Light From Uncommon Stars (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

If I could put one novel in your hands right now, this is the one. Mix Star Trek vibes with Good Omens style, but up the dose of found family sweetness, and make it so SO queer and trans and full of clementines and violins and donuts and music and women and spaceships. This book is unspeakably lovely and wholesome without shying away from the darker parts of human (and extraterrestrial) experience. I would follow LIGHT FROM UNCOMMON STARS to the end of the universe.

— Anna S

Wait! Demons AND aliens? Violins and donuts? A trans hero? Wow!

— Lisa

October 2021 Indie Next List

“This book has it all: a music teacher who sold her soul, a family of alien refugees who run a donut shop, and a trans violinist who changes everything. It cracks open the heart of what it means to exist in the universe.”
— Katherine Nazzaro, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA


Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars, a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

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.

About the Author

RYKA AOKI (she/her) is a poet, composer, teacher, and novelist whose books include He Mele a Hilo and two Lambda Award finalists, Seasonal Velocities and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. Ryka’s work has appeared or been recognized in publications including Vogue, Elle, Bustle, Autostraddle, PopSugar, and Buzzfeed. Her poetry was featured at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and she was honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.”
Product Details
ISBN: 9781250789082
ISBN-10: 1250789087
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: July 26th, 2022
Pages: 384
Language: English