Monday, October 17, 2016

Review + #Giveaway: The Stuff of Stars by David Litwack @DavidLitwack @GoddessFish

The Stuff of Stars
by David Litwack
GENRE: Science Fiction


Book 2 of The Seekers series continues the story started in the critically-acclaimed, multiple award-winning The Children of Darkness.

Against all odds, Orah and Nathaniel have found the keep and revealed the truth about the darkness, initiating what they hoped would be a new age of enlightenment. But the people were more set in their ways than anticipated, and a faction of vicars whispered in their ears, urging a return to traditional ways.

Desperate to keep their movement alive, Orah and Nathaniel cross the ocean to seek the living descendants of the keepmasters’ kin. Those they find on the distant shore are both more and less advanced than expected.

The seekers become caught between the two sides, and face the challenge of bringing them together to make a better world. The prize: a chance to bring home miracles and a more promising future for their people. But if they fail this time, they risk not a stoning but losing themselves in the twilight of a never-ending dream.

An Excerpt from The Stuff of Stars:

The children hoisted their sacks and led us along a muddy road that straddled the rim of the cliffs. Breakers from the storm still pounded the rocks and sent an angry spray across our path. Clouds of squawking gulls wheeled overhead, eyeing the catch of fish.

After a while, we left the gulls behind and entered a well-trodden trail cut through the woods. The scent of the sea dwindled with the offshore breeze, replaced by the welcome smells of land—pine resin and moist earth, growing plants and animals with fur instead of scales. How good to leave the tumultuous sea behind, even if its waters represented our last link to home.

The line of children rambled along without speaking. What must they think of us, these strangers who’d crashed so unceremoniously on their shore?

A rustling in the trees distracted me. Not far from the start of the inland path, I noticed the silent boy peeking at us between the branches. The other children ignored him.

I caught up to Kara. “Who is that boy, and why do you pretend he’s not there?”

Kara shrugged. “He’s an IB.”

“What’s an IB?”

“They call themselves people of the earth, but we call them greenies, just as they call us technos. The younger children prefer IB, short for ishkabibblers. The mentor teaches us that their thoughts are nothing but babble. That’s why we started calling them ishkabbiblers.”

I gaped at her, my mind too tired to comprehend.

Kara’s mouth spread into a grin. “You know, the sound you make by running your fingers over your lips while humming.”

She demonstrated, making the silly sound. The other children joined in, and I had to laugh despite the cramps in my legs. She laughed with me. I glanced over my shoulder, taking in the last glimpse of the ocean. How different this new land from our side of the sea.

Nathaniel smiled and squeezed my hand, and I squeezed back. Then I looked past him into the woods, searching for the young IB, but the boy had vanished, devoured by the trees.

My Review of The Stuff of Stars:

Orah and Nathaniel have built their boat and have traveled to the other side of the water in search of the decedents of the Keepmasters. They are seeking knowledge to bring back to the people of Little Pond hoping to make their lives better. They are still seeking the truth as well.

On the other side of the water they meet two groups of people. The first group they meet are still using the machines that their parents, the dreamers left to them to make their lives easier. They are called the technos. The technos follow the Mentor and always do what he says as he is their leader.

The other group of people they meet are the greenies. The greenies live off the land and no long rely on the machines for their survival. The greenies have their own leader whom they call Earth Mother.

The greenies and the technos each have their own beliefs and want nothing to do with the other. They had a falling out of sorts a long time ago and each stay to their selves with no contact between the two groups.

When Orah and Nathaniel try to be friends with both groups each group accuse them of betraying the other. But that is not the case Orah and Nathaniel are only trying to be friends with everyone and to help each group in any way they can. They also know that each group has different things that they can teach them to take back to their homeland to help the people there as well.

Nathaniel and Orah finally convenience technos and the greenies that they can help make their lives easier with the things they can teach them. They also convenience them that they can be friends with both groups at the same time and not betray the other. Can Orah and Nathaniel get the two groups to come together and work as one? Will they ever be friends again?

I have really and truly love going along with Orah and Nathaniel on their search in seeking the truth. What is the truth? Is there actually more than one truth? Can they be more than one truth? Can Orah and Nathaniel ever get people to understand that we are one? 

I hope to see Orah and Nathaniel again on their next journey. I highly recommend that you grab your copy of The Stuff of Stars and go with Orah and Nathaniel as they cross the water to the new land and people. But I would suggest that you start with The Children of Darkness to follow Orah, Nathaniel and their friend Thomas to find out how it all began. 

The Children of Darkness
by David Litwack

GENRE: Science Fiction


A thousand years ago the Darkness came—a terrible time of violence, fear, and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For ten centuries they have kept the madness at bay with “temple magic,” and by eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything.

Childhood friends, Orah and Nathaniel, have always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for more from life but unwilling to challenge the rigid status quo. When their friend Thomas returns from the Temple after his “teaching”—the secret coming-of-age ritual that binds young men and women eternally to the Light—they barely recognize the broken and brooding young man the boy has become. Then when Orah is summoned as well, Nathaniel follows in a foolhardy attempt to save her.

In the prisons of Temple City, they discover a terrible secret that launches the three on a journey to find the forbidden keep, placing their lives in jeopardy, for a truth from the past awaits that threatens the foundation of the Temple. If they reveal that truth, they might once again release the potential of their people.

Yet they would also incur the Temple’s wrath as it is written: “If there comes among you a prophet saying, ‘Let us return to the darkness,’ you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the Light.”

My Review of The Children of Darkness:

Three young friends have lived their whole lives in the little village of Little Pond where they grew up under the rule of The Temple of Light. Everyone must follow the rules of The Temple of Light or be taken to the temple for a “teaching” which no one ever returns from the same as they were before.

No one is allowed to dream or find happiness in things like music or playing instruments. Thomas loves his music and his instrument, Nathaniel is a dreamer and Orah just likes to know things like the truth. Before they know it is Nathaniel and Thomas’ time to come before the Vicar as they have now become of age. Orah is afraid that Nathaniel will be chosen for a “teaching” at the Temple and hopes he will stay away. But then Thomas is chosen and taken away for a teaching when he finally returns he is broken and not the same person.

On the next coming of age ceremony Orah is chosen for a teaching and is taken to the temple. Nathaniel hoping to save her from the same faith as Thomas he follows her to the temple and while there he stumbles across a remarkable discovery.

Now the three start out on a journey to discover the truth. On their journey they hope to find proof of what they have been taught. They know or believe that everything the temple has taught them can’t be the whole truth. They are determined to find the truth to set them free of being slaves to the temple.

I have to agree that The Children of Darkness was a bit slow in the beginning but like our three young friends I would like to know the truth as well so I kept going. It did get better the more I read. I loved the whole concept of seeking the truth that the story portrays. The Children of Darkness was told part of story and used whatever methods available to enforce they live by it. If you tell a group of people a story and leave out the parts out that you don’t want them to know and you keep telling these people this same story over and over year after year then eventually ever one who knew the other part of the story is gone and have been gone for thousands of years so no one left alive knows the truth or so you hope.

The Children of Darkness is one of those stories that is going to stay with me for years to come and will probably carry a little bit of it with me always. If you love stories of this nature or if you just love a good book then this is the book for you. Now I can’t wait to get started on the next book to find out where Orah and Nathaniel take us next. 


The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.

David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.


$25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Nikolina said...

This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading, thank you for sharing!

Mai T. said...

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Stormy Vixen said...

Enjoyed reading the excerpt and the review, sounds great!

Unknown said...

Great post!!!

Mary Preston said...

A helpful review thank you.

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing your review :)

Karen M. said...

I liked the entire post. Both books look really interesting.

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