Star of the North by D.B. John follows the stories of an American, Jenna and two North Koreans, Cho and Mrs. Moon. Jenna is plagued by the disappearance of her twin sister. She is an expert on North Korea, as much as any American can be, and because of this is recruited by the CIA. Mrs. Moon is a peasant in North Korea trying to survive the lack of food and basic supplies. Cho is a high ranking North Korean official who having grown up among the more privileged wonders if his family’s past will taint his status. Though each so different their stories become intertwined.
A large part of the story takes place in North Korea. I knew only very basic facts about North Korea and so as I was reading this book I kept doing more research about North Korea to see how much was fiction and totally made up and how much could actually be based on factual information. Needless to say I learned a lot about North Korea and how the people there live. So much was heartbreaking and I t would have been very difficult to read about had the plot not moved so quickly. I was pulled into the story of these 3 characters so quickly and it was a difficult book to put down. But while I was anxiously reading to see what happens to Jenna, Cho and Mrs. Moon I was also thinking of the government and the sorrows that the common people face in North Korea. I find it fascinating how people can justify the way they treat other humans. It is always so difficult to read about the way humans treat other humans. But among the atrocities there were also little gems of human kindness.
I enjoyed John’s writing style and thought the book often read like a movie. I could picture the scenes he was describing and it played out in my mind the way a movie would.
This was a fun read. The ending was a surprise and a bit over the top but I still really enjoyed it.
Star of the North was provided to me by the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!