I have very mixed feelings about this book. I'm giving it 3 stars for now, not sure if that will change later. There were many things I liked about Starglass. I could hardly put it down, but that didn't make me absolutely love it. I found the inclusion of the Jewish culture an interesting idea and I liked it, I wondered about how it came to be that way through half of the book before I finally got to an explanation. I think it would have maybe been better to have that at the beginning of the book.
I'm really into space operas right now and this one was ok, but not spectacular on that front. It is mostly a dystopian type story disguised as a space opera. There is little technology described. It barely feels like they are on a spaceship. In some ways this book could be compared to Across the Universe, there are quite a few similarities, but this is very clearly a book with a message while Across the Universe was, in my opinion just fun reading and wasn't weighed down by the heavy message. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with messages in books, but I did feel like this one completely took over the whole story.
The message in Starglass is being free to love who you want to love and make the choices you want to make. I'm all for that, but I can't say I agree with some of the choices that were made by some of the characters in the book, even though, yes, they should be free to make them. I very much am opposed to infidelity in marriage for whatever reason, and although I could sympathize with the situation a couple of characters found themselves in, I couldn't condone their actions. I know the spouse was ok with it, but that didn't make me feel ok about it. That being said, neither of them are the main character, but their story was used to push the message.
I liked the main character Terra a lot, at least all the way up until the thing with Silvan and beyond. I understood her confused and conflicted feelings about a lot of things, but I could not understand her feelings for Silvan, or what she actually found attractive about him. First the way he treated her best friend and then the way he was so full of himself and talked down about other people. Really the whole characterization of Silvan bothered me. It is mentioned that his favorite flower is lilies a couple of times, and once he is described as smelling like flowers. And then there is this paragraph describing him at one point in the book:
Silvan stood straight, grinning at me, looking beautiful. He wore a long tunic. At first glance it looked simply white. But when I came closer, I saw that it was embroidered with tiny flowers in threads of violet and gold. It matched his rank cord perfectly. It was a beautiful, fine outfit--and it must have cost a fortune. Seeing how I regarded him, he flicked his curls off his shoulder, preening.
Is this really supposed to be a guy we are reading about here? I really wish that YA books would stop describing guys as beautiful, but when they are written this way what else can you call them? Even more annoying than the way Silvan is described is all the rolling around almost having sex that happens through this part of the book. It was just overdone. Beyond the stuff with Silvan there is also the murder thing involving the main character. Not redeemable for any reason.
This book ends on a big cliffhanger. I've put the next book on my sequels I may or may not read list, but I'm not sure how eager I am to read the next one. I have a feeling it's going to be drowned in YA romance, which I suppose will be fine if I'm in the mood for that, but could get really annoying as well if the romance is written like it was in this one.