Hold Back the Stars – Katie Khan

hold-back-the-starsThe story:
Carys and Max are floating through space with only 90 minutes of air left in their tanks and no conceivable means of getting back to their ship. As the clock ticks down, the young couple grow try everything they can to make it back to safety, while in flashbacks we learn about the history of their relationship, how they ended up stranded in space and the earth they left behind and how they

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. We really got to know Carys and Max as characters. They’re in an impossible situation and their reactions seem incredibly real and incredibly human. They swing between from optimistic, practical bursts of activity to hopeless despair as the minutes tick by. They bicker and argue, but also laugh and joke and hold each other together.

I was completely emotionally invested in whether or not they’d make it and for the last 25% of the book I was literally holding back sobs on the train on my way to work. I really didn’t like the ending though. It’s hard to discuss without spoilers, but I just thought it was a bit of a cop out and it made me angry!

The concept of the new utopian society that’s been formed on earth in the wake of new world wars was interesting. People are encouraged to live independently and as individuals until their late 30’s, rotating around Europe every three years, meaning that they’re constantly moving, learning new skills and meeting new people. The idea is to challenge our accepted concept of home and identity – making it harder for groups of people to form and wage war on one another.

For the most part, people are happy, peaceful and thriving. But utopia only works if everyone follows the rules, and Max and Carys challenge the accepted system when they fall in love. As a result, their relationship isn’t smooth sailing. It’s sometimes strained, they fight and they’re constantly questioning their feelings for each other and what they’re doing. It doesn’t feel forced and there’s no cheesy insta-love.

This is billed as a sci fi novel, but even though it is set in the future and it takes place partly in space, the majority of the book feels much more like contemporary drama/romance.


One thought on “Hold Back the Stars – Katie Khan

  1. Pingback: March wrap-up | The Stacked Shelf

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