cover image Made of Stars

Made of Stars

Jenna Voris. Viking, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-52521-0

Voris’s bustling debut, a Bonnie and Clyde–inspired space pirate exploit, features grim conflict, corrupt politics, and social upheaval steeped in moral complexities. Seventeen-year-old Ava Castor would do anything to escape from what she feels is a dead-end existence living on the planet Nakara. So she joins up with 18-year-old Shane Mannix, a ship-stealing daredevil whose defiance escalates after a stint of harsh imprisonment under the ruling Opian empire. When an operation unveils a secret Opian plot that will devastate Ava and Shane’s home world, the duo undertake a series of increasingly violent and risky odd jobs and perilous heists that bring them into repeated confrontation with Opian officials, including Cyrus Blake, an 18-year-old recent flight school graduate who grew up in a financially precarious household. As Shane and Ava continually clash with Cyrus and his peers, Cyrus recognizes unexpected commonalities with the outlaws, forcing him to question his role within the Opian institution. Shane and Ava’s mutual desperation to exact revenge for wrongdoings committed against them at any cost exemplifies the narrative’s core themes of vengeance and rebellion. Shane is described as having pale skin; Ava is brown-skinned; Cyrus reads as white. Ages 12–up. Agent: Claire Friedman, InkWell Management. (Mar.)