Book Review of A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz

Two weeks ago I was blessed enough to win a drawing for A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz. I ate it in two days. Now I will offer my review of this powerful book.

A Star Curiously Singing was published byMarcher Lord Press and is the first in the DarkTrench Saga. In a future mandated by Sharia law, machines are managed by debuggers, who in turn are owned by masters. Debuggers are chosen at a young age for their lot in life, and have no escape from their master’s controls. In this world is SandFly, a debugger who is going to learn that everything he has been told is a lie.

SandFly is abruptly updated to a level 13, called to a space station, cut off from ground communications, and ordered to fix a bot. But this isn’t just any bot. It was aboard the maiden flight of the DarkTrench, an experimental FTL ship. The problem? The bot tore itself apart while in deep space. What caused this? Is it a threat to humans? But most importantly, what is really going on in this space station?

The one thing that stood out to me after reading A Star Curiously Singing was the uniqueness. Kerry Nietz has weaved an incredible world, the premise of which few people are willing to use, and scatted it with refreshing details that automatically capture you on page one. As the you continue, you are grasped by an equally refreshing and unique story line.

Nietz’s style is informal, littered with sentence fragments and references to the reader. The latter is perhaps unusual today, but it is handled well and consequently has the refreshing feel that runs everywhere in this book. Sandfly calls you a freehead and reminds you of how different his lot and world is. As for the sentence fragments, at first my ‘grammar-Nazi’ mind found them annoying. Eventually the fragments fell in place as a compliment to the world.

Unfortunately, in this intriguing world the characters at times feel flat. SandFly wrestles with what he has been told about the world, God, and himself, and walks a very believable journey, but I did not feel as attached to him as I could be. However, this did not diminish my enjoyment or recommendation of the book.

The conclusion sits a bit odd theologically, but since A Star Curiously Singing is the first in the series, I’m not worried. The next in the DarkTrench Saga, The Superlative Stream, is on my wish list. A Star Curiously Singing left me with a longing for more of this strange new world and a curiosity for the singing star (I suspect the latter of which was the goal). Kerry Nietz has sufficiently stolen my attention with his debut novel. 5/5 stars.


About Kathrine Roid

I'm an science fiction and fantasy author living in Texas with an undead parakeet and teleporting cat. Think about that for a moment.

Posted on March 7, 2011, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sounds like a book! I just might check it out when I have time 🙂

  2. Thanks for the kind review Kathrine! Glad you enjoyed it. Look forward to your thoughts on the second one. 🙂

    • You’re very welcome. I’m always glad to share a good read with my readers, and your book certainly qualified. 🙂 I will indeed post a review of The Superlative Stream. Keep up the wonderful work!

  3. Thanks again, Kathrine. Your words are very encouraging. I really appreciate them.

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