Spoiler-free review: Starfall by Jessie Kwak


I received a review audiobook of Starfall: A Durga System Novella by Jessie Kwak in exchange for my honest opinion.


Starla Dusai is a 15-year-old girl who has been separated from her family after her home was destroyed by the Alliance, and now she’s being held prisoner on an unfamiliar planet. She is also deaf. Willem Jaantzen is a known criminal, who also happens to be her Godfather. He is determined to save her. This novella follows both characters’ stories in alternating chapters, which intertwine to form an exciting sci-fi story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. Kwak’s writing is fluid and filled with beautiful imagery. I loved how the ending of each chapter always left me wanting more. It was hard to stop listening!

I liked both the main characters of Starla and Jaantzen. It was refreshing to read a story about someone who is deaf. I’ve never come across a book with a deaf main character before, and now I hope to expand my horizons and read more in the future. Starla is a very likable character who has an interesting past, which I hope to hear more about in later installments. It was also fun to read about Jaantzen, a crime lord, who is also loyal to the people he cares about. I never felt like any of the characters were stereotypes or clichés; they were believable and had realistic dialogue, motivations, and personalities.

My only complaint is that as I was listening to the audiobook, it was hard to keep up with all of the characters. I’m more of a visual learner, so I think I would have better remembered who all the side characters were if I could have seen the names as opposed to just hearing them. That might have just been a personal issue though. The audiobook was narrated by Scott Dai who had a very easy voice to listen to.

I don’t often read sci-fi books, but I’m glad that I read this one! It was enjoyable and fast-paced, with a cast of characters I want to find out what happens to. I will definitely read future installments.


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