Friday, June 22, 2012

Yvonne Anderson - Story in the Stars

Story in the Stars
Gateway to Gannah

By Yvonne Anderson

Kindle Edition Available 

Product Description (from Amazon) 

The inhabitants of the planet Gannah are known as bloodthirsty savages who once tried to conquer the galaxy. Now a plague has ravaged the planet and only one survivor remains, a young woman named Dassa. Pik, the doctor from the League of Planets assigned to her case, hates everything Gannahan and wishes every last one of its people had died. Bereft of everything she's ever known, Dassa clings to her God and the story he has written in the stars. He has given her an assignment: to return to Gannah and replenish it with a new race of people. But she must first overcome the prejudice of the entire galaxy and recruit her de facto enemy, Pik, to help her

About the Author (from Amazon)

Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world. Story in the Stars is the first in her Gateway to Gannah series.

Visit her Website

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Rachel

When we were contacted by the author to review her book, I jumped at the chance.  Christian Science Fiction is very rare, and even rarer is Christian Sci-Fi that is well done.
The comments on Amazon were encouraging, so I volunteered.  I certainly am glad that I did!

“Story in the Stars” gets off to a slow start; at least it did for me.   It took a while to get to know Dassa, and I never could quite get my initial image of Pik being human looking out of my head, probably from watching too much Star Trek.  This book did have the world feel of Star Trek – the technology was more primitive, the people groups were all different.  It had a taste of Federation.. but called it the League of Planets.

In the first part of the book, the action is occasionally somewhat jerky, Yvonne would make a short comment about changing location (from one ship to another for instance), and then back peddle the story or make some explanation, then slide back to the location without additional warning ... this left me flipping backwards in the story a few times to find the missing details.  They were always there, I just missed them.

Also, some of the conversations were somewhat flat, especially if the conversations drew out long and without any action – such as the investigation “courtroom” scenes.

But then Yvonne found her groove, and the story just really took off.  I finally figured out where the Christian part of the story was, and began to get a feel for her point of view there.  Bible stories wove in and out with delightful effect.   And, it was a stroke of genius that the most war-like race of people were the bringers of the Good News.  From a gospel standpoint, the story was amazing, and I didn’t feel like the Bible was endlessly quoted in order to add word count – it was part of the story – the story itself breathed the Gospel.  In fact, the book contained very little fluff filler.  Almost every part of every page either furthered the story or helped the reader understand their characters better.  Shaky start – but a solid finish.

Basic Plot (not in the order of the book’s telling)

Gannahan people are a peaceful race, but are attacked.  They defend themselves, since they live on a harsh planet, become “blood thirsty” and begin attacking and destroying other civilizations.  As they conquer, their King begins to notice that every planet has a Story in their Stars.  It leads him to Earth, where he makes a heart changing discovery.  Eager to share with his people and others, he returns home to find that the Karkar have created a plague that has wiped out the Nasi left to guard their planet, and the ships autopilot course has brought the ships home.  He has the ships sunk to avoid spreading the virus.

Years later, nearly a millennium,  the plague wipes out the entire planet – Dassa was on her final mission to become a Nasi, and arrives at the palace already full of extensive death, a call was made for help, by the time help arrives as the Karkar, Dr. Pik, with the antidote, Dassa is the only living soul left.  Only her husband is still alive, somewhere off planet.  But she never sees him again.  Dassa is the last Gannahan left – and apparently the only soul in the entire galaxy left willing to keep and believe the gospel.

Dassa goes to earth to become a teacher ... and years pass.

She feels Yeshua calling her back to her planet ... and she is to bring Dr. Pik with her.  Theirs is a strange relationship.  He is not full Karkar – and the only one of his race of mixed blood.  Yet, he feels strangely compelled and attracted to this female – the lone survivor of her race – a race that his planet has hated and wished dead for nearly a millennium.   How does he allow her to tug at his feelings like she does so often?   She is strange, amazing, and frightening, she knows nothing of correct society – he cannot understand her at all.  Hate and fascination and compassion war within him.  All she asks of him is his forgiveness – and his race never forgives anyone, ever.

Together, they travel across the galaxy in a tiny ship.  But what will they find when they reach Gannah?  Will they reach an understanding?  Can Dassa learn to love Pik with God’s forgiveness and love?  Can Pik learn to forgive and accept the truth of the Story in the Stars?


I finished the story at 2:30am, having been compelled to keep reading page after page as the slow and steady mystery of what had happened and why it had happened began to piece together.  My heart was impressed with the impact of the story – years ago, like Yvonne, I had been impressed by the Story in the Heavens.  I wanted to write a story, and had a few rough ideas, but no idea how to proceed.  There aren’t many Christian Science Fiction books, and most are so poorly written and overpriced, that they are not worth reading, so I was at a loss for the time and inspiration to follow through.  But here I found the things I had wanted to say and write – no, not the exact same story – but the heart and soul of the book – it echoed my thoughts and feelings.  I finished this book with a gigantic grin on my face.   How inspiring!

What a story of love, and forgiveness, of sacrifice and redemption, and grace and obedience. What a beautiful picture of God’s story this book painted.  I was most pleased by the author’s closing comments.  It has been a great struggle today, to not go ahead and pick up the second book.

This book and the world of Gannah, does perhaps have a chance to become very popular among our youth and young adults of today’s churches.   This is one of the best written Christian Fiction books that I have read in many years.  Not to say that I’ve read very many lately, but very few were able to pull off a story that glorifies God while still compelling the reader to continue to turn pages, preaching through the actions and not sermons or pages of scripture.  There is too much God in the story to please many secular readers, but even this attitude, shutting God away and trying to dispose of Him, is addressed.  Still, the story is quite compelling enough to draw in a curious reader, and many will very much enjoy the book in spite of the Godly message.  This book is very much on par with the average published secular science fiction.  I very much enjoyed the world of Gannah!

O.Scarlett! guest REVIEW by V. Kathie (age 14)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I started reading it to find out why my mom was enjoying it so much. I was enthralled, it had a rather rocky beginning that did not totally make sense but after I got to about the third chapter I was hooked. In my opinion this is twice as good as Star Trek. Same feel but different. When I met Pik the first thought that came to mind was “Oh look, she took Spock’s mannerisms and Dr. McCoy’s career and stuck them together in one character.” I am a huge Star Trek fan, the only thing I have against Star Trek it is its evolution. And this book practically eliminated it. Yes the Captain, and Pik brought evolution up but it never was presented as truth. For me this book had the perfect amount of gore, romance, creation, science, medicine, and spaceships to keep me happy throughout the book. I believe if this book was ever discovered in Christen circles it will become a best seller. I could not put it down till I was done with the entire thing.
I especially enjoyed the fact that she taught Hebrew in the course of the book.

Note:  Depending on a child’s ability to handle violence, this book could be enjoyed by most Jr. High students, and a few in upper elementary.  Violence is not the theme of the book, but is “extreme” (not graphic) on the rare occasions that it occurs.

Genre/Theme:  Science Fiction, Romance, Christian, Survival
Reading Level:  Mature TEEN - high school to college  (ages 12 and up)
Profanity:  MODERATE - mild words & a few stronger expletives  -  most of the words were “modernized” but were  spoken by rough characters and pirates during the travels.
Sexuality:  SUBTLE - hinted, but not explicit  -  Extremely rare, one mention of porn early on viewed on the doctors computer ... this was not the theme of the book, and it was a very modest and good taste when it occurred ... with the exception of the pirates threats – what they would do with Dassa and the other women.
Other: Dassa comes from an extremely violent race – due to the extreme danger of her home planet.  There are descriptions of death and dying from disease. Dassa kills two pirates with her bare hands, removing a windpipe of one and later destroys a dozen dog like creatures.  Descriptions are brief and not overly graphic, but they are rather horrific.   The book also includes descriptions of Dassa’s people conquering the galaxy while being “blood drunk”. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Rachel and Vannan! I appreciate your willingness to read this and spotlight it on your blog.


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