star Host held me so tightly I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it entirely, in nearly one gulp.

That sentence, though, the first one I wrote, keeps calling me back. It resonates on more than one frequency here. Though love between two men, in this novel, in the world it describes, seems neither out of the ordinary, nor strange, nor dangerous, nor remarkable in any way (unlike in our own world), and the fact of this is unremarkable to the story’s narration itself. Visiting in this world feels like such an immense relief, for being gay doesn’t seem to matter at all.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ren is captured while trying to hide his brother from the gangs of soldiers who range the countryside near his home. Forced to march several days to the citadel of the Baron who rules Ren's segment of the planet Erden, Ren learns that he's got powers that rival the legends his mother taught him. he has the ability to shutdown the electric cattle prods and stunners that are continually aimed at him.

He wants to escape, but he knows he needs to be strategic about it. The baron seems to be amassing an army--to what purpose none of the new captive can even guess. The citadel is a fortress, and the baron's general knows that Ren's power allows him to control any machine. Ren's a star host, and his gift is technopathy; he's soon put to work fixing all the broken tech that serves the baron's army. And this includes spaceships that seem poised to go offworld.

Ren is housed in a technopath-proof iron prison alongside Asher, a political prisoner. Asher was born and raised on a drift--a space station. He was a member of the Phoenix Corps who crashed on Erden. The only reason he's still alive is because his mother is a galactic counselor--and providing regular evidence that Asher lives keeps the Phoenix Corps from landing on Erden and wrecking the baron's plans for offworld domination. These plans include coercing Ren into tapping into ships and space stations, defending and controlling them in the name of the baron. Ren has other ideas, however. He wants to go home, but knows this is impossible. With Asher's connections they may just be able to escape Erden together, and keep Ren from fusing with the machines that call to him.

It's a fascinating "chosen one" tale with elegant prose and a fast-paced plot.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful adventure story combining fantasy and science fiction. Basically love, honour, heroism and intelligence win out from psychopathic ideas of grandeur, despite the well-meaning, political correct and bureaucratic obstacles of the governing council and military of the good guys.
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Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 out of 5 Stars
For original review, please visit the Prism Book Alliance® blog online.

I continued my science fiction kick with a YA novel I have been eyeing for quite some time. The Star Host by F.T. Lukens hooked me from the blurb. It still hasn’t let me go, and I finished reading it hours ago. I want more… like right, the heck now. I need more Asher and Ren in my life. You need more Asher and Ren in your lives.

Ren has a special ability that his family spent his whole life hiding from him. When those abilities start to manifest, it couldn’t come at a worse time. He unwittingly catches the eye of some very powerful and very power hungry men. Men who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The Star Host deals with power struggles, power corruption, slavery, murder, friendship, tragedy, family, love, and so much more. There are underlying themes and lessons everywhere you turn, but they don’t hit you over the head. This story is not a didactic exposition. It subtly teaches you about the importance of love and friendship. It shows the effects fear of the unknown can have on society. It teaches you to be wary of the motivations of those in power.

Along the way, you get to meet two fantastic characters — Ren and Asher. Two characters who just want the other one to stay safe. Two characters that have a lot to learn about themselves as well as each other. Two characters surrounded by a pretty kick butt team. Two characters who have not finished telling us their story.

I sincerely hope Lukens has more in store for Ren, Asher, Rowan, Jakob, and crew. I will certainly read it if they write it.
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