My Review:

Star of the NorthStar of the North by D.B. John

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 big stars to Star of the North! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Where do I even start with this one. Yowza. So stinkin’ good. Thanks to my friend, Fran, for another stellar recommendation.

A thriller set in North and South Korea- talk about original! And timely! It is 1999 when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a beach in South Korea and taken to North Korea. Twelve years later, her twin, Jenna, is certain her sister is still alive and wants desperately to find answers.

There are other stories within this stories, and I know some are hesitant about that. Here, it is brilliantly done because it sheds light on all aspects of the story at a deeper level. One of the additional stories is about a peasant woman living and working in North Korea. I felt like I had my eyes literally on the ground in North Korea, that forbidden place we never get to truly see. The second story is about a high ranking North Korean official who finds out he may be related to a traitor of the state, which is punishable by death.

I was literally spellbound by this book. It was steeped in culture, one I know little about, while also being one of most edge-of-your-seat, gripping and original thrillers I’ve read in a while. Smart, explosive, revealing, and masterful, D.B. John’s Star of the North is an exceptional, phenomenal, and insert every single other adjective to gush about this wondrous thriller.

Thank you to D.B. John, Crown Publishing, and Netgalley for the ARC. Star of the North will be released on May 22, 2018, which is tomorrow!

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A propulsive and ambitious thriller about a woman trying to rescue her twin sister from captivity in North Korea, and the North Korean citizens with whom she forms an unlikely alliance

Star of the North opens in 1998, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twelve years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her, and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her–including undertaking a daring mission into the heart of the regime. Her story is masterfully braided together with two other narrative threads. In one, a North Korean peasant woman finds a forbidden international aid balloon and uses the valuables inside to launch a dangerously lucrative black-market business. In the other, a high-ranking North Korean official discovers, to his horror, that he may be descended from a traitor, a fact that could mean his death if it is revealed. As the novel progresses, these narrative strands converge and connect in surprising ways, ultimately building to an explosive and unforgettable climax.

Happy reading! Jennifer