Book Review: ‘A Star Curiously Singing’

From the first chapter, I was hooked into the first-person story of Sandfly, a nano-connected debugger in a futuristic society ruled by Islamic law.
| Jun 11, 2012 | No comments |

Imagine if you could connect to the Internet with just your mind. Imagine that connection is possible because of an implant in your brain. Imagine it’s the future, a future where Islam is the main religion. Your role in that futuristic society (with your implant) is a debugger. You are in charge of keeping everything technological smooth and running. This is Sandfly’s story in A Star Curiously Singing.

Sandfly, a debugger, is sent to investigate why a robot tore itself apart while on a flight to and from a star. While on the space station, Sandfly discovers more than he bargained for.

From the first chapter, I was hooked. The book is written from the first person point of view (we see the world through Sandfly’s eyes). His role as a debugger leaves him in a needed but barely tolerated role in this futuristic Islam society. I was fascinated with the idea of being connected with the Internet and all the information available via an implant. However, that same implant also ensures you obey. If you think an angry thought about your master (the one who owns you as a debugger), you get a zap inside the head. Refuse an order? Zap. Wander too far from the Islamic beliefs? Zap. Freedom and enforced restrictions at the same time.

I’ve mentioned before that one way I rate a book is by how fast I want to get back to reading it (does it feel like homework? If I have free time I’ll go back to reading it? Or do I find a way to get out of every job I have because I need to finish this book?). A Star Curiously Singing fell into the latter. Every time I had a free moment (or could make one by leaving the dishes in the sink) I went back to reading. The writing is magnetically engaging, Sandfly a deep and complex character, the storyworld fascinating.

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