cover image Starbreak


Phoebe North. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5956-4

In North’s debut, Starglass, 16-year-old Terra was deeply unhappy under the repressive government of the generation starship Asherah and longed to reach the approaching planet Zehava, the colonists’ long-sought new homeland. There she hoped to be united with Vadix, the beautiful alien boy with whom she’d been in telepathic communication (and love) for months. Now that she and some of the other crew members have descended to the planet, everything is going wrong. The monstrous Aleksandra Wolff is also on the planet and wants Terra dead. Worse, the indigenous inhabitants of Zehava are far more alien than Terra expected; although attractive and roughly humanoid, they’re actually sentient plants, some of whom see animals (including humans) primarily as food and are skeptical about the possibility of coexistence. Even Vadix, with his “translucent skin and endless black eyes,” now seems potentially hostile. In this successful sequel, Terra—as thorny, impulsive, and strong-willed as ever—remains a magnetic protagonist, and Vadix’s civilization is nearly as fascinating as the culturally Jewish society of the Asherah. Ages 12–up. Agent: Michelle Andelman, Regal Literary. (July)