A Blog A Day – Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan

Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left. None of this was supposed to happen.

Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can’t help but look back at the world they left behind. A world whose rules they couldn’t submit to, a place where they never really belonged; a home they’re determined to get back to because they’ve come too far to lose each other now.

What I Thought:
In a futuristic Utopia, Carys and Max are stranded in space – this much we know. But how did they reach this point? That’s what Hold Back The Stars shows us, in a series of flashbacks and ‘what-ifs?’, alongside depicting a utopian world where living in one ‘voivode’ for more than a few years, and settling into a committed relationship before the age of 35 is forbidden.

This is the world that Max and Carys are born into, yet they were clearly born to buck the trend, finding each other before the age of 30 and irresistably drawn together.

The world of Hold Back the Stars is really well-built. The concepts underlying the world can be complicated, but they are explained well, without being patronising or in too much detail all at once and it’s clear why some aspects work well while others might be challenged by younger members of the community. The utopian ideals are clear and, given the current climate within the UK at the Brexit decision, it’s interesting to see what one possible future might have been – it opens a whole other can of worms about what it now might be!

Katie Khan takes a really interesting spin on the ending of the book – sorry, I don’t want to spoil, but I thought it was a unique way of resolving Max and Carys’ situation.

Hold Back the Stars was published by Doubleday in January, and you can find out more about it and Katie Khan on her website. You can also connect with Katie on Twitter.

Note: I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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