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Posted July 19, 2009
Diamond Star is a stand-alone book, but it also is part of a collection of books, novellas, and short stories that Catherine Asaro has written about the Skolian empire/universe. I also have to disclose that this is the first of Asaro's books that I have read.
The book is strong enough to encourage me to read more of her books, especially from the Skolian empire series. The book is weak enough that I almost didn't get far enough to come to that conclusion. Let me explain:
The first third of the book is very focused on introducing us to Del and his baptism into the world of the music business of the future. Other than references to fancy equipment and the fact that Del was from a planet other than earth, I felt like it was a book about a wannabe rock singer of the 1960s or '70s, and I wasn't very intrigued.
But as the reader gets to know Del and some layers of background are unpeeled, the story becomes more complex and compelling. I found the last half of the book to be engrossing, fun, scary, and thought-provoking, and I found the ending to be heart-wrenching. I was surprised I had come to care so much about Del and his relationships with family and friends, but I had. That's the mark of a good writer.
I will be interested to see how some of Asaro's other Skolian books compare to Diamond Star. I am especially interested to read about some of the other members of Del's family to better understand how they became the people they are in this book.
If we could give half-stars, this book would be 3.5. I bumped it up to 4 rather than down to 3 because of the strength of the second half of the book.
The CD that goes with the book is quite good--not music I would normally listen to, but I received it with the book and have listened several times. Kudos to the band Point Valid.
Posted May 25, 2009
You know the old saying "Never Judge a Book By its Cover" well that definitely applies here. The cover reminds me of Disco and the music of the story is anything but Disco. The story delves into the scarred psyche of a man who doesn't know his own worth. Del-Kurj Arden Valdoria kya Skolia; aka Del Arden has a difficult journey of self discovery. He knows his love of music will be his salvation.
Del strives to define himself; not by his heritage or by his personal weaknesses; but by his love of music. His journey helps him to see that his talent is more than just his ability to sing but it is the whole way he strives to be better than some of the choices he has made in his life. Del's journey takes us through a futuristic view of the music world with all its up swings and pit falls. It shows us all that just because we make a mistake it doesn't mean we can't learn and grow from that mistake; taking control of how we live our own lives.
This novel is more than a romance between a man and a woman. It also shows us that music is more than just sounds we listen to. But ideas expressed in words and sounds that can reach into your soul and change your views on the world around you. It shows us the struggle each of us face to show we are more than the mistakes we have made; that each of us can over-come a bad choice by learning from it a moving forward; not wallowing in self pity and denial.
I really recommend this book it has all the qualities needed to make it a compelling read
Posted April 19, 2009
The Allied Worlds of Earth, The Eubian Concord Trader Empire, and Skolian Imperialate make up the human empires in the distant future. The Skolian Imperialate and the Trader Empire went to war, but neither won. Hostilities remain with another flare up possible. Earth provided sanctuary to some of the Skolian Imperialate Ruby Dynasty. When the war ended with the Trader Empire, the Skolians brought home everyone except Prince Del- Kurj who was separated from his off-world people.------------
Del is frustrated and outraged as earth politicians are making it difficult for him to go home even with immense pressure from the Skolians. Mac Tyler takes him to a studio where he is seen and heard by producer Ricki Varento. He receives a recording contract, which he hopes will prove successful as he knows his family thinks he is worthless. Dal is a powerful empath, but is surprised when the crowds adore him and admire his talent as they love his music. Within a year, he is number one. However when a friend is abducted and tortured by an Aristo Trader, he sings a song that brings three civilizations to the brink of all out war.----------------
DIAMOND STAR is a fresh excellent addition to the Skolian Empire saga due to mostly Del, a prince who prefers to be a music star. All of the action occurs on earth where an innocent man must adapt to a new challenge. Readers see the world through his Skolian eyes. There are several major subplots tied together by Del as fans will understand how his producers, band members, fans, and even the Aristo Trader see the expatriate Skolian royal. Somewhat tongue in cheek, Catherine Asaro provides a thoughtful tale of a star is born as the prince believes the magic is in the music instead of the purple reign.-----------
Posted July 17, 2010
No text was provided for this review.