THE STARLESS SEA
Beautifully imperfect story about Story.
I’ve had this ARC for more a year and a half. I was really looking forward to reading it. A coworker passed me her copy, but she’s super hardcore about her book usage, and what I got was in 7 pieces. (ARCs are frequently not high quality bindups.) I did my best, but you can’t really take a book like that everywhere, as I’m wont to do with ARCs. So I set it aside. Then 2020 happened.
I picked it up again in the fall of 2020, and once I got going with it again, it was a super fast read. The narrative contains multiple stories that wrap around each other, leaving clues and puzzles that won’t make sense for large portions of the novel. The main character is sweet, and unassuming, and the story that wraps around him is romantic and lush. The world he walks through is well-envisioned and a delight to the minds eye. Each supporting character also has a thread, but they are all less well-envisioned. They make sense, and by the end all has been made clear, but some of the motivations of the characters seem tentatively named and explored.
I’ve been working on a review for this book for way too long. Time to move on, I think, rather than continue to try and sort out my thoughts on it. Starless is a good book – very interesting, especially if you have a love of storytelling, chock full of symbols and references. There’s a lot packed into the book, and I think it suffers for this a little bit. Story is universal, but trying to stuff in such a myriad of perspectives and ideas weakens the overall effect of the book, which is a shame.