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The Star Host
Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.
He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.
Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.
“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.
Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”
Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”
“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”
She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.
“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”
Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”
Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.
“Don’t,” she barked.
“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”
Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”
Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”
He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.
She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”
Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.
He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”
His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth. And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything. The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.
It was freeing and frightening.
His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.
The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.
Get the book:
Hi, everyone. This is F.T. and I’m excited to share with you my science-fiction young adult novel, The Star Host. It is an adventure story that follows Ren and Asher as they attempt to save themselves, their friends, and navigate their growing relationship. The novel features a bisexual main character and a diverse cast.
A song playlist for my book:
It was difficult for me not to put every Bastille or Imagine Dragons song on here because those were basically the two artists I listened to constantly over the four months I wrote The Star Host. I limited it to one each from those artists.
- Satellite – Dave Matthews Band
Ren is a duster, planet-born, but he dreams of being among the stars. He often looks to the stars and hope that one day he’ll be able to escape his planet and find work on the drifts.
- Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
A perfect song for when Ren and Asher are prisoners at the Baron’s citadel.
- Rabbit Heart – Florence and the Machine
When Ren’s power manifests, he has to decide if it’s a gift or a curse, and then gather the courage to do something about his situation and save his friends.
- My Shot – Lin Manuel Miranda from the Hamilton soundtrack
Ren and his friends seize the day.
- Independent Woman pt 1. – Destiny’s Child
Rowan’s theme song. She’s Asher’s sister, and the captain of her own ship.
- Flaws – Bastille
Pretty self-explanatory – these characters have a lot of them.
- A Space Oddity – David Bowie
It wouldn’t be a science fiction novel without mentioning David Bowie.
- Parachute – Cheryl Cole
A great song that characterizes Ren’s and Asher’s relationship.
- Thistle and Weeds – Mumford and Sons
- Demons – Imagine Dragons
“Don’t get too close, it’s dark inside.”
- Beautiful Letdown – Switchfoot
I really love this song and the message of it and I think Ren finally realizes this toward the end of the novel.
- Immortals – Fall Out Boy
- Since our heroes started off with a great song to start their journey, they needed an awesome wrap up song as well.
About the author:
F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.
A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.
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