on 23rd july 2014
Avicenna Crowe's mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history of being stalked. Now she is missing. The police are called, but they're not asking the right questions. Like why Joanne lied about her past, and what she saw in her stars that made her so afraid. But Avicenna has inherited her mother's gift. Finding an unlikely ally in the brooding Simon Thorn, she begins to piece together the mystery. And when she uncovers a link between Joanne's disappearance and a cold-case murder, Avicenna is led deep into the city's dark and seedy underbelly, unaware how far she is placing her own life in danger. Pulse-racing and terrifyingly real, The Astrologer's Daughter is a stunning, original novel. It will test your belief in destiny and the endurance of love.
For the longest time it has always been Avicenna and her mother, Joanne. But when Joanne goes missing, Avicenna is lost. She may be eighteen but she doesn’t know what to do without her mum. Joanne is an astrologer and it seems her gift is connected with her disappearance. Her predictions are eerily precise and Avicenna is certain they hold the key to her mother’s whereabouts. If Avicenna is to find her mother and solve the mystery, she will have to use the gift she has always shunned.
The Astrologer’s Daughter is a novel which will stay with me for a long time. Rebecca Lim has one of the most beautiful writing styles I’ve read and I loved following Avicenna as she tried to solve the mystery of her mother. You don’t need to believe or even know a thing about astrology or that which you can not see to be enthralled by The Astrologer’s Daughter. The descriptions of the characters as seen though Avicenna’s eyes are incredible. They are full of Avicenna’s trademark snark and yet perfectly paint a vivid picture of those who she is talking about.
The characters within this book are well-rounded. They are brilliantly flawed with each character having their own baggage and this made them incredibly realistic. Avicenna is somewhat of an outsider with her past shown on her face. She’s not always the most comfortable character to be around but she’s real. Her anguish over her mother is palpable as is her fear of prediction. Avicenna has seen her mother work and knows just how dangerous knowing can be and yet she is willing to face that if it means she can help her mum. I loved their relationship. It’s a unique one considering Joanne is off-screen for most of this novel but she is still a force which is felt in much of what Avicenna does. I also loved that Avicenna was half-Asian. Her racial ancestry is part of who she is and also effected how she saw herself and how others saw her.
The mystery in this book was well crafted and I thought the flow of information was fantastic. As a reader you never quite know what is going to happen (or has happened) but I never felt lost. I was always there with Avicenna as she discovered clues to her past or became aware of what was happening in the present. The fortune-telling aspect of this book was fascinating. Avicenna isn’t what I normally think of when I think of astrology but her predictions don’t feel out of character. She’s methodical and her relationship with her craft is a complicated one.
The Astrologer’s Daughter has been one of my favourite reads of 2014. Beautifully written with a main character who is both snarky and sarcastic but also scared. The mystery was incorporated flawlessly into a coming of age story which I could not put down. If you only read one Australian young adult novel this year – I could not recommend any book higher than The Astrologer’s Daughter. Mystery, romance and a hint of the unknown. What could be better?
Thanks to Text Publishing for the review copy.