Star Splitter

­Dutton. May 2023. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780735231665.
Gr 9 Up–Jessica Mathers is leaving her life and friends behind, whether she likes it or not, to join her parents on a research mission 14 light years away. But when Jessica wakes up from teleportation—a process where you are scanned and then printed at your destination—she is not on the space station where she was meant to reunite with her parents. Instead, she is in an empty lander crashed on alien soil. Outside is a trail of blood, four freshly dug graves, and someone she could never have expected. Jessica will have to untangle the truths of a terrible disaster and fight to survive a planet with its own dangerous secrets. Chilling and tense, this is a story of deadly unknowns and heart-pounding survival that challenges questions of what makes us who we are. Told in chapters that alternate events before and after the mysterious disaster, the book’s pacing and revelations keep readers guessing to the very end. Jessica is a smart and compelling character, deeply sympathetic as she grapples with how little say she has in her own life. Even the small characters feel richly conceived, with interesting back stories lurking just beyond the page. Some readers will be justifiably frustrated with fuzzy or unresolved plot points, but Kirby creates a world that feels both foreign and immediate, pushing readers to examine how much they really understand about the universe.
VERDICT An excellent purchase for fans of tense survival, fast-paced horror, and classic science fiction.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing