Lost Stars - Claudia Gray
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Never again will I take for granted a full day just for reading. It's been so long since I finished a book in one day that I forgot how it feels.
Lost Stars is a good book, but it's also a frustrating one. I get it, because we know what happens in the movies, in some ways, we know more than these characters do. Still, it's very frustrating to see characters you've grown to like turn a blind eye to fascism and even justify it.
Thane Kyrell was someone I can relate to on a personal level. He's a very cynical person and to a certain extent, so am I. He is very naive and idealistic when it comes to love, though. He really did believe in Ciena and in some cases, his belief was justified. I feel sad for him though, knowing that someone you love could grasp at straws trying to defend something that's evil. His POV was enjoyable. He struggled at first, but then he found something he could really believe in.
Ciena was more of a mixed bag. I admire her competency and to a certain extent, even her honor. However, I refuse to believe that honor is more important than the lives of people or than freedom. I understand that it's her culture and all that, but it's so unhealthy. She was grasping at straws trying to defend the genocide of an entire planet, of building a Death Star in the first place and she was being an apologist for fascism.
In the end, she was broken, depressed, and suicidal because she couldn't take it anymore. And instead of finally accepting everything she believed in was wrong and she could right it, she decides her honor is more important, her "loyalty" to the empire is more important. That's not loyalty- it's being self-serving because it makes you feel better.
Nash Windrider takes the cake for the worst person in the book though. What kind of person sees his planet and everything he loves get destroyed and then decide that giving in to fascism is the better option?
Still, despite my frustrations with the characters, I really did enjoy this book. I liked seeing through the eyes of Imperial officers and what they thought. At some point, they probably believed they were the good guys. Maybe at the end, they refused to acknowledge they weren't. Perhaps that's the real tragedy- every side in the war believed they were right, until they were proven wrong. Honestly, I would have given this a higher rating if the apologism for a fascist regime didn't annoy me so much.
The ending was more open-ending than I usually like for a standalone, so I'm hoping for a sequel. Or at least some acknowledgment of what happens to the characters elsewhere.