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SINGING THE DOGSTAR BLUES by Alison Goodman Kirkus Star


by Alison Goodman

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-670-03610-2
Publisher: Viking

A thrilling debut explores a richly textured future society. Seventeen-year-old Joss is heading towards her expulsion number 13. When alien Mavkel becomes the first of his telepathic species to study at the Centre for Neo-Historical Studies, he chooses Joss as his study partner. Joss is relieved; Mavkel’s diplomatic status should protect her from expulsion. But something is rotten on campus: an assassin is on the loose, with an unknown target. Joss’s estranged journalist mother is—as always—unreachable. The Centre director is mysteriously determined to expel Joss. On top of everything else, Mavkel is telepathically crippled and occasionally suicidal as a result of an accident that claimed his alien twin. Will Joss choose to save Mavkel, or protect her own sense of self? Joss’s society has many elements of cyberpunk—virtual reality, a complex underworld, biology melded with technology—but her story is more satisfying than a typical cyberpunk mystery. In Joss’s powerful coming-of-age, she learns her place among family, friends, and her larger society. Though secondary to the plot, Joss’s changing relationship with her mother is heartbreakingly real. A gripping tale in a fully-realized world. A winner. (Science fiction. 13+)