The Actual Star

A Novel

hardcover, 624 pages

Published Sept. 13, 2021 by Harper Voyager.

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5 stars (6 reviews)

The Actual Star takes readers on a journey over two millennia and six continents —telling three powerful tales a thousand years apart, all of them converging in the same cave in the Belizean jungle.

Braided together are the stories of a pair of teenage twins who ascend the throne ofa Maya kingdom; a young American woman on a trip of self-discovery in Belize; and two dangerous charismatics vying for the leadership of a new religion and racing toward a confrontation that will determine the fate of the few humans left on Earth after massive climate change.

In each era, a reincarnated trinity of souls navigates the entanglements of tradition and progress, sister and stranger, and love and hate—until all of their age-old questions about the nature of existence converge deep underground, where only in complete darkness can they truly see.

The Actual Star is a feast of ideas about where …

2 editions

The Actual Star

4 stars

This one gave me Cloud Atlas vibes.

It's set across three timelines: ancient Maya, contemporary, and 1000 years in the future - I enjoyed the future segments and worldbuilding the most.

I feel like one needs to have a solid grounding in latine culture to get the most out of this.

thought provoking, definitely worth reading, ending a bit too tidy.

4 stars

Content warning meta discussion of ending