Phoebe North
  • Review
By – November 7, 2014

A Sci-Fi adven­ture with a touch of mur­der mys­tery, Jew­ish under­tones and over­tones, and much food for thought, Star­glass is a grip­ping read and an inter­est­ing, unusu­al choice for the young adult search­ing for some­thing slight­ly off the well-beat­en track. 

Ter­ra Fineberg and her fam­i­ly reside in an immense space­ship, cen­turies removed from a dying plan­et Earth, now en route to a new world on which they hope to estab­lish a sec­u­lar though some­what tra­di­tion­al form of Jew­ish life. As they near their des­ti­na­tion, polit­i­cal and per­son­al unrest com­pli­cate the choic­es the char­ac­ters need to make, remind­ing read­ers that cer­tain ele­ments of human nature seem nev­er to change in spite of tech­no­log­i­cal advances and the pas­sage of eons. 

The author presents human­ly flawed, com­plex char­ac­ters try­ing to make good choic­es in trou­bling times. Eth­i­cal deci­sions in compli­cated sit­u­a­tions here, as in real life, are nev­er as clear-cut as one would wish and this view of the future is dis­turb­ing but it is not com­plete­ly with­out hope. The fic­tion­al ele­ments meld into a fine read which is rec­om­mend­ed for ages 12 and up.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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