Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Review of Yvonne Anderson Stars Novel

Feisty  Heroine  Dassa  Enters  SF  Scene


Via  Yvonne  Anderson's  Debut  "Stars"  Novel 





A review of


Yvonne Anderson The Story in the Stars (Beaverton, OR:  Risen Books, 2011)

                            281 pp   $16.99   ISBN-13: 978-1-936835-04-1   ISBN-10: 1936835045


Reviewed by:  Forrest W. Schultz



     Today's literary scene is filled with fesity female characters, some of whom accomplish very heroic feats.  Very few of these women have ever had to deal with the kind of Herculean challenge facing Yvonne Anderson's character Dassa.  Dassa's namesake -- Hadassah (Esther) -- exhibited heroism as she took the steps which resulted in saving her people from destruction.  Dassa confronts a far worse situation:  she is the sole survivor of a plague which has killed every other person on her planet, Gannah.  And to top it off, the other planets regard Gannahians as bloodthirtly villains! As if this were not enough, God then gives Dassa the task of returning to Gannah to repopulate it!!


     As a Christian Yvonne Anderson believes that God can do miracles and still does them today.  But in her story she uses miracles sparingly and never in a deus ex machina manner.  Anderson belongs to the new breed of Christian writers having a strong concern for realism in their stories, which they do not wish to have associated with the kind of christian fiction of the past which has often been (whether rightly or wrongly) regarded as unrealistic.


     I shall not argue with anyone who claims that the concept of all by one person on a planet being annihilated is unrealistic.  I will merely point out that this same concept was found in one of the best SF works of the twentieth century (Ender's Game) authored by one of its best writers (Orson Scott Card). 












    One thing that is incontestable is that Dassa is a very interesting, very well-developed character, whom I would love to meet -- provided that she was not mad at me!  Also well-developed, especially regarding his surprising maturation during the story, is the Karkarian Dr. Pik, the physician employed by the League of Planets, who traveled in a special spaceship to Gannah, arriving just in time to save Dassa, but none of the other Gannahians.  The most succinct description of Anderson's character development -- depth with subtely -- was supplied by Gina Holmes.  Anderson's characters and story also have a very strong verissimilitude:  the reader really gets into the story and becomes ever more engrossed and interested as the tale unfolds.


     I recommend Anderson's debut novel The Story in the Stars to anyone wishing to keep up with the best in new science fiction writing.  The story is book one of the Gateway to Gannah series.  She has recently completed book two, which will probably be published near the end of the year.  She is now working on book 3, which will probably be published next year.  Information about the author and her book is available on these websites: and  For anyone interested in becoming acquainted with the "new breed" of christian writer referred to here, I suggest the Lost Genre Guild, which is where I became learnd of Yvonne Anderson and her book.


     According to the Auhtor's note at the rear of the book, the title refers to the concept that the constellations originally were intended to tell the Biblical creation/fall/salvation drama, which is found in the book Anderson used as her source, Joseph A, Seiss's book The Gospel in the Stars published by Kregel.






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