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Shveta Thakrar

Author of Star Daughter

4+ Works 749 Members 14 Reviews

Works by Shveta Thakrar

Star Daughter (2020) 677 copies, 11 reviews
The Dream Runners (2022) 69 copies, 2 reviews
Into the Moon Garden 2 copies, 1 review

Associated Works

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings (2018) — Contributor — 524 copies, 9 reviews
Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft (2018) — Contributor — 374 copies, 13 reviews
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World (2017) — Contributor — 266 copies, 13 reviews
Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold (2016) — Contributor — 226 copies, 4 reviews
Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (2014) — Contributor — 118 copies, 6 reviews
The Best of Uncanny (2019) — Contributor — 56 copies, 1 review
A Field Guide to Surreal Botany (2008) — Contributor — 45 copies, 1 review
The Underwater Ballroom Society (2018) — Contributor — 40 copies, 5 reviews
Uncanny Magazine Issue 15: March/April 2017 (2017) — Contributor — 37 copies, 7 reviews
Clockwork Phoenix 5 (2016) — Contributor — 34 copies, 1 review
Magical Women (2019) — Contributor — 22 copies, 1 review
Steam-Powered 2 (2011) — Contributor — 20 copies, 2 reviews
Uncanny Magazine Issue 5: July/August 2015 (2015) — Contributor — 17 copies, 3 reviews
Uncanny Magazine Issue 9: March/April 2016 (2016) — Contributor — 10 copies, 3 reviews
Uncanny Magazine Issue 17: July/August 2017 (2017) — Contributor — 10 copies, 1 review
Year's Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction 2015 (2016) — Contributor — 4 copies, 1 review
Mythic Delirium: Volume Two (2015) — Contributor — 3 copies
Enchanted Living, #45 Winter 2018: Celestial Issue (2018) — Contributor — 2 copies, 1 review

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Reviews

DNF just over a quarter of the way through.

The writing has a magical, fairytale quality that the narrator performs with a wondrous vitality and the blending of cultures and mythologies into the fantastic elements are wonderful. I desperately want to love this story, but it just isn't for me. The grief, obsession, and tantalising hints of magic not far away are absolutely my kind of thing on paper, but the bright, broad strokes with which the author paints the story just didn't work for me.

There is a palpable vibe of what seems like (apologies for just how on the nose this is) wish fulfilment, which there's nothing wrong with, it's just not for me. It's often something I can get through, but hear it's just too on the nose for me. I am not someone who throws about Mary Sue and think the discourse around it is contains so much toxicity, misogyny, and cognitive dissonance. However, the perfection of the MC and her life, beyond her mother's death in her childhood and her obsession with work and her mother's stories, is frustrating, especially with the reader only being told of the MC's troubles and feelings. Allowing us to see more of how she experiences life, rather than going from all but perfect moment to perfect moment, while we are told she is struggling.

The MC's partner is the most perfect South Asian Prince Charming, I imagined Kumail Nanjiani's abs after the superhero workout (and let's be honest human growth hormone) made into a person even sweeter than he is with his wife. The MC treats him appallingly and in turn his persistent thoughtfulness starts to feel creepy and misogynistic, especially with him 'not allowing her' to do certain things alone. Both characters and their relationship could have worked with more of all of them actually being on the page, warts and all. Again, this could well be a me problem and my bouncing off this subgenre of fantasy.

Ultimately, with all the beautiful narration and magical prose I just couldn't get swept up in the sweetness of the adventure and didn't feel any of the grief of the character (heavy emotions being something I often resonate with -- I'm a sad girl who loves sad girls), so it ended up feeling incredibly saccharine and false to me. Reading other reviews has no disabused me of this feeling and that it doesn't pervade every aspect of the story.

This is a story the author clearly feels passionate about and has researched and woven in mythology and moon symbolism from various cultures throughout history who has a wonderful way with words. The telling not showing, caricatures, and uncanny valley tweeness of it all simply didn't work for me personally. I would definitely be up for trying another work of theirs and would absolutely track down things the narrator had worked on to hear more of them.
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RatGrrrl | Dec 20, 2023 |
Another book with a brilliant premise that didn't quite deliver for me. The writing was beautiful in parts, but at some points it verged on purple prose. It must seem like I am anti-romance but I seriously am not, yet here I go again saying "romance had no place in this story". There were already enough interesting elements so the romance honestly felt unnecessary. I think this might just be another case of 'it wasn't for me'.
 
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Mrs_Tapsell_Bookzone | 10 other reviews | Feb 14, 2023 |
Seven years ago, Tanvi was spirited away to the subterranean realm of Nagalok, where she joined the ranks of the dream runners: human children freed of all memory and emotion, who collect mortal dreams for the entertainment of the serpentine, immortal naga court.

But when one of Tanvi's dream harvests goes awry, she begins to remember her life on earth. Panicked and confused, she turns to the one mortal in Nagalok who might be able to help: Venkat, the dreamsmith responsible for collecting the dream runners' wares and shaping them into the kingdom's most tantalizing commodity. And as they search for answers, a terrifying truth begins to take shape--one that could turn the nagas' realm of dreams into a land of waking nightmare.… (more)
 
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rachelprice14 | 1 other review | Dec 5, 2022 |
Interesting story.

It is about the struggle of a half-star teenage girl to save her dad and consequently tries to find her place in both the star and the earth world. But most importantly it is about winning a talent competition.

Personally, I found the story original since it's the first time I'm reading about Hindu mythology (I've never watched Bollywood and heard only briefly names of Hindu mythological gods.) However, at the end of the book, I felt like the story was just beginning because most questions have not yet been answered.

One cannot deny how vividly and poetically Shveta is describing her characters and the story elements, if one is able at first to understand most of Hindu names and terms without searching it in Google. I suggest this book needs a dictionary, or short explanations in the bottom of the page so that the impatient reader will not be bored of it.

This one being the first English book I've read and completed in a long long time, if ever (my mother language is Greek), I found it a little difficult at first to continue the book. As I picked up the page and the story bloomed though, it felt easier to binge the last half of the book in less than a day.

To sum up, I feel like this book needs a sequel to clear things up and perhaps entangle them even more, so one may find joy in disentangling them all over again.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD
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I loved Charumati's boldness in the end, for she had the courage to stand up to her own mother whom she fretted for years, so that she could restore what she believed had broken. At some point I thought our 17-year-old protagonist wouldn't make choices of her own, but she proved me wrong with her decision to ascend to a full-star before she competed. Truthfully, and maybe egoistically, I wanted a lot more things to happen at the last scenes. I felt like the author was zooming more into Sheetal's turbulent feelings and into finding every word in the dictionary that could describe colors than it was necessary. I needed to know more of the stars abilities and what happens when they become black holes, what do they feel then (if they feel at all) and I wanted to know more about values I cannot grasp at once (the culture and traditions of stars, the point of view of Nani that holds some truths, how will the balance between Humans and Stars be achieved) and less about things I can pretty much already predict (the love story we got at the end, which was expected, but not satisfactory enough to content my thirst of knowing the answer to greater, more important questions concerning the plot).

If there exists a sequel, I can justify the lack of answers. In the hope of that, I'll give it a four-stars instead of three. I do not enjoy unfinished stand-alones.








I gotta say, I love Amrita and Vanita.




I also loved this scene.



And right here is the moral of the whole book.


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Ihaveapassion | 10 other reviews | Oct 25, 2022 |

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