The Star of the Sea (Weird Space #4) (10/25/2016)

The Star of the Sea by Una McCormackARC releaseThe Star of the Sea by Una McCormack
Published: Abaddon (Oct 25, 2016)
Posted: Goodreads (Sep 30, 2016)
5 Stars (5 / 5)

The Star of the Sea.

Stella Maris.

The inhospitable world made habitable by the mysterious Weird is the focus of this epic interstellar adventure.

The Weird Space series continues in this epic 4th installment by Una McCormack. The novel is natural continuation of The Baba Yaga by Una McCormack and Eric Brown and may contain spoilers for it.

In The Star of the Sea, the reader is brought back to the desert world of Stella Maris to explore the results of Delia Walker’s journey into the realm of the Weird. Her resulting wake leaves no world untouched. While months go by without incident, the rippling effect of Maria’s rogue message is finally set to change the otherwise harmonious life of the planet’s inhabitants.

The Star of the Sea features vividly described worlds and cities in the true spirit of a space opera. From the downtrodden but peaceful Stella Maris, to the glass city spires of Venta on archipelagos of Hennessy’s World, no location is left unexplored. Even a one-time stop for the characters, Capital Station, has real history and beauty. The world building is stellar.

Yale, a woman with a mysterious past, tries to make a life for herself on Stella Maris. But when the Expansion takes notice of the Vetch-Human settlement, she must work with her Vetch neighbors to decide the best course of action. A mysterious girl named Cassandra may hold the key to the world’s survival.

One of the strengths of The Star of the Sea is its diverse cast. There are many complex and ever changing characters. We learn about the Expansion and their goals through the eyes of an information analyst, Maxine Lee, a recluse living in the surveillance city of Venta. Eileen O’Connor is a human Weird Researcher seeing the settlement and Stella Maris for the first time. Their views of the Expansion are detailed and in flux, reactive to the story that unfolds around them.

Maria and Failt from The Baba Yaga make a return appearance. Both characters are deep and convincing. Maria’s evolution from just a single mother on the run to something great fits the story. People’s perceptions of her actually matter to her development and the story as a whole. Failt is given express treatment here. No longer able to hide in the shadow of another, the experienced young Vetch seems smarter, and is forced to play a greater role in the events that transpire.

While The Star of the Sea has plenty of world-hopping adventure, I found that it was less focused on quick action than its predecessor. This is a good thing as it allows for more story and substance. One of the strongest aspects of The Star of the Sea is that it’s story and character-centric. While it starts slower than The Baba Yaga, it makes up for that in sheer depth.

Secret and lies. The subtle manipulation of truth. When an empire’s grip on the future is rattled, all of Weird Space feels the changes. Great writing, excellent characters, and epic story. (Edge 5/Goodreads 5)

(This book was received from the publisher for a fair and honest review.)

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