In a near future, Orlando “Lan” is a single gay dad of a wonderful girl with a wonderful supporting enlarged family. You realize this is the future not since the life is so different from now but simply since technology is more and more driving your life and helping making it easier, like the Rosetta chip that translates you cat’s thought, or the computer that advises you how to cook, and simple things like that. At the beginning, even if the author gave you the hint about the year, there is a preface set in 2002 and the main character is telling know all of that happened 20 years before, I didn’t do the math and so, when they started talking “techy”, I simply thought it was my lack of knowledge of the most modern tricks. What tipped me was indead the cat starting the talk in a “thinking” way.
Aside from these details, making the novel original but not unattainable by the “common” reader (the one liking contemporary romance more than sci-fiction), Into the Stars is the classical search for Mr. Right. Orlando had only one long-lasting relationship with a man, Derek, who didn’t want the same things Orlando did, specifically a family; a very old fashioned reason to break a family, and so it happened: Derek left and Orlando was left behind raising his child alone. Arianna is now a wonderful 16 years old girl, way more mature than her peers, and in some way even than her father: she is more emotianally developed, more aware that there are chances outside there in the world, and that you have to be open to catch them. Another thing that seems changed in this future society is the almost ordinary acceptance of being gay: Arianna has no problem at all with her father being gay, and so is the same for Leo, Arianna’s schoolmater and Angelo’s son; Angelo is Orlando’s new love interest.
The story could have been quite an ordinary romance, but the author decided for an almost deux-ex-machina approach: nothing seems to happen by chance, and even if Orlando and Angelo are living in one of the most populated cities of the world, New York, their meeting apparently is written into the stars, only that they are dancing around it, almost avoiding the meeting; Orlando is from Philadelphia, Angelo from Brooklyn, but coincidentally they went to the same college in Florida. Orlando worked for the baker Angelo went to, but they have never met since Angelo went when Orlando was out of shift. As if picking the wrong clue, Orlando instead met Derek in that same baker. Now that he is alone again, Orlando moves to New York, and not only he meets by chance Angelo, their sons are also in school together. Fate wants them together, and it will arrive to extreem conseguence to see its plan accomplished.
The romance was good, the crazy family of Orlando was perfect, and everything clicked rightly together almost by magic; at first it was strange, my rational mind continued to introdu to tell me it was not realistic, but after a bit I entered the mood of the story and accepted everything since it was written “into the star”. My only complain, and it was how I started this review, is that I didn’t feel necessary the sudden angst turn the novel took toward the end; it’s only explainable if you consider that there is a divine plan underneath all of it, and that in the end, even if technoligy will help you in having an easier life, fate (or God or whatever else) will always have the last word.
Amazon: Into The Stars