Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Crossroad Press (July 1, 2020)
Praise for THE SECOND STAR
“Like its cast of returned starfarers, this rich and continually surprising novel is many things at once: a religiously-inflected first contact story; an engaging psychological mystery; a glimpse of the future through the eyes of the past; and a moving tale about the difficulties of homecoming. I highly recommend it. ” —Matt Ruff, author of Set This House in order
“The Second Star is a grandly deep wallow in multiple personality disorder material. Dr. Stella Froud is wonderful as she studies six star-faring humans who come home fractured.” —Jennifer Stevenson, author of Walking on Sunshine
The Parada had been lost for almost two hundred years before they recovered the ship, drifting in stygian interstellar darkness, and brought her home again.
But that was not the miracle.
The miracle was that the crew was still alive.
That was also the problem.
Six crew members went out on the Parada, Earth’s first starship. All contact was lost, and the ship vanished for almost two centuries. When the Parada’s successor found the drifting ship and somehow managed to bring it home, the six crew members were not only still alive but barely older, due to the time dilation effects of near-FTL travel. Their return was a miracle – but it could not be revealed to the waiting world. The problem was, six individuals went out to the stars. More than seventy fractured personalities came back.
Psychologist Stella Froud and Jesuit Father Philip Carter were recruited as part of the team assembled to investigate the mystery, and to try and help the Parada’s crew understand their condition and possibly reverse it. What they discovered was a deepening mystery, and very soon they found themselves forced to take sides in a conflict that nobody could have possibly predicted. Their world would never be the same again.
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I received a copy of The Second Star for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
Oh man, talk about a beginning. The book is fairly long page wise, but the suspense makes it feel short. And it starts right from the beginning. Alma Alexander weaves a psychological thriller with a scifi backdrop about a ship coming back to Earth.
The strange things begin with how long its been out in space and it keeps going.
From the get go, I was glued to my seat, reading. I wanted to know what Froud learns and to see what is going on. I had my theories as to the truth, but I didn’t see the end coming the way it did.
I like Alexander’s writing style. It is evenly paced and the suspense is well written. I could feel it from the first chapter on and it only whet my curiosity. Weaving together medical terms into the story, the story itself wasn’t a difficult read. And to add, I loved the tiny world building details without going into heavy exposition on why some things are the way they are. She used the characters and their experiences as a way to show the world. Well done.
With all these scifi books I keep finding on my lap, I’m beginning to grow a better fondness for the genre as a whole. I’m just going to add this and Alma Alexander on the pro list. Guess it’s time to look into reading scifi more.
Guest Post From the Author
Ten Favorite Reads Ever
- Lord of the Rings (J R R Tokien)
- Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
- Here Be Dragons/Falls the Shadow/The Reckoning (Sharon Penman)
- Dune (Frank Herbert)
- The first Amber quintet (Roger Zelazny)
- The Sparrow (Mary Doria Russell)
- The Fool on the Hill/Set This House in Order (Matt Ruff)
- The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula le Guin)
- Shadow of the Moon (M M Kaye)
- The Merlin Trilogy (Mary Stewart)
Photo Content from Alma Alexander
Alma Alexander is an author whose books include the internationally acclaimed historical fantasy The Secrets of Jin-shei published in 13 language, and its follow-up, Embers of Heaven, set in a fantasy China.
VOYA suggested that her Worldweavers series (Gift of the Unmage, Spellspam, Cybermage, Dawn of Magic) might be just the thing “for readers suffering Harry Potter withdrawal.”
Another series, The Were Chronicles (Random, Wolf, Shifter), which dramatically changes the Were world, is about to be republished,
Other fantasies include her haunting and newly republished Midnight at Spanish Gardens, as well as Changer of Days, Wings of Fire, Empress, and a humorous science fiction novel, AbductiCon. She has edited two anthologies, River and Children of a Different Sky.
More on all her books – and links for buying them – can be found under the pull-down menu BOOKS at the top of the page.
Alma Alexander was born on the banks of the Danube in a country that no longer exists, grew up in Africa, and is married to an American she met online. She lives with him and two cats in the cedar woods of the U,S. Pacific Northwest.
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