Finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Winner of an ALA/YALSA Alex Award
Finalist for a Hugo Award
Finalist for a Locus Award
Winner of a Stonewall Book Award
Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.
When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate.
But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.
As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.
“The book brought me to tears . . . and bursts with love and insights on food, music, inheritance and transformation.”—The New York Times
“A transformative marvel. I have never read a book quite like this before. I laughed. I wept. I believed in the power of souls. This is a novel that will be talked about for years to come, and deservedly so. I. Loved. This. Book.”—T. J. Klune, The New York Times bestselling author
“Delightful and heartbreaking. An unexpected mashup of science fiction and fantasy that will make you love music, crave donuts, and wish to read it all again.”—John Scalzi, The New York Times bestselling author
“This book broke my heart and glued it back together stronger than before. Skillful, stunning, absolutely gorgeous.”—Becky Chambers, USA Today bestselling author
“A beautiful story of friendship and love . . . incredibly soothing and kind and sweet and delightful. I fell in love with these characters and did not even realize how desperately I needed this story right now.”—Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky
“A story that sparkles with magic and music and joy; this book just sings.”—Everina Maxwell, author of Winter's Orbit
“A kaleidoscopic and riveting symphony . . . Aoki has conjured the most spellbinding venues to unpack race, sexuality, and class with both ingenuity and heart. A new classic.”—Sequoia Nagamatsu, author of Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone
“Ryka Aoki's prose is sublime, the emotional connections she makes are like sparkling jewels . . . Light From Uncommon Stars is fantastic, beautiful, and deeply, profoundly moving.”—Jenn Lyons, author of Ruin of Kings
“A singing, full-hearted, fearless—and fearlessly goofy—vision that dances across the border between real and surreal, heartrending and sweet, with the nonstop energy of Douglas Adams, and a deep, merciless compassion.”—Max Gladstone, author of Empress of Forever
“Filled with mouthwatering descriptions of food and heart-swelling meditations on music, this novel is an unexpected gift.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Aoki's novel is an exciting, wild web of an adventure, an unputdownable book about music, found family, and identity. Diving into the tough subjects, Aoki's book emerges with a joyful, queer, radical ballad of a story.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A dark but ultimately hopeful sci-fi exploration of the threats faced by queer people of color [and] a love letter to immigrant culture and the power people have to save each other . . . a beautiful, satisfying story of redemption and families of choice.”—Publishers Weekly
Reviews from Goodreads
Yes, it hurt. It was definitely not just a bruise. Yes, she was scared. Her throat was raw from screaming.
Cautiously, Katrina Nguyen felt under her bed.
Girl clothes. Boy clothes. Money. Birth...