The Star and the Strange Moon

Redhook: Orbit. Nov. 2023. 480p. ISBN 9780316493741. $30. FANTASY
Actress Gemma Turner disappears while filming a horror movie in 1968. The movie seems to destroy everyone it touches, each and every time its mysterious owner brings it out of the vault. Christopher Kent watches his mother explode in anger at the sight of Gemma’s photo. The mystery of how his mother was connected to the tragedy of the film is the obsession that powers his life. His ambition to solve the puzzle becomes a quest that makes, breaks, and separates him from the world around him. When he finds his answers, he ends up in paradise in a place that should be hell—and very nearly was for Gemma. This timeslip fantasy switches its perspective from Gemma’s continued existence trapped in the film she disappeared from, with Christopher’s life as he becomes increasingly obsessed with the cursed legacy of the film. Each story is riveting, but it’s not until they start coming together that readers begin to see the manipulator behind the curtain, changing the meaning of everything that came before.
VERDICT Readers who love timeslip fiction and twisty, puzzling stories will appreciate the latest from Sayers (The Ladies of the Secret Circus).
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