The Stars Too Fondly

Debut author Emily Hamilton bursts onto the scene like a supernova with The Stars Too Fondly, a dazzling, heartfelt space adventure novel about chosen family and the ache of existence. In the near-future United States, Cleo McQueary and her friends have fixated for years on the unexplained disappearance of the Providence spaceship's crew at its moment of launch. Their evidence-collecting trek to the ship goes awry when the Providence's dark matter engine unexpectedly activates, launching them onto the journey to a distant planet its original crew never took. But they aren't alone: Providence captain Billie Lucas secretly uploaded a copy of herself to the ship's computer, and her hologram quickly comes to their aid. While Billie tries to fill in gaps in her memory, the friends realize that their exposure to the dark matter engine has bestowed some of them with inexplicable powers all linked to another dimension, and solving the mystery of the crew's disappearance becomes more important than ever.

Hamilton layers emotional tension with physical peril. As the ship travels at light speed, Cleo and Billie embark on an electric journey of their own, drawing ever closer yet never able to touch. But the novel isn't only about their romance; the group's long-standing relationships strain and mend as the friends grapple with the idea of never making it home and what it might cost them to try. With humor, sweetness, and force, Hamilton's blend of sci-fi caper and slow-burning romance conveys the importance of never giving up on one another, even when lost in space and time. The Stars Too Fondly marks Hamilton as an author to watch. --Kristen Coates, editor and freelance reviewer

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