June 11, 2024

The Stardust Grail

By Yume Kitasei
Review by
Star Trek meets Indiana Jones in Yume Kitasei’s anti-colonial space heist, The Stardust Grail.
Share this Article:

Maya Hoshimoto swears that her time as a thief is behind her. She used to travel across the galaxy returning stolen artifacts to nonhuman civilizations, until a job gone wrong nearly cost both her life and the life of her best friend, the Frenro alien Auncle. Studying anthropological archives as a graduate student is much safer, but Maya is plagued with visions of a future only she can prevent, one seemingly connected to the doomed expedition of a long-dead space archaeologist who stole a Frenro artifact. 

With government officials breathing down their necks, Maya and Auncle tear off into deep space with the help of a new motley crew to find the so-called stardust grail first. If they can decipher the clues and figure out the hidden location of the relic, it could help save Auncle’s civilization and keep the interstellar gates around Earth open. But it isn’t long before Maya discovers how many people are keeping secrets and how close to war the universe is—and it may be up to her to decide who gets saved. 

Star Trek meets Indiana Jones in this anti-colonial space heist from The Deep Sky author Yume Kitasei. The Stardust Grail blends horror, adventure and fantastical whimsy into an expeditious adventure. Kitasei’s explorations of various nonhuman civilizations will fascinate, and her alien characters are so endearing. Auncle’s whimsical optimism—and love of hats—makes for an especially standout character. 

There are no easy answers to the moral and political quandaries presented in The Stardust Grail. Ultimately, it’s Maya’s hope she’s doing the right thing and belief in her friends that guide her through the story’s breakneck, if occasionally muddled, finale. Fans of Ryka Aoki, Ann Leckie and Becky Chambers will find much to love in this fast-paced, expansive adventure.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The Stardust Grail

The Stardust Grail

By Yume Kitasei
ISBN 9781250875372

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our newsletter to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.