Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki is an unusual book. It is almost as if someone bet that they would pull several topics from a hat and the author would write a story combining them. The cast of characters includes, but is not limited to, a trans girl, a famous violin teacher, a starship captain from a distant galaxy, and the devil. The surprise is that in this story these characters lives intersect and a wonderful story emerges.
Shizuka Satomi is perhaps the world’s most famous violin teacher having taught 6 of the most famous musicians in modern history. Unbeknown to all of those aspiring violin students who are trying to get her to take them as her student, Shizuka Satomi has a pact with the devil to deliver 7 violinist souls. So far, she has delivered 6 and just one more and she will be free from pact. She hears an untrained violinist, Katrina, playing and decided that this nobody will be her last student. In the world of classical music, Katrina plays scores from video games. What is it that Shizuka Satomi sees in Katrina that she would take her as a student and risk not fulfilling her devil’s bargain? Katrina is a run away trans girl who is trying to find her way. But wait, there is more. Lan Tran is an alien starship captain from another galaxy who has brought her family to earth to hide from an impending doom back home. They are disguised as humans and are running a donut shop. Shizuka and Lan meet in the donut shop and a romance sparks. Holy moly, it all fits together remarkably well.
I listened to the audio version of the story and the reader, Cindy Kay, did a great job bringing the story to life.