The Stuff of Stars

Book Two of The Seekers dystopian trilogy

Fiction - Dystopia
244 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Orah and Nathaniel are on a journey in The Stuff of Stars. It is a journey that began in the first Seekers book, The Children of Darkness. A journey that began with a desire to recover the wonders of an intelligence that existed before their days until temple rule, this journey takes the couple across an ocean to find the descendants of the original keepers, those whose knowledge and intelligence will help, or so they believe, their own world as it struggles to recover from a life marred by multiple restrictions. Orah and Nathaniel do find the descendants of the keepers, but those they seek are now known as dreamers and they are neither alive nor dead. Those they meet represent opposing views of the age of intelligence that led the dreamers to an existence far above and beyond the realms of basic human comprehension. So how will Orah and Nathaniel communicate with these dreamers? How will they convince the opposing communities that there really is no right or wrong and it is better to work together?

This is another powerful story from popular author David Litwack. The Stuff of Stars, although part of a series, is expertly told as if it were a stand-alone novel. Background information from the first book in the series is presented and unraveled as needed. The centuries-old search for a utopian existence is challenged in this second novel as the two protagonists, Orah and Nathaniel, find themselves pitted against two points of view: that intelligence and living with intelligent machines is the only way to survive, and that returning to nature and living off the land is the right way to go. The utopia that the protagonists seek is mired in questions with no answers, and the truth they hope will help their own people across the ocean is difficult to ascertain. Is there a right or a wrong answer? Can a real utopia truly exist? The reader is left with these troubling questions as the novel ends with a bridge to the third book.

Excellent plot development, description, characterization - the reader truly feels like he/she is part of this story. This is a fantastic story that continues the plot initiated in the first Seekers book: a tale about a futuristic utopian world that is anything but perfect. There is only one word to truly define this novel: WOW!

Lex Allen

I opened The Stuff of Stars by David Litwack with a large dose of trepidation. I hadn’t read the first novel, The Children of Darkness, and if the past were any sign, I’d spend the first third of this book trying to catch up to the story arc. I am pleased to report that didn’t happen. Without reference to the previous novel, this episode needed no prologue and stood alone from its predecessor. I imagine that all three of the novels in this series can equally stand on their own merit, sans cliff-hangers or tedious prologues.

I’ve read a lot of dystopia, science fiction/fantasy novels, but seldom have I read one that oozes verisimilitude like this one. The semblance of reality, in all aspects of the story, are vital to any book, regardless the genre, but more so in science fiction and fantasy. Mr. Litwack is an expert in this area. I believe it safe to assume that the author is also a student of Stephen King’s “On Writing.” Some novels use fewer passive verbs and adverbs than this one, but they are few. Short, active sentences make for a smoother and faster reading experience, and The Stuff of Stars is that and more.

His characters are exciting, living, breathing people you will empathize with and recognize. His ‘science’ is far-reaching but easy to comprehend. Wherever you are in the world today, you can observe a similar conflict to that which divides the greenies from the machine masters. The ages old battle between spirituality/religion and science is the basis for this story and Mr. Litwack is a master storyteller. The Stuff of Stars will entertain you in its adventure and exploration of a new world. It will also give you something to think about regarding life and the hereafter. I started in the middle of this trilogy. I will now read the first book and eagerly await publication of the third. You should, too.

Hilary Hawkes

The Seekers: The Stuff of Stars is book two in David Litwack’s dystopian trilogy. Orah and Nathaniel leave their lives as Seekers and cross the ocean to search for the wisdom of others so that they can find freedom, knowledge, truth and a better way of living to take back to their kind. But they discover lost descendants: the technos (machine reliant) and the greenies (who live amongst nature) and neither have idyllic lives themselves. The two sides are at such odds with each other that the well-being of dreamers (who are trapped in a higher ascended, spiritual realm discovering untold truths and meanings) are threatened unless Orah and Nathaniel can intervene and find a way for everyone’s way of living to complement each other’s rather than oppose it.

The Seekers: The Stuff of Stars is a well-written book with an intriguing and carefully laid out plot that unfolds at a good pace. There is enough mention and summary of the background to the story from book one to read this without necessarily having read the first in the trilogy. David Litwack has created a thought-provoking world in which, in the aftermath of a world “collapse,” different groups with different theories, views and understandings of life emerge at odds with each other. The book is an examination of how truth can be lost, but also sought and found again when people open their minds and let go of restrictive theories, and search and think for themselves.

The characters are believable and the descriptive language draws the reader into their intriguing world. Orah and Nathaniel are daring, diplomatic, brave and determined, and through their discoveries remind us that better ways and enlightenment occur when learning and knowledge unite with and walk hand in hand with faith and passion. I found this a thought-provoking and well-crafted tale – one that will delight lovers of dystopia, science fiction and fantasy. Its message will stay in your mind long after you’ve turned the last page.

Kathryn Bennett

The Seekers: The Stuff of Stars by David Litwack continues to tell the story that began with The Children of Darkness. Orah and Nathaniel have managed to reveal the truth about the darkness, even though the odds were stacked against them. The trouble is sometimes people don't react just how you want them to, and those who live in the realm of Orah and Nathaniel are set in their ways. So rather than welcoming a new age, one of light and enlightenment, the people end up struggling and listening to the whispers of the vicars who wish to keep them contained in the traditional old ways. Orah and Nathaniel won't give up, however, and they set out to find the keepmasters' kin.

This is a great book and really does take a look into human nature. I actually found it refreshing and interesting that once enlightenment was brought to the people they didn't just raise a gleeful cheer about it. In fact, they were set in their old ways and allowed a faction to form. A book that has this kind of realism is going to go right to the top of my interest list and this book doesn't disappoint as you delve deeper. It is written with a very nice flow and David Litwack keeps you interested by sending his main characters off on another quest; they won't give up on bringing people into enlightenment and that is very real and human too. If you are a fan of dystopian books this is going to be a fantastic series for you, and this is a great second book in the series.

Tracy Slowiak

In an intriguing new read by author David Litwack, The Stuff of Stars, the second book in The Seekers series, readers are taken along on the continuing journey of Orah and Nathaniel, seekers that were introduced in the first book of the series, The Children of Darkness. After revealing the truth about the darkness, Orah and Nathaniel had hopes that positive changes would occur, that a true age of peace and prosperity would reign. Instead, they find that people have a harder time with change than anticipated, and a return to the old ways is happening. The two decide to travel to find the keepmasters' kin, and hope they will be allies in their plan to keep their movement alive. When they are found, Orah and Nathaniel are faced with a new task; they must work to unite the two factions to create a better world. Will they succeed or will they face the loss of their dream and their lives?

The Stuff of Stars was a real 'whoa!' type of book. It was exciting, adventurous, and kept me obsessively reading from the start all the way through to the end. Author David Litwack has done a fantastic job in continuing the story of two characters that readers will connect with, relate to and continue to think of long after the book is done. His world creation abilities are simply second to none, and his settings are both fantastic and realistic somehow. Any reader who enjoys dystopian fiction, fantasy, or just a great read of fiction in general will love this book. I highly recommend it, and will certainly look for more from David Litwack in the future!