Stardust Wake by Si Clarke

by Hope Hanson
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Stardust Wake Cover

RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2021

They’ve been friends since childhood. But can their friendship survive adult reality?


Confirmed geeks and childhood friends, Lem and Devon are looking forward to reuniting at a convention. Despite their diverging lives and their fair share of secrets, their shared love of cosplay and science fiction brings them together in ways that nothing else could.


But not all friendships are perfect. When their old schoolfriend Nerys joins them for the day, rifts soon begin to show as the three realise how far they’ve grown apart.


Struggling with Nerys’s insensitivity and her misguided approach to non-binary gender expression, the group are determined to make the most of their time together and embrace their nerdy selves. But with tensions rising, can their friendship withstand the dramatic ways their lives have changed?


A short, thought-provoking backdrop to the author’s White Hart series and her forthcoming Starship Teapot series, Stardust Wake provides an insightful glimpse at complex issues while brimming with passion for all things geek.

–from the description of Stardust Wake

Disclaimer: This book was procured and read through BookSirens. Many thanks to BookSirens and Si Clarke for the chance to read it! Please see my full Disclosure and my Review Policy for more info.

Rating: 3.5/5

I decided to read Stardust Wake for two reasons. One: The cover looked awesome, so I hoped the story would be, too. Two: I wanted something short and fun. I’m happy to say that this book delivered on both accounts, and I really enjoyed it.

Review

This review is going to be pretty short. After all, this is only a short story. And, to be honest, I think that’s the reason I didn’t love like this story more; I think I need to read the rest of the works/stories in this series.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy reading this, though. Despite the short length, Clarke still gave some great insight into these characters. I liked reading about the dynamics between them and learning about the history of their relationships. And I’ll definitely be checking out the other books with these characters; I want to read more about them!

Of course, I also loved the D&D scene in this short story. How could I not? It definitely seemed like an awesome campaign, by the way. (And if anyone wants to hear more about my character, Shrekira… You are more than welcome to reach out and ask.)

But the part I liked most about this novel was the agender representation. Obviously, there needs to be better representation in books in general, but I realized while reading this that I can’t name another book I’ve read with agender characters. And Clarke tied in a lot of important real-world issues relating to gender identity and expression that definitely need more attention.

The neurodivergent representation was amazing, too. One of the main characters in this short story is autistic, and she is the central character of another of Clarke’s novels. And I actually did some more research on Clarke and her work, and the representation and diversity in her books are just amazing.

TL,DR Recommendation

I definitely recommend reading this, but I also recommend reading some of the other books first. I think that might allow for a better connection with the characters in this book. Personally, I can’t wait to read more! But, that being said, this short story had so much going for it, and I really think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.


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CONTENT WARNING: Ableism; transphobia

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