a dark and hollow star

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by Vikas Adam, Neo Cihi, Natalie Naudus, and Imani Jade Powers
19 hours 30 minutes

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

Wow. I really enjoyed A Dark and Hollow Star. A nice surprise. This is an Urban Fantasy about the Fae community in Toronto and conflicts between the Mortal and Immortal realms. One of the main characters is Nausicaä, who was one of the three Furies. “Was,” because she was exiled from the Immortal realm for killing mortals that she did not have permission to kill. There is some mystery, but there are hints that these mortals were involved in the death of one of her sisters. “Fury” fits her well. She is filled with anger and the desire from revenge. The story really portrayed that anger well. Nausicaä is a badass and doesn’t take anything from anyone.

One of the other main characters is Arlo, whose mother is Fae royalty and whose father is human. Arlo hasn’t come into her magic yet, in fact, she is doubting that she has any magical abilities at all. She doesn’t have much self-confidence, but she is a good friend and wants to do what is right. The Immortals, it seems, want to use Arlo as a pawn in their high-stakes game and somehow Arlo, being Arlo, catches Nausicaä’s attention. Then there are Fae princes, other magical beings, alchemists, the Fairy Ring, and the Hunt. There is slow-building romance, someone is killing off iron-born (half human / half Fae like Arlo) and more.

The characters were excellent, the world-building was excellent, and the mystery slowly unfolds. The story switches points of view between several characters. I listened to the audio version which was a performance with several readers, each reader taking the part of one of the main characters. It worked very well. A Dark and Hollow Star is my favorite so far for 2021.

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