A Wilderness of Stars

A Wilderness of Stars

by Shea Ernshaw
A Wilderness of Stars

A Wilderness of Stars

by Shea Ernshaw


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In this “slow-burning, atmospheric romance” (Publishers Weekly) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, an illness cursing the land forces a teen girl astronomer to venture across the wilderness in search of the stars’ message that will, hopefully, save them all.

When all is lost, look to the stars.

Vega has lived in the valley her whole life—forbidden by her mother to leave the safety of its borders because of the unknown threats waiting for her in the wilds beyond. But when Vega sees an omen in the sky—one she cannot ignore—she is forced to leave the protective boundaries of the valley for the first time. Yet the outside world is much more terrifying than Vega could have ever imagined. People are gravely sick—they lose their eyesight and their hearing, just before they lose their lives.

But Vega has a secret: she is the Last Astronomer—a title carried from generation to generation—and she is the only one who understands the knowledge of the stars. Knowledge that could hold the key to a cure. So when locals spot the tattoo on Vega’s neck in the shape of a constellation—the mark of an astronomer—chaos erupts. Fearing for her life, Vega is rescued by a girl named Cricket who leads her to Noah, a boy marked by his own mysterious tattoos.

On the run from the men hunting her, Vega sets out across the plains with Cricket and Noah, in search of a fabled cure kept secret by the astronomers. But as the line between friends and protectors begins to blur, Vega must decide whether to safeguard the sacred knowledge of the astronomers...or if she will risk everything to try to save them all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781665900256
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 11/28/2023
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 126,036
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Shea Ernshaw is the author of A History of Wild Places, the New York Times bestseller The Wicked Deep, Winterwood, and A Wilderness of Stars. She is the winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Award. She lives in a small mountain town in Oregon and is happiest when lost in a good book, lost in the woods, or writing her next novel.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

ORION, Gamma Ori +06° 20’ 58”

A hundred years ago, the first Astronomer looked up at the night sky and made note of what she saw: horseshoe nebulas and spiral galaxies and dying star clusters. But she did not yet know what lay hidden in the shadowy darkness between stars. She was not a seer, a fortune-teller, as was common in the old world but rarely talked about now. Instead she used the circular glass rings of her telescope to make sense of the dark; she used physics and chemistry and science. She drafted charts and measured distances and sketched formations like Pleiades and Andromeda onto wax paper.

Maybe if she had believed in fate. If she had listened to her gut—that hollow twisting beneath her lowest ribs—she might have feared what she didn’t understand.

She might have known that the shadow concealed more than dust and particles of broken moons.

She would have looked closer.

And seen.

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