Diadem from the Stars by Jo Clayton is the first book in the Diadem series. Personally I thought it was a confusing book from start to finish. The story begins with Aleytys, a girl who never quite fit in in her village due to her mother, a mother she never even knew. For most of the first few pages, I had a hard time keeping track of names and what they were even talking to or referring about. For example our main protagonists name is Aleytys but her nickname Leyta – it took me awhile to figure that out. Furthermore she’s in a village where people hate her but are afraid of her. To say that entire situation in her village confused me would be an understatement. I felt like most of the time, the author was giving us new locations and situations in an attempt to be engaging while at the same time failing to clarify what exactly is taking place and why we should find it significant.
The plot for Diadem from the Stars is that Aleytys wants to go find her long lost mother and maybe find a place where she belongs. Unfortunately, to do that, she must traverse the planet to find a long abandoned ship to take her to the stars. Aleytys is a horrible heroine who goes from one relationship to another faster than you can turn a page. She jumps into bed with a literal stranger without even trying to fight! It was just weird…very weird.
In addition to a somewhat murky plot, the author also seemed entirely too comfortable bring up rape in the book that occurred over an extended period in an encounter that definitely left me uncomfortable. For parents with teens considering reading this book if the lack of a coherent plot does not dissuade you, the rape, sex, and violence in this book should not be presented to children under the age of 18. For a story that was very disjointed and a main character that was nearly impossible for me to relate to, I am giving Diadem from the Stars 2/5 stars for a book that left me thoroughly disappointed and unable to completely reading the story.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.