The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj

October 14, 2015
The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj, Book Review, InToriLex
FOUR STARS
The Stars Change
~Amazon~

SYNOPSIS:

The Stars Change: an erotic science fiction novel-in-stories. On a South Asian-settled university planet, tensions are rising, and as they reach the brink of interstellar war, life (and sex) continues. Humans, aliens, and modified humans gather at the University of All Worlds in search of knowledge... and self-knowledge... but the first bomb has fallen and the fate of this multicultural, multispecies mecca is in question. Some people will seek solace in physical contact, some will look for spiritual answers, while others will find their strength in community, family, and love. Some will rush home to make love to their wife. Or wives. Or husbands. Or indeterminate gender human and/or alien partners. Others will be forced to decide where they stand -- what is worth fighting for, or maybe even worth dying for.

In The Stars Change, author Mary Anne Mohanraj presents a multi-layered, thought-provoking, and far-reaching work on sexuality and the connections between people--whether male or female, human or alien. The Stars Change is part space opera, part literary mosaic of story, poem, and art.

It is fitting that a book that emphasizes the power of community was funded through Kickstarter. Begun as a project entitled "Demi Monde," The Stars Change is the result of the money raised by supporters that went to pay for not only the art and illustrations in the book, but the author's time, allowing her to focus on writing for that crucial interval.

REVIEW:

This was a book club read with Boston Radical Women of Color Book Club. I couldn't make the actual book club to discuss it, so I can't speak to what others thought. This was a unique read with a under developed plot, but the colorful characters and different alien species more then made up for that. Kimsriyalani, Amara, Narita, Gaurav, and Chieri, were beings thrust into difficult situations while in turmoil within their personal life. As this peaceful academic haven is threatened, we learn about different species in this world and  their struggles to come together past any culture differences. The illustrations were also very well done and placed within the novel (Illustrations by Jack Kotz).

The erotica took a back seat while reading to me, which puzzled me because it is marketed as a erotic sci-fi novel. The sex described was done tastefully. I did wonder how different species would adapt to have sex with humans, but the author didn't go there. Instead most of the novel described relationships, no matter the gender or species,the emotions described were relateable and familiar. This book explores alot about identity and how love can have a huge impact on how you look at yourself and trust others. The characters have all been deeply affected by their love for someone else, and have to come to terms with that.
"Old Friends meet in the house of God seeking clarity amidst the shouting."
The novel explores alot of concepts but same gender relationships  wasn't a conflict with the characters. Class divides, human modification, religion and non-humanness were the points of division that were explored, but done so in a way that shed light on all sides. Although there were many concepts and ideas brought up they were not explored for more then a chapter. The short length of the book and focus on characters more than plot, made the flow and organization disjointed. Despite any downfalls, if you are a sc-fi fan, who appreciates memorable characters I would definitely recommend this book for you. There are definitely passages that make you think and recognize some of yourself in the pages, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

2 comments:

  1. This definitely sounds like it was an interesting read! Great review. :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, and thanks for commenting as always!!!

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