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Local Star is a polyamorous space opera with a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that’s sure to punch you in the feels. It follows guttergirl Triz as she saves her hub from invaders from the Cyberbionautic Alliance, all the while negotiating her rekindled romance with Kalo, her ex who's returned from battle and won't stop hanging around the wrenchworks. Local Star is a polyamorous space opera with a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that’s sure to punch you in the feels. It follows guttergirl Triz as she saves her hub from invaders from the Cyberbionautic Alliance, all the while negotiating her rekindled romance with Kalo, her ex who's returned from battle and won't stop hanging around the wrenchworks.


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Local Star is a polyamorous space opera with a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that’s sure to punch you in the feels. It follows guttergirl Triz as she saves her hub from invaders from the Cyberbionautic Alliance, all the while negotiating her rekindled romance with Kalo, her ex who's returned from battle and won't stop hanging around the wrenchworks. Local Star is a polyamorous space opera with a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that’s sure to punch you in the feels. It follows guttergirl Triz as she saves her hub from invaders from the Cyberbionautic Alliance, all the while negotiating her rekindled romance with Kalo, her ex who's returned from battle and won't stop hanging around the wrenchworks.

30 review for Local Star

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gabriella

    I liked the concept of this novella and I enjoyed all the characters. I loved how practically every character is queer and polyamory is completely normalized in this world. Unfortunately, this novella kind of dragged for me because it’s so jargon-heavy without much in-story explanation, and I was constantly confused about what things were (though that might just be me, as I don’t read much sci-fi). While there is a glossary at the end of the book, I think that my rating would have been higher if I liked the concept of this novella and I enjoyed all the characters. I loved how practically every character is queer and polyamory is completely normalized in this world. Unfortunately, this novella kind of dragged for me because it’s so jargon-heavy without much in-story explanation, and I was constantly confused about what things were (though that might just be me, as I don’t read much sci-fi). While there is a glossary at the end of the book, I think that my rating would have been higher if it had been a novel in which the world was explained more in-depth (or at least, if we’d had more time to get used to the world). You’ll probably enjoy this one if you’re looking for a quick read and you’re a fan of sci-fi and queer books. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Isaiah

    To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews. I got an ARC of this book. I got excited. I saw polyamorous and space opera (and people tagged it as queer). So I needed this book. I thought it was a graphic novel based on the cover, but it was not. That was a bit of an adjustment. The story itself moves pretty fast. It is the basic sci-fi plot of wrongly accused, the enemy really did it sort of thing. There really is no doubts that the accused didn’t do it, I don’t feel like I have spoiled anything To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews. I got an ARC of this book. I got excited. I saw polyamorous and space opera (and people tagged it as queer). So I needed this book. I thought it was a graphic novel based on the cover, but it was not. That was a bit of an adjustment. The story itself moves pretty fast. It is the basic sci-fi plot of wrongly accused, the enemy really did it sort of thing. There really is no doubts that the accused didn’t do it, I don’t feel like I have spoiled anything by saying these things. There was a lot of talk of ships and hub systems, basic generic sci-fi stuff. I didn’t even really get why this was labeled as space opera. There was nothing that was space opera to me. The only thing that made this stand out was the polyam portion. The polyam portion read as so flat though. I wanted to care about the polycules, but I just didn’t. There were a lot of names at once and a lot of red flags. Why was the MC so insistant that she needed another partner and that no one liked her? It was so, so basic polyam problems that I was annoyed. I wanted more. It gets worse though, the book was tagged as queer. I thought this meant I would get queer romance, but nope. The main romance that was happening on page was m/f. I lost interest real fast. It was great to have a bi/pan/omni/poly MC, but I am also really annoyed that I had to sit through what I thought was going to be a cute queer space opera for something that could have easily been read as straight basic sci-fi. Overall, I wanted to love this book, but I just didn’t. I had to force myself to read and it was sometimes just a page at a time. It was not the book I had imagined and it was not a book I really enjoyed. It wasn’t bad, but it was not for me. I am sort of relieved to be done with it. I was getting really grumpy about little details.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sapphic Bookshelf

    Thank you Netgalley and Interstellar Flight Press for an ARC of this book! Local star is a fast-paced space opera / romantic comedy with a lot of action and a strong worldbuilding. In this book we are very quickly introduced to a complex universe with its own history, rules and traditions. In my opinion, the worldbuildingis too fast and aggressive. We are so quickly introduced to so many unknown words and concepts that it is easy to get lost in them in the first few pages. In my case, it took me a Thank you Netgalley and Interstellar Flight Press for an ARC of this book! Local star is a fast-paced space opera / romantic comedy with a lot of action and a strong worldbuilding. In this book we are very quickly introduced to a complex universe with its own history, rules and traditions. In my opinion, the worldbuildingis too fast and aggressive. We are so quickly introduced to so many unknown words and concepts that it is easy to get lost in them in the first few pages. In my case, it took me a couple of chapters to feel completely submerged in this world. Nevertheless, I do think that was the author’s intent, the first two chapters introduce us to this world and characters and by the end of the second chapter the main plot begins. One thing I found interesting about this book is how the main character, Triz, is not a pilot, a general or a Fleet officer but a handywoman who fixes spaceships and is also an orphan. That is also quite uncommon in books, specially in science fiction books where we’re used to the story being told from the perspective of those who are in the highest spheres or live the most adventurous lives. In Local Star we see this world through Triz’s eyes and we get to visit places and emotions that we would usually overlook, like the wrenchworks where Triz works and the feelings of not belonging or not feeling good enough. If Local Star was Star Wars, Triz would be the person who repairs Luke Skywalker’s spaceship and who, for some reason, ends up being caught in the middle of all the action but was never supposed to be there. Another interesting thing about this book is the concept of quadfamily “a family unit based around a four-person platonic, romantic and / or sexual relationship”. It is very refreshing to find that in this fictional world there are plenty of options for those who want to start a family. Families are comprised of two or more people and they can be female, male or genderless. In the case of Casne’s quadparents; she has two fathers, a mother and a genderless parent that is referred to as “Damu”, a nickname for nonbinary parents. Additionally, in this novella we don’t only get polyamory relationships, we also get genderless characters with their genderless pronouns (e, eir, em), which I don’t usually find in speculative fiction that often. Local Star explores polyamory as a natural way of mating and forming families and it introduces genderless / non-binary characters without further explanation. That is what I loved about the book! It is a space opera that makes space for LGBTQ people. The main characters in this book are Triz, Casne and Kalo.I think that just a few pages in we already have a sense of who Triz is what her motivations are. The same thing happens with Kalo, we get to know him and understand him and who he is. However, in my opinion, we don’t really get to know the rest of the characters as much as we know these two. For example with Casne, we know little about her besides from what happens to her in the book, and I don’t really think we get a sense of what she is actually like and what she wants, other than what concerns her relationships. The same thing happens with our villainof the story, Rocan. I thought he was an interesting character and I was curious to learn more about him. However, I don’t really think I knew him well by the end of the book. Another characters that has a lot of importance in the book is Quelian. Quelian is Casne’s father but he is also the person who adopts Triz and gives her a home. He is also Triz’s boss and because of her relationship with Casne, he is also her father-in law. The dynamic between Triz and Quelian felt slightly weird to me because she thinks of him as her father, her boss and her love-interest’s father. I think for this book, I didn’t really need to know all the characters as much as I knew Triz and Kalo, because in the end they’re the ones driving the story. Nevertheless, I would have liked to know more about Casne and Rocan and about the Ceebees; who they are, how they came to be and what is their ultimate purpose. We are introduced to the Ceebees through the galactic war between the Fleet and them (the Ceebees or members of the Cyberbionautic Alliance), but we don’t really get to know that much about them. In my opinion, the Ceebees represent more of a philosophical problem or question than an actual villain. Yes, they are the antagonists of the novella, but I think their role in the story is to make us question things. There’s a moment in the book when certain things about body modification are revealed to Triz, and the reader, as well as her, is left wondering “what makes the Ceebees less than human? Is it really their modifications or is it perhaps their lack of humanity?” For this reason, I believe the Ceebees are just a way of introducing the question of “what really makes us human?”. But perhaps I’m just reading too much into this and Ceebees are just cruel villains that want humanity to be destroyed and have nothing in common with humans at all. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book, it only took me a couple of days to read it and now I feel like Triz and Kalo are two old friends who I love and miss. It is because of that reason that I would have liked for the book to be longer, if it was longer and more slow-paced we could have got to know more about the characters and their motivations and the plot would have felt less rushed. Moreover, I would have enjoyed the story more if all the new terms and concepts were introduced in-text and not only in the glossary. I really enjoy books with invented imaginative concepts and I love a good glossary, but this felt too long for a novella. However, I really enjoyed how worldbuilding is explored through expressions and idioms. In the book we often see the characters saying things like “shitting stars” or “Gods of Issam”, which are concepts unique to this world. I loved this complex universe created by Aimee Ogden and I think I would enjoy it even more if this book was the first one in a saga. This way, it would have served as an introduction to the world, and in the following books in the series we would get more character development and more sub-plots. I will definitely say that if there is a second book, I want the pirates to feature! They are mentioned a couple of times but we never get any action from them, and who doesn’t love space pirates? Finally I have to add that somehow, I believe this book makes more sense as a romantic-comedy than it does as a space opera. I don’t mean I didn’t enjoy all the complex space elements and worldbuilding, but I think in the end the book is character-driven and it is mainly a love story between Triz, Casne and Kalo. 3’5/5 Rep: LG(B)T - Main characters (heteronormativity doesn’t exist in this book and therefore I will assume all characters are bisexual/pansexual) / non-binary secondary characters / polyamory.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nikita Afsar

    Thanks to Netgalley and Interstellar Flight Press for gifting me an eARC of this book! I wish I liked this book more than I did. The beginning was quite slow and at some points, it did start to pick up but overall this book wasn't really for me. Before going into this book, I read the synopsis and was promised a polyamorous space opera and I sort of got that? Sure there were mentions here and there but not nearly as much as I expected from a book marketed as polyamorous. I just wanted more of it. Thanks to Netgalley and Interstellar Flight Press for gifting me an eARC of this book! I wish I liked this book more than I did. The beginning was quite slow and at some points, it did start to pick up but overall this book wasn't really for me. Before going into this book, I read the synopsis and was promised a polyamorous space opera and I sort of got that? Sure there were mentions here and there but not nearly as much as I expected from a book marketed as polyamorous. I just wanted more of it. I didn't care for the main character nor any of the side characters which made it really hard for me to be invested in the story. I'm supposed to care that this character got arrested but I didn't because I barely knew her. I wasn't convinced of any of the relationships either. The plot wasn't my favourite either. The stakes never felt high and I didn't have this sense of urgency to get Casne out. Overall, this book was a big meh for me

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    3.5 stars - rounded up for casual queernormativity AND the normalization of polyamory in a functional, practical, and totally believable way. I feel like we didn't get quite enough of the events surrounding our main plot. It felt kind of like a bigger problem appeared out of nowhere that just happened to align with what our characters were already doing. I also wanted quite a bit more of Triz confronting her anti-mod prejudice - it comes up like twice with Triz getting shot down for it but not re 3.5 stars - rounded up for casual queernormativity AND the normalization of polyamory in a functional, practical, and totally believable way. I feel like we didn't get quite enough of the events surrounding our main plot. It felt kind of like a bigger problem appeared out of nowhere that just happened to align with what our characters were already doing. I also wanted quite a bit more of Triz confronting her anti-mod prejudice - it comes up like twice with Triz getting shot down for it but not really internalizing why her prejudice is wrong. It felt like we were supposed to get a novel but a lot of the extra weight was stripped away. That being said, I would 100% read that novel, returning to this world and these characters and even this conflict. I felt like we ended a chapter rather than the whole book. Though I guess that is often the problem with novellas. Basically: badass queer military scifi novella where the main character isn't actually in the military and isn't secretly an amazing fighter - instead using ingenuity, the experiences of her sordid past, and an unlikely ally to save the day. Without compromising her character for the sake of heroics. {Thank you Storygram Tours and Interstellar Flight Press for the complementary copy; all thoughts are my own}

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    This book is a fantastic, fast-paced, space romp with wonderfully written queer characters. As a polyamorous person, this is the first time I've really seen that kind of representation anywhere and I felt so seen! A fun, quick read. This book is a fantastic, fast-paced, space romp with wonderfully written queer characters. As a polyamorous person, this is the first time I've really seen that kind of representation anywhere and I felt so seen! A fun, quick read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paris Cunningham

    ARC I did struggle to finish this book, I only managed to get 50% in, however I believe that was my fault in terms of my current life and lack of adoration for high sci-fi's. I absolutely never wanted to DNF an ARC since the author has incredibly let me read it without cost, but I believe honest reviews are more useful than avoiding this review, or taking a year to finish when they no longer need ARC readers. However, with that being said, there are still many amazing things about this read. The ARC I did struggle to finish this book, I only managed to get 50% in, however I believe that was my fault in terms of my current life and lack of adoration for high sci-fi's. I absolutely never wanted to DNF an ARC since the author has incredibly let me read it without cost, but I believe honest reviews are more useful than avoiding this review, or taking a year to finish when they no longer need ARC readers. However, with that being said, there are still many amazing things about this read. The world is such an interesting place in this book, and even though I am not a sci-fi fanatic, I really did enjoy imagining this universe. The character's got more intriguing as the book went on, although I did struggle to get behind the main character (I'm hoping she might have redeemed herself in the last half), and of course, one of my favourite plot points of this read was the polyamorous relationships; they were so normalised and adorable at times, however I do feel like not all people in the relationship had the same amount of love for each other (I'm trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible) and that was frustrating for me- again please remember I did not manage to finish this book. Overall, although this was not my type of read, it had poly rep which is rare, a really fascinating premise and I'd recommend to lovers of this genre!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Miriasha

    Thank you NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for the ARC! This was a super fun read! It felt like watching a movie but in a book - while I'm honestly not usually a movie person, this time I appreciated that. In the beginning of the book I couldn't quite figure out who was who (and what everyone's relationships to each other were) or what the structure of the society and the Hab looked like, but as I kept going I eventually figured it out (which is similar to my experience watching movies). T Thank you NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for the ARC! This was a super fun read! It felt like watching a movie but in a book - while I'm honestly not usually a movie person, this time I appreciated that. In the beginning of the book I couldn't quite figure out who was who (and what everyone's relationships to each other were) or what the structure of the society and the Hab looked like, but as I kept going I eventually figured it out (which is similar to my experience watching movies). This novella felt like it used more of a "show" than a "tell" attitude, which ended up working well once I figured everything out. I enjoyed the adventure of it all! Although I pretty quickly figured out who was shady and who wasn't, the book still took a bunch of surprising turns and I was never bored. I also liked the casual way we got to see the different parts of the Hab, especially the scene where Triz goes to sort through her thoughts in the music-chamber. I loved the different relationships we got to see, even as we didn't necessarily spend a lot of time (in such a short book, how could we?) delving into each super deeply - Triz's relationship with Casne and Casne's quad-parents, Casne's relationship with her quad-parents, everyone's dynamic with Kalo- I felt like each had enough flesh to feel real and dynamic. Triz's development over the course of the book, especially in her self-worth and in taking risks and being brave for the ones she loves, was a journey I enjoyed seeing. I did wish that Nantha's character was more fleshed out, and I missed her presence, whether physically or just via a call or message, in the end especially. Also because I've seen confusion in some reviews, while the MC has two established (poly) f/f relationships at the beginning of the book, the main romance we see on page is between her and her male ex, so if you're specifically not looking for m/f romance, this isn't necessarily your book, but I loved it and absolutely count it as a queer relationship/romance. All in all, this was a fun and engaging book! I loved the queer and trans and poly normative world, and although it could also have gone deeper into this, found the framing of the use of biomods by the Ceebees vs. the Fleet as super interesting. There's definitely an analysis to be made about Ceebees not only destroying environments but also how their beliefs and society play into disability and ableism as exists in our world today - an analysis I won't make myself but am curious about. I think it's also important to note for anyone going in, especially who uses assistive/adaptive tech, that the MC's view on it in the beginning are not representative of the perspective of the book as a story or as a whole. Final thought: can it be space opera if no one gets caught in a garbage shoot? Note: I didn't realize there was such an extensive glossary at the end, and honestly it would be nice if ebooks especially would just have a little note in the beginning if there's a glossary at the end, or have it at the beginning, because when you're not rifling through physical pages you just won't know it's there until you've already finished the book (as I did).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway by the publisher. Probably more like 3.5 stars? Rounded up. Local Star is a fun sci fi action/romance novella that I just generally enjoyed reading. The action and plot is fast-paced and entertaining and the world-building is impressively vast and interesting. I feel that the middle part got to be a bit rough to get through - not a lot happening, lots of repetition of how (understandably, but still redundantly) upset Triz is about her partner, Casne, being a I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway by the publisher. Probably more like 3.5 stars? Rounded up. Local Star is a fun sci fi action/romance novella that I just generally enjoyed reading. The action and plot is fast-paced and entertaining and the world-building is impressively vast and interesting. I feel that the middle part got to be a bit rough to get through - not a lot happening, lots of repetition of how (understandably, but still redundantly) upset Triz is about her partner, Casne, being accused of a horrendous war crime and trying to think of ways to prove her innocence - but the start got my attention, and the ending was snappy and well-paced as the story reached the climax. It was also nice to get to read a novella with queer polyamorous representation, and I loved that the metamours had their own bonding and closeness. I am not polyamorous myself so I don't want to speak as an authority, but one thing that did bother me was this idea that Triz needed her own partner to bring into a quad? At first I thought that this was a result of her own insecurity and unhealthy self-esteem and would be challenged more, but...ultimately it didn't feel as contested as I had hoped? (view spoiler)[ It's not that I don't think that Triz and Kalo couldn't have gotten back together at the end without implying this, but even Kalo at the end mentions something about how a trio with partners and a diagonal line wouldn't work...? But why not? I've known several polycules in real life where one person dates two people who are metamours and are not romantically involved. I understand if Triz, Casne, and Nantha desire to be a quad, ultimately, but there's nothing wrong with them being a triad in this way.... (hide spoiler)] I did really enjoy Triz's interactions and dynamics with Casne's quadfamily and the struggle for her to feel a part of the family, too, despite loving Casne and her quadparents. I did also wish Nantha, Casne's wife, had more of a presence in the story. She's mentioned several times but only appears once and seems almost forgotten at times? Triz feels guilt over forgetting her at certain points, too, but ultimately I really felt her absence. (view spoiler)[ Like Triz feels guilty about not telling Nantha about Casne's arrest before anyone else, but then at the end...did anyone tell her about Casne's trial and proven innocence? The attack on the Hub? There was no mention of her! I kept waiting for them to at least briefly explain they had called her. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[I did appreciate that Triz's anti-modding attitude was called out eventually, as I know I got very irritated at first from her reactions - I only wish it went a bit more in-depth, though I'm glad she realized she has some prejudice to work on. (hide spoiler)] Obviously, I had my few complaints, but I also did really enjoy this novella. It's fun, I enjoyed the character dynamics and sense of found family (for Triz), and the world-building was interesting and well-done. I'd certainly recommend this novella if you're looking for a quick and fun sci fi action/romance read with a queer polyamorous focus.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    This review is based on an ARC from NetGalley This book was an interesting queer take on the space/sci-fi genre.  The protagonist is a queer mechanic girl, which is a refreshing change for this kind of story.  The main strength of this story is the rich universe of different space factions, polyamorous family units, and social/political issues that were woven together to paint picture of how the people in this universe live their lives in space. The main weak points are the characters and their in This review is based on an ARC from NetGalley This book was an interesting queer take on the space/sci-fi genre.  The protagonist is a queer mechanic girl, which is a refreshing change for this kind of story.  The main strength of this story is the rich universe of different space factions, polyamorous family units, and social/political issues that were woven together to paint picture of how the people in this universe live their lives in space. The main weak points are the characters and their interactions.  The most noticeable is that the characters are barely described; by the end of the book, I don't think I would be able to tell someone what the main characters actually look like or even how old they are.  This made it more difficult to picture them in my mind as I was reading.  For the couple of times descriptions were provided, they were brief and happened a chapter after the character's first appearance, which is somewhat unsatisfying from a reader's perspective.  The environmental and scene descriptions are much better and this is another of the story's strengths.  I could picture a swarm fighter or the recycling tanks and the gooey environment there, but I didn't know how to picture the characters when they were in the tanks. Another aspect that I found problematic is that the story doesn't allow the characters enough meaningful interactions with each other.  One of the reasons I decided to read this story was because I hadn't read a polyamorous story before.  It's hard to gauge the poly aspect of the story since the characters involved (Triz, Casne, Kalo, and Nantha) are never all in the same room together, and Nantha is barely in the story.  Many of the interactions between the characters aren't structured in a way that carries much emotional weight, and there wasn't much in the way of relationship building between characters.  This is partially aggravated by the fact that Triz doesn't seem to have great chemistry with the other characters. I enjoy reading queer representation as much as the next person, and this book certainly has it, but the writing may not very accessible to someone who's not already familiar with polyamory or non-binary gender identities.  As an example, one of the characters, Saabe, is referred to by pronouns like E, Eir, and Em.  Presumably, this means their gender is nonbinary, but this isn't explained in the story, and it probably wouldn't be immediately clear to someone not familiar with non-binary identities.  The only place where these pronouns are explained is at the end in the glossary.  As mentioned above, the same sort of problem exists for the poly aspect of the story, which would have been improved if more space had been dedicated to showing how the poly groups in the story form together and function.  People already familiar with poly and non-binary identities would likely get more from the story. 2.5 stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte (Books and Bouquets)

    Massive thank you to Interstellar Flight Press and Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. Local star is a polyamorous space opera which follows Triz, a guttergirl (spaceship handywoman), her friend Casne and her ex Kalo. When Casne is accused of war crimes, Triz with the help of her ex, Kalo, must do everything she can in an attempt to save her, whilst also saving their Hab which comes under attack from the notorious Cyberbionautic Alliance (ceebees). I picked Massive thank you to Interstellar Flight Press and Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. Local star is a polyamorous space opera which follows Triz, a guttergirl (spaceship handywoman), her friend Casne and her ex Kalo. When Casne is accused of war crimes, Triz with the help of her ex, Kalo, must do everything she can in an attempt to save her, whilst also saving their Hab which comes under attack from the notorious Cyberbionautic Alliance (ceebees). I picked this book up because it had polyamorous rep -which honestly is not something you see in books often. I loved how it normalised triads and quadfamilies (a family unit based around a four-person platonic, romantic and/or sexual relationship) as the norm, and it was super refreshing to see how poly relationships can also work in a platonic sense! Further, I adored how non-binary and neopronouns were normalised. For example there's a character which uses E (Spivak) pronouns and one of Casne's parents is referred to as the gender neutral Damu. Overall, fantastic LGBTQIA+ rep. I really enjoyed the development of the relationship between Triz and Kalo, I really thought you got a sense of who Kalo was, even in such a short time frame! However, the same cannot be said for some of the other characters and relationships... The poly relationship developed by the end of the book just didn't feel right? Triz hardly had any interactions with Nan, and it almost seemed a bit like everyone had forgotten about her? I think this might be an issue with the length of the book, and I truly believe it would have benefited from being around 100 pages longer. Also, the focus on familial relationships, especially with Quelian, Casne's father, was nice to see. A further issue is the pacing of the book (which again I think is caused by the length of it). I felt that there wasn't enough time focused actually on "main" plot point, and all of the action scenes seemed to be over very quickly, resulting in me just left wanting a little bit more. I also think the novella would have benefited from a bit more explanation of some aspects of the book, such as Triz's reasoning for disliking bodymods (why??) and the backstory of the villain (why are they the way the are? - currently it seems like they're just there for plot reasons). Finally, the glossary at the end of the book was completely necessary and cleared up a lot of previous questions I had surrounding the new sci-fi world and some of the mechanisms. I just wish it would have been at the beginning of the book (or even mentioned at the beginning, so I knew it existed!) Overall this book was a super quick & fun read, which I would recommend to all sci-fi fans, especially those who are dreaming of a bit more LGBTQIA+ rep (that's never found in popular sci-fi books unfortunately).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lauren loves llamas

    Content warnings: (view spoiler)[scifi violence and gore (hide spoiler)] As with most of my book choices lately, I picked this up solely based on the cover. It’s an enjoyable and quickly-paced scifi romance novella. After a decisive win against the Cyberbionautic Alliance, Triz is excited to go party with her newly-returned-from-the-war partner Casne – after she finishes up taking a look at her fighter pilot ex’s seriously smashed up ship. It doesn’t help that Kalo seems more interested in hanging Content warnings: (view spoiler)[scifi violence and gore (hide spoiler)] As with most of my book choices lately, I picked this up solely based on the cover. It’s an enjoyable and quickly-paced scifi romance novella. After a decisive win against the Cyberbionautic Alliance, Triz is excited to go party with her newly-returned-from-the-war partner Casne – after she finishes up taking a look at her fighter pilot ex’s seriously smashed up ship. It doesn’t help that Kalo seems more interested in hanging around chatting with her than joining the party. But when Casne is arrested for treason, Triz must work with Kalo to figure out who framed her – and stop them from taking over the hab. “Some people were suns, some were moons, and some were just rocks who soaked up others’ light and warmth. Triz was not a sun.” The novella is told solely from Triz’s point of view, and a lot of it revolves around Triz feeling unworthy. She grew up in the bowels of a hab, scrounging for food scraps and bits of discarded trash to sell. She’s made a place for herself as a mechanic, and while most of Casne’s family has accepted her, she still feels separate and struggles with her self-worth. While Casne and her wife have invited her to join their gon (what the book calls their poly relationships), Triz struggles with worrying about how she’ll fit in, and she’s reluctant to join without bringing someone else to the triad. Polyamory is completely accepted in their society, and Casne herself comes from a quad poly family. Casne actually introduced Kalo, a fighter pilot, to Triz – and is still sometimes involved with him – but Triz couldn’t deal with how dangerous his job is. Her feelings for him are complicated and all tied up with feeling like she doesn’t truly belong, especially since she’s not part of the Fleet. For such a small novella, there’s a lot going on plotwise. There’s Triz’s understandable feelings of inadequacy, exacerbated by one of Casne’s quadparents, who seems perfectly willing to believe Casne is a traitor. Plus, there’s the romance angle with navigating her feelings for Casne and Kalo. The part I didn’t think worked was a minor thread where Triz is extremely prejudiced against any type of body mods, basically assuming anyone with mods would support the (unmitigatedly awful) Cyberbionautic Alliance. I didn’t quite understand where those feelings came from or why she felt so strongly about it, though I felt her change of view was handled well. I also wish there had been more time to explore the dynamics of Triz and Kalo and then Triz, Kalo and Casne as a triad. I did love the whole clear-Casne’s-name plot, though, and the pacing was nice and snappy. It made it very easy to read this in one sitting (and then wish there was more!). Overall, this is an action-packed read, and I really hope the author choses to revisit this setting in the future! I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Graculus

    Local Star was one of those books I'd seen mentioned somewhere (probably on Twitter) and sounded like it might be something I'd like, so when it was available on Netgalley I jumped at the chance of picking it up. Yes, I am a poor bookworm and trying not to actually buy books, so both Netgalley and the local library's click-and-collect service are currently doing me proud. Anyway, on to the book itself. This is basic nuts and bolts science fiction, set in the middle of a war with people who are in Local Star was one of those books I'd seen mentioned somewhere (probably on Twitter) and sounded like it might be something I'd like, so when it was available on Netgalley I jumped at the chance of picking it up. Yes, I am a poor bookworm and trying not to actually buy books, so both Netgalley and the local library's click-and-collect service are currently doing me proud. Anyway, on to the book itself. This is basic nuts and bolts science fiction, set in the middle of a war with people who are intent on transforming themselves by the use (and abuse) of technology, to the point where prisoners of war have to have bits of themselves surgically removed - this might not work well for some readers, though it's not massively graphic. Our protagonist is Triz, who works as a spaceship mechanic and whose point of view we get everything from. She's just come out of a relationship with a pilot and is currently involved in a relationship with other characters in the novella - this is a universe where polyamory is pretty much commonplace and Triz is part of a triad at the point the book starts. She is, however, relentlessly self-deprecating in terms of her own ability and the likelihood of this relationship lasting, much affected by her own very deprived background, and that gets a bit tiring when it keeps coming up so regularly. One of her current lovers then gets arrested and accused of war crimes, which Triz is adamant can't be the case, but she doesn't have much trust in Things Working Out so enlists the help of her former boyfriend the pilot to spring her from space jail. The main point of interest for me with this novella is one that gets skimmed over, in my opinion - the whole thing about technology and self-modification. At one point it's revealed pretty dramatically that most of 'our side' have also had quite a bit of tech implanted in them for the purpose of fighting better but the enemy are relentlessly Othered for being that much more extreme. I'd have expected a bit more introspection from Triz about why it's okay when the people she loves does it but not otherwise and how ready she is to fall into bed with said people but reacts with loathing at other examples. Anyway, in general it's an easy enough read of 180 pages or so, which only had me skimming a bit in the 'let's blow this popsicle stand' chase sequence around the rescue attempt. I'm sure it'll work perfectly for some folks but I've dropped a couple of stars because of just how fed up I got with Triz's mental processes and the lack of explanation for her getting back together with her ex. I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kaa

    There is the start of a fun story here, but I think the length was too short to fully capture all of the elements the author was trying to include - family relationships, romantic relationships, an investigation, and some action sequences, plus all the world building. There was so much going on that no single aspect got the attention it needed, so it was hard to feel as connected or deeply invested as I would have liked. I also felt that many aspects were uneven or inconsistent over the course o There is the start of a fun story here, but I think the length was too short to fully capture all of the elements the author was trying to include - family relationships, romantic relationships, an investigation, and some action sequences, plus all the world building. There was so much going on that no single aspect got the attention it needed, so it was hard to feel as connected or deeply invested as I would have liked. I also felt that many aspects were uneven or inconsistent over the course of the story. One of the most frustrating things, for me, was that I was really looking forward to a queer polyamorous romance, but neither the existing relationship between Triz, Casne, and (especially) Nan, nor the previous relationship between Triz and Kalo was explored fully enough for me to understand the relationship dynamics and feel the chemistry between the characters. This is especially disappointing because I learned after finishing the book that it's meant to be inspired by Much Ado About Nothing (my favorite Shakespeare), but Triz and Kalo's relationship had none of that humor or spark, nor did Triz feel particularly Beatrice-like. I also think in general I was expecting something a bit lighter and more humorous, and the fact that some parts did seem to be headed in that direction made the parts that were heavier (some of the family dynamics, Triz's insecurities, Triz's prejudices around body mods) feel a bit jarring. I think it would have been possible to navigate between a lighter tone and these weightier topics, but not at this length with so much else going on. The prejudice around body mods was especially hard to swallow, because of the ableism in this attitude, which I didn't feel was sufficiently examined - this aspect could have been left out, and still kept the larger discussion of the different attitudes towards tech, which was much more interesting. The lack of commitment to being either a light adventure or a heavier story also made a lot of the plot hard to accept - there were a number of elements that I could have gone along with if I didn't have to take them seriously or if the world-building was grittier to justify them. However, what the story gave me was a generally pleasant world where many of the events felt overly dramatic and things were Very Bad as convenient to the plot, which constantly challenged my suspension of disbelief. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an eARC of this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dom

    Using the phrase “polyamorous space opera” and hinting at cyborg-adjacent stuff in the synopsis may as well be a magic phrase to summon me instantly. Local Star by Aimee Ogden gives us a familiar plot with a few fresh takes, particularly the diversity, and as a fan of queer space opera, it was like a well-done comfort meal: not particularly surprising, but still incredibly delicious. This novella follows mechanic Triz, whose partner Casne comes back from the space battlefront as a war hero; almos Using the phrase “polyamorous space opera” and hinting at cyborg-adjacent stuff in the synopsis may as well be a magic phrase to summon me instantly. Local Star by Aimee Ogden gives us a familiar plot with a few fresh takes, particularly the diversity, and as a fan of queer space opera, it was like a well-done comfort meal: not particularly surprising, but still incredibly delicious. This novella follows mechanic Triz, whose partner Casne comes back from the space battlefront as a war hero; almost immediately, local officials detain her for an alleged treasonous act in said war. The only person who takes Triz’s worry about this turn of events seriously is a pilot named Kalo—who is, of course, both Triz’s ex and a metamour of Casne. There’s action aplenty, there’s great character banter, and the story progresses at a steady and appropriate pace. As a fan of sci-fi, this novella was such a treat, and I appreciated the blend of plot and character driving forces. There are some larger questions about transhumanism tackled at points, particularly in regards to Triz’s prejudice against augmented humans that make up the opposing force in the war. Other reviewers have mentioned this novella not being ‘queer enough’, to which I wonder if I received the wrong eARC file by mistake. Triz is bi/pan/mspec, as is her female partner Casne—the novella starts by establishing Triz and Casne’s relationship. Casne also has a wife named Nantha who is transgender. And of course, Kalo has been involved with both Triz and Casne. While it’s true that a large bulk of the plot involves Triz and Kalo working together to navigate the challenges they face within the novella, I feel it’s blatant misrepresentation (and bi erasure) to say this novella isn’t queer because one M/F relationship gets a lot of attention; this is especially true since the polyamorous nature of the relationship structures within this novella are referenced multiple times and provide context for character arcs within. Overall, Local Star was a highly entertaining queer space opera treat. This was totally my brand and I finished it in one delightful setting. Between this and Aimee Ogden’s other novella, Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters, she has become one of my authors to watch out for. Thank you to Interstellar Flight Press and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jude in the Stars

    3.5⭐️ – This was a fun and quick read. The plot is pretty basic. On a three-day leave after a huge victory in the war against the Cyberbionautic Alliance, Casne is planning to celebrate with her best friend and partner Triz. Yet, instead of being honoured as the hero she is, Casne is accused of war crimes, with evidence Triz and Kalo – another Fleet pilot, Triz’s ex and Casne’s sometimes – are convinced is fake. Even though Local Star is a novella, the worldbuilding is rather extensive and it onl 3.5⭐️ – This was a fun and quick read. The plot is pretty basic. On a three-day leave after a huge victory in the war against the Cyberbionautic Alliance, Casne is planning to celebrate with her best friend and partner Triz. Yet, instead of being honoured as the hero she is, Casne is accused of war crimes, with evidence Triz and Kalo – another Fleet pilot, Triz’s ex and Casne’s sometimes – are convinced is fake. Even though Local Star is a novella, the worldbuilding is rather extensive and it only took a couple of sentences for me to feel transported to a different universe. The story is centred around Triz, a guttergirl turned mechanic who is still not sure she really fits in her own life, with Casne and Kalo never too far. Triz has been asked to join Casne and her wife Nantha’s marriage and while she loves them both, she’s not ready to make it official. Her reluctance results from her insecurities but mainly from not wanting to be the third in a triad: she’d rather join with another partner. Whether Kalo will be the one or not remains to be seen, but he’s clearly interested in giving their relationship a second chance. Around them are a couple more Fleet officers as well as Casne’s quadparents (some male, some female, some non-binary), one of whom is a bit quick to believe his daughter could be guilty. Besides the world-building, the best part of this story is how normal and self-evident polyamory is. Triz’s interrogations are valid, especially given her background. She struggles with what her place would be in a marriage to Casne and Nan just as much as she struggles with her place in Casne’s family, who more or less took her in when she was rescued from an impossibly rough childhood. The only time she’s really comfortable is when she’s working on a ship. As usual, I focus on the characters and their motivations, as much as I can without spoiling, but there are many other layers to this story. The Cyberbionautic Alliance, for example, questions transhumanism. Triz’s insecurities and her relationships with Kalo and Casne speak of self-acceptance, growth and forgiveness. This novella is a lot more complex than what the cover and the plot hint at. Complex but fun. I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    moony ☽

    Local Star by Aimee Ogden presents itself as a wonderful and unique space opera with a polyamorous representation. The plot is actually quite interesting, with a complex construction of the world in which it is set, and the characters are all peculiar and well diversified - not only the main ones, but the surrounding characters are well written as well. Overall, I enjoyed the reading quite a lot, but I admit I had some difficulties in settling into the story, and I got lost several times in the Local Star by Aimee Ogden presents itself as a wonderful and unique space opera with a polyamorous representation. The plot is actually quite interesting, with a complex construction of the world in which it is set, and the characters are all peculiar and well diversified - not only the main ones, but the surrounding characters are well written as well. Overall, I enjoyed the reading quite a lot, but I admit I had some difficulties in settling into the story, and I got lost several times in the first two / three chapters. When it says "fast-paced, action-packed adventure", it really means it. The author introduces up to the beginning of the story so many elements and words unknown to the reader, and the pace is so fast that at times I was confused by the narration and the dialogues. In this regard, I would have preferred the glossary at the beginning of the book rather than at the end, in order to familiarize myself a little with the terms before starting the book. As specified in the book description, Local Star deals with polyamorous relationships and features a broad spectrum of LGBTQ+ representations: heteronormativity simply does not exist in this universe, and in addition to same-sex relationships and polyamorous family units, there are several genderless and non-binary characters that are referred to using their genderless pronouns (E, Eir, Em), which makes it all very inclusive. A big thumbs up for the author! In conclusion, the book is quite pleasant and the author's writing style noteworthy and well structured. I probably would have appreciated it much more if Local Star had been a longer book with a more detailed introduction to the universe in which it is set and a slower description of the context and the events, instead of an extremely fast paced novella. As it is, I found it too quick, and I had a lot of trouble getting used to the general context, only to find myself at the end too soon. However, the reading was enjoyable and the plot unique, so my final rating is 3,5 stars. Thank you NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Althea

    This is my first book by Aimee Ogden and it certainly won't be my last! Local Star follows Triz who, at the start of the novella, is witness to her partner being dragged off by justice officials to stand trial for war crimes, but her partner is adamant that she didn't commit these crimes. What intrigued me about this book was the fact that it's sci-fi that focusses around a polyamorous triad and, although I don't read a lot of sci-fi, I was definitely not disappointed! Triz grew up having nothin This is my first book by Aimee Ogden and it certainly won't be my last! Local Star follows Triz who, at the start of the novella, is witness to her partner being dragged off by justice officials to stand trial for war crimes, but her partner is adamant that she didn't commit these crimes. What intrigued me about this book was the fact that it's sci-fi that focusses around a polyamorous triad and, although I don't read a lot of sci-fi, I was definitely not disappointed! Triz grew up having nothing and although she was taken in by her partner's family, she still feels very much on the outside of their dynamic. She's a mechanic on the hub that she calls home and I loved how much detail was shown about her work. The interpersonal relationships were also done really well, between Triz and her partner Casne, Triz and her ex Kalo, Triz and Casne's family, and all the side characters, too! For being such a short book, so much was packed into the 170-odd pages and it really felt like the perfect length! I also adored how normal polyamorous relationships and families, as well as the frequent use of neopronouns, are in this book - it was such a joy to read! My only reason for taking a star off the rating is that I felt, particularly at the start but also throughout the entire book, that I was missing so much background information. Although I said that the book is the perfect length, I wouldn't have been mad if there was more explanation of the 'jargon' used throughout. Though there is a glossary of sorts at the end of the book that explains these words, I read the book on my Kindle and really was not aware of it being there until I had finished, so I would have much preferred that the information be developed throughout the prose. All in all, though, I highly recommend this novella! Thanks to Netgalley and Interstellar Flight Press for an eARC in return for an honest review!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Adelle

    When I heard there was a queer space opera on NetGalley, I jumped at a chance to get an ARC. There was a ton of intriguing sci-fi worldbuilding for a novella, with a set up for polyamorous families and queernorm practices. There's not a single mention or even hint of homophobia, which makes it a lovely escapist read for queer readers. The crux of the plot was around supposed war crimes committed by one of the MC's romantic interests. Admittedly, there was never any doubt that she actually did wh When I heard there was a queer space opera on NetGalley, I jumped at a chance to get an ARC. There was a ton of intriguing sci-fi worldbuilding for a novella, with a set up for polyamorous families and queernorm practices. There's not a single mention or even hint of homophobia, which makes it a lovely escapist read for queer readers. The crux of the plot was around supposed war crimes committed by one of the MC's romantic interests. Admittedly, there was never any doubt that she actually did what she was accused of. But I've rarely read a book that doesn't make it clear it was a frame job and I was intrigued at exactly who did it... even if the reveal was a little underwhelming. The crux of the action was properly dramatic and dire, with injuries that made the giant Thing That Must Be Done all the more challenging. It was fast paced and kept my attention through to the end. I do enjoy a good flight through space in a ship that's not entirely repaired and could fall apart. The biggest reason for the 3 star rating was my struggle with the book's length. It felt much, much too short. There was a lot of worldbuilding for such a small book, presenting you with a lot of things without exploring it. I never really got a feel for the villains or the war they were in, because there just wasn't enough time to dwell on it. Triz also had a lot of personal character arcs for a novella. There was her overcoming her personal bigotry towards biologically modded people, struggling with her sense of belonging in the quad family, and rekindling an old relationship on top of maintaining a current relationship with her partner, all on top of dealing with the plot proper. It was just too much to be properly explored in under 200 pages. I loved all the ideas in theory, but the execution was rushed. With the sheer amount of worldbuilding, this isn't a great sci-fi for beginners. But it is a great pick for anyone that loves a queernorm world and action scenes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah R

    Local Star follows Triz, whose partner, Casne, is arrested by two officers for war crimes at the start of the story. However, she says she had nothing to do with it and asks Triz to find out who has framed her. The worldbuilding could have been a little more developed. At first, it felt as if I was missing so much information needed to connect with the characters and understand how their world functioned. This feeling did lessen as I continued reading, but I was still wishing for more background Local Star follows Triz, whose partner, Casne, is arrested by two officers for war crimes at the start of the story. However, she says she had nothing to do with it and asks Triz to find out who has framed her. The worldbuilding could have been a little more developed. At first, it felt as if I was missing so much information needed to connect with the characters and understand how their world functioned. This feeling did lessen as I continued reading, but I was still wishing for more background info about the characters and their relationships! If only this book had been a little longer to give us more time to get to know them. For those just starting to read Local Star, make sure to flip to the back of your copy to read the Glossary. I had no idea it was there until I finished the story, which probably only exacerbated my beginning confusion. That being said, I did really enjoy reading about Triz's adventure, which I won't say too much about since the story is quite short and fast-paced so I don't want to give anything away! Kalo was just kind of meh, though. This book is so heavily marketed for its polyamory, and I wish we could have seen more of their relationship rather than so much of a m/f relationship, especially since we didn't know or really care about Kalo all that much. I did love the casually queer environment! This was a fun read! Lovers of sci-fi, especially Everina Maxwell's Winter's Orbit, should pick up this story! Pre-order your copy today from Amazon! Final Rating: 3.5/5 *I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*

  21. 4 out of 5

    ghost-hermione

    I received a free advanced reader copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. So I wasn't really convinced by the sketchy type cover art, but the blurb really got me. And the novella does deliver. It's short, maybe a bit too short in places, but it certainly delivers in action. I especially liked how the scene was set, with this queernorm space station where poly is normal, nonbinary folk go round using neopronouns and being part of said poly families, and where the space station prov I received a free advanced reader copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. So I wasn't really convinced by the sketchy type cover art, but the blurb really got me. And the novella does deliver. It's short, maybe a bit too short in places, but it certainly delivers in action. I especially liked how the scene was set, with this queernorm space station where poly is normal, nonbinary folk go round using neopronouns and being part of said poly families, and where the space station provides you with food and lodgings even if you're out of a job. The perfect queer utopia! The main character was interesting in that she had a bit of an outsider complex and really couldn't believe she could be part of any family, so it was nice seeing her go through that. I thought her relationship/"rekindled romance" as the summary puts it, with the male love interest was a bit rushed, and I'd have appreciated if the author took a bit more time there, but at the same time it wasn't really the focus. What was, instead, was Triz's work to exonerate her girlfriend/partner from the ridiculous charges against her, and in the process run up and down a station that's shutting down, and trying to catch up a convict and actual war criminal. There was clearly a lot of worldbuilding that went into this and got me intrigued about the whole universe Ogden built there. I wouldn't mind reading more of Triz's, Casne's and Kalo's adventures, or even another polycule's in the same universe. There's lots more I want to see, but this was a good self contained first look into that universe, and it felt a lot like watching an episode of a star trek show in the way it all neatly resolves. Very satisfying to read, both because of just how queer it was, and for the adventure it took me on!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Moon

    I wish I would have liked this one much more than I did. In the end, it didn't work for me. I found that either the scope or the tone wasn't attuned to my liking. The first chapters envisioned a novel in which there was a lot to unravel (extended family relationships anxiety in polyamory partnerships, space opera setting, a breakup and the echoes of the earthquake it provided, a great cast of diverse characters, some class struggles), but Aimee Ogden decided to tunnel vision to a love triangle, I wish I would have liked this one much more than I did. In the end, it didn't work for me. I found that either the scope or the tone wasn't attuned to my liking. The first chapters envisioned a novel in which there was a lot to unravel (extended family relationships anxiety in polyamory partnerships, space opera setting, a breakup and the echoes of the earthquake it provided, a great cast of diverse characters, some class struggles), but Aimee Ogden decided to tunnel vision to a love triangle, which... seemed not polyam? enough? The thing that didn't work for me about the queer polyamory love triangle was the lack of chemistry between an ex-pair. Triz and Kalo needed a little bit more of banter, or a little bit more of development, to find what was happening to them more credible. Instead, we get some tropey adventure-space opera situations, whose tone I didn't buy (why on earth if 'shitting stars' is the favorite curse, is Aimee Ogden being so pulcrous about saying that the MCs are covered in shit?), a blackmail situation that seems resolved just because... And some class-struggles that were just pinpointed as unpleasant and bad, without any pride whatsoever (it's clear that the MC is beyond relief not to be a gutter girl anymore). I had lots of expectations to see Aimee Ogden's work in a longer form (I've liked some of her short stories), but in the end, Local Star didn't work for me. The only thing I did get is that extended family in polyamory relationships must be beyond stressful, but beyond that, I found very difficult to commit myself to the characters, the plot, the scope and the tone of this little novel. Thanks to NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for providing me an eARC of this book

  23. 5 out of 5

    dia

    (I received a free digital copy of this book through Netgalley!) I know it took me quite a bit to get through this very short book, but that's my fault only - it's been hard to focus on reading, even though Local Star is a very fast-paced, fun novella. Ogden created a very interesting world, with its own technology and culture (especially in the romantic area, with poly relationships being the norm I guess? Since every family and every character seems to be in a relationship with multiple people) (I received a free digital copy of this book through Netgalley!) I know it took me quite a bit to get through this very short book, but that's my fault only - it's been hard to focus on reading, even though Local Star is a very fast-paced, fun novella. Ogden created a very interesting world, with its own technology and culture (especially in the romantic area, with poly relationships being the norm I guess? Since every family and every character seems to be in a relationship with multiple people), that left me wanting more. I really wish this had been longer, just so we could get a bit more details and experiences in it. Triz is a cool protagonist, but I wish we had seen more of her life besides the events happening in the story, and her struggles with being in a relationship and struggling with an ex that's still around. Like, I enjoyed reading about her getting over herself, and doing things all through the space she lives in, but I feel like it lacked a bit of the internal stuff, especially the reasons she likes the people around her, enough to risk huge sacrifices. Since everything is very original and new, I appreciate there was a glossary in the end, explaining once more some tech-related words and all that (even though I only noticed...after I finished the book. So it wasn't very useful.) It's been a while since I read a good scifi book, and this one reminded me of how cool they can be and why I love them so much! I wished it was longer, had some more information and details, but I liked it a lot. I'm excited to read more books by Ogden, now!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Thank you to NetGalley and Intersteller! A fun, rollicking beat of polyam relationships in space. The main characters are: Triz, the protagonist, a former guttergirl raised to a more comfortable living, her partner Casne, and her ex Kalo. Set is a queernorm, polyam-norm world, it's extremely refreshing to see both of those concepts used regularly and without shame. One friend of Tris's also uses (at the time of this ARC) e/eir pronouns! There aren't quite couples here, as most relationships have Thank you to NetGalley and Intersteller! A fun, rollicking beat of polyam relationships in space. The main characters are: Triz, the protagonist, a former guttergirl raised to a more comfortable living, her partner Casne, and her ex Kalo. Set is a queernorm, polyam-norm world, it's extremely refreshing to see both of those concepts used regularly and without shame. One friend of Tris's also uses (at the time of this ARC) e/eir pronouns! There aren't quite couples here, as most relationships have four people, casually called a 'gon (short for polygon). Casne, her wife Nantha, and Triz are in a relationship, and there's frank discussion that even if Triz does not find someone to complete their gon, they're happy with her all the same. It's a beautiful sort of discussion that validates the desire for partners to be loved and to want to see them happy, as well as saying they love her and they'll happily keep her where they're at, no matter if they're a triad, a quad, or a pent. There's also the importance of family bonds: though Triz does not have a family of her own, she's more than accepted into Casne's parents' quadhousehold, who accept her. I might wish that Nantha had more appearances as she's mostly offscreen, though the times Triz considers her are clearly with love. I might wish also that Triz's fear/hatred of body mods was more explained, as it is something that plays a part throughout the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Audrey S

    Thank you NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for the ARC! Local Star is a queer space romp in a contained sci-fi story. You won’t find a sprawling space opera here, but sometimes you just want those delicious little snippets, and that’s exactly what Local Star has to offer. The real focus of the story here is on relationships, romantic and familial. Our MC is Triz, an orphan guttergirl turned mechanic. She struggles with feeling like she belongs, as part of the crew, as a partner in her poly Thank you NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for the ARC! Local Star is a queer space romp in a contained sci-fi story. You won’t find a sprawling space opera here, but sometimes you just want those delicious little snippets, and that’s exactly what Local Star has to offer. The real focus of the story here is on relationships, romantic and familial. Our MC is Triz, an orphan guttergirl turned mechanic. She struggles with feeling like she belongs, as part of the crew, as a partner in her polyamorous relationship with Casne and Nantha, and as a member of their family. Despite feeling inferior, when Casne is suddenly accused of orchestrating an attack on a planet, Triz stops at nothing and even accepts the help of her ex Kalo, a hotshot pilot. There is a sort of villain in this story, Rocan, the leader of the Ceebees (The Cyberbionautic Forces, ie cyborgs with voluntary, super human enhancements). I wish we could have spent more time with him because his cause is an interesting one and it brings up interesting discussions, even if his methods aren’t excusable. But that wasn’t the point of this story. Overall, I appreciated that the MC had internal struggles with her own worth and that her relationships were able to support her and help her come to terms with what she did deserve - happiness with her polyamourous quad and as an individual herself. I will be looking forward to more works from Aimee Ogden.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lewis

    Local Star by Aimee Ogden is a wonderful space opera Sci-Fi novel published by Interstellar Flight Press (thank you to them and NetGalley for the ARC!) with gallons of intrigue, sci-fi antics and queerness. The representation is just as fantastic as the fast-paced and joyfully convoluted narrative. The story primarily follows Triz who is a guttergirl (read: a space-mechanic, of sorts) as she is swept into a scandalous and highly volatile plot. She has a girlfriend named Casne and rekindles her re Local Star by Aimee Ogden is a wonderful space opera Sci-Fi novel published by Interstellar Flight Press (thank you to them and NetGalley for the ARC!) with gallons of intrigue, sci-fi antics and queerness. The representation is just as fantastic as the fast-paced and joyfully convoluted narrative. The story primarily follows Triz who is a guttergirl (read: a space-mechanic, of sorts) as she is swept into a scandalous and highly volatile plot. She has a girlfriend named Casne and rekindles her relationship with ex-boyfriend Kalo (who is the most interesting character, in my opinion, and is very fleshed out as the novel progresses), with the three of them forming a polyamorous triad. Ogden wonderfully explores how polyamorous family units operate through the use of supporting characters and background details, normalising this entirely in a Sci-fi setting. The concepts of quad-families and platonic families are explored in such a great and casual way. My only complaint with this novel was the depth of the world-building with very little time for the reader to adjust or really learn what anything meant before being given yet more information. The first chapters especially were a little hard to get into due to this and I felt like I had to keep flicking back a few pages as to know what was happening or who was where. Ultimately, if you love space operas, drama, crime and queer families then this is the perfect book for you!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    *I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* Local Star is a fast-paced sci-fi novella that I had such a fun time reading! Ogden is really able to pack the world-building in (and provides a glossary at the back, which was quite helpful). Set in the middle of a galactic war between the Cyberbionautic Alliance (Ceebees) and the Confederated Worlds, Triz is a mechanic with a lot of self-worth issues and fear of open space. She's hoping to spend the weekend celebrating with he *I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* Local Star is a fast-paced sci-fi novella that I had such a fun time reading! Ogden is really able to pack the world-building in (and provides a glossary at the back, which was quite helpful). Set in the middle of a galactic war between the Cyberbionautic Alliance (Ceebees) and the Confederated Worlds, Triz is a mechanic with a lot of self-worth issues and fear of open space. She's hoping to spend the weekend celebrating with her partner, Casne, but her plans are spoiled when Casne, a pilot, is accused of war crimes and Triz has to partner with her ex, Kalo, to help clear her name. I thought the three main characters were well fleshed out and I loved to see their interactions with each other. I loved exploring Triz's background and how that impacted her self-worth and her relationships with Casne (and Casne's quad parents) and Kalo. That being said, it never felt like there were real stakes with Casne's arrest because it was so unbelievable that she was guilty, which made it a little confusing that one of her quadparents was so quick to believe that she was guilty. I loved the casual lack of heteronormativity and the use of genderless pronouns in this world, but I think I was expecting a bit more on the polyamory side. As a whole though, I thought this novella was a fun time and I would definitely read more set in this world if Ogden writes it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    WorldconReader

    Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author, Aimee Ogden, and publisher, Interstellar Flight Press for kindly providing a review copy of this story. Local Star by Aimee Ogden is an eventful, enjoyable, and fast paced space opera. The author adroitly combines the key characteristics of an adventuresome space tale including sweeping military conflict, ultra-high-tech weapons, military justice, human colonization of space, space stations, and even biotech/bio-mod along with a comfortably complex de Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author, Aimee Ogden, and publisher, Interstellar Flight Press for kindly providing a review copy of this story. Local Star by Aimee Ogden is an eventful, enjoyable, and fast paced space opera. The author adroitly combines the key characteristics of an adventuresome space tale including sweeping military conflict, ultra-high-tech weapons, military justice, human colonization of space, space stations, and even biotech/bio-mod along with a comfortably complex depiction of a believably real space faring civilization. The reader participates through the viewpoint of Triz who grew up in the practically uninhabitable recycling engine of a space station. Long before the story starts, Triz was rescued by mendicants, but is still dealing with her past in this story as she repairs spaceships in the station's Wrenchworks. The society in Local Star includes a thoughtfully flexible and supportive but creative new family structure that has all of the advantages of an extended family. The story progresses rapidly, as Trix faces everything from personal relationship challenges, to life threatening attacks, military tribunals, and space battles all of which fortunately lead to a very satisfactory conclusion. This adventure was engaging, entertaining, and thoughtful. I look forward to reading more by Aimee Ogden.

  29. 4 out of 5

    cyanus

    Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book! The description was great and it really delivered. It was a very enjoyable and fun read, and the book isn't even out yet but I already want more! I wouldn't say that it's heavy on the sci-fi part and it's definitely more character driven, but there are so many things I loved. I really liked that there's a whole new terminology/vocabulary in the world this takes place in, this is always very lovely to see in SFF. The story is fast-paced and there's a Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book! The description was great and it really delivered. It was a very enjoyable and fun read, and the book isn't even out yet but I already want more! I wouldn't say that it's heavy on the sci-fi part and it's definitely more character driven, but there are so many things I loved. I really liked that there's a whole new terminology/vocabulary in the world this takes place in, this is always very lovely to see in SFF. The story is fast-paced and there's a lot of action, but we still learn a lot about the characters (especially the MC) which isn't always the thing with novellas. The characters are loveable and the polyamory plotline was a really wonderful read (and, I think, also very easily relatable). I would absolutely want to read more about all the characters and where they go from here on! The representation is probably what drove this story home for me. Nonbinary identities are, fortunately, becoming more present in books, but characters who use neopronouns aren't that common yet - and while admittedly they were minor/side characters, it was still wonderful to see (as someone who also has neopronouns, it really meant a lot). I haven't read anything else by this author, but I am looking forward to reading more of Ogden's work!

  30. 5 out of 5

    raquel

    Casual queerness and polyamory, Local Star was a fun quick space operaness to it with a side of romcom. Local Star quickly throws you into a space arena with complex world building that is never fully explained. It focuses on a big problem within the universe it takes place in, but the universe is never expanded upon in the way in which I and other reviewers had hoped. It still has a lot of untapped world building potential that could be utilized for a series/duology/etc. There is also untapped p Casual queerness and polyamory, Local Star was a fun quick space operaness to it with a side of romcom. Local Star quickly throws you into a space arena with complex world building that is never fully explained. It focuses on a big problem within the universe it takes place in, but the universe is never expanded upon in the way in which I and other reviewers had hoped. It still has a lot of untapped world building potential that could be utilized for a series/duology/etc. There is also untapped plot lines like Triz and her anti-mod prejudice, as well as the Ceebees vs. The Fleet. The poly, queer and trans rep was great! The in book universe was queernormative and polynormative, which was refreshing and amazing to see! Some have complained that it isn't queer rep because the main relationship of the book was "het". This is confusing to me, as Triz (the MC) is explicitly queer in the novel and is in 2 different f/f poly relationships. Most, if not all, of the characters are explicitly queer, and a "het" relationship with 2 queer people in it is queer rep. It's also amazing queer rep at that! I recommend reading Local Star if you want a quick space opera that quickly throws you into a fast paced plot with casual queerness abound!

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