Star of the North

John, D.B.

  28 Reviews

Buckle up for a white-knuckled ride where truth appears to be stranger than fiction. Inspired by real events, this suspenseful thriller moves between the USA and North Korea following twin sisters, one who mysteriously disappears from a South Korean island and the other recruited by the CIA to discover her whereabouts.

From its complex, chilling plot to its fascinating and sobering details about life in North Korea, this is a thought-provoking and revelatory read zeroing in on the Hermit Kingdom. [Small-medium font]



TAUR 061
We were engrossed by the world John presented. The Star of the North, only shines for the chosen few. John ensures we become aware of what happens to the have nots. Life is harsh. The final pages shocked us all. If the author is to be believed, North Korea and Nazi Germany have much in common. It seems ironical that the symbol of the balloons with Choco pies introduced at the beginning of the novel, which we assume came from Sth Korea, are currently in the news. This time theyre going Nth to Sth this time filled with rubbish and faeces. Go figure!
A very popular book - extremely informative, yet still a rattling good yarn. We await the movie.
The group enjoyed this book for both the thriller storyline and the grim picture of life in North Korea it presented. As far as we could judge from the writer's biography and other reading, this was a trustworthy account of how North Koreans live and our discussion very much focused on that. At times, the material is very grim indeed and surprising to find in the thriller genre. Several of us said the book was so gripping they read it very very quickly even though it is not a short novel.
We all absolutely LOVED this book. Gripping read. Two hour solid discussion, but we found the questions in the notes a bit too long. Thoroughly recommend that groups read 'The Girl With the Seven Names' as a follow up.
AUCK 446
We are enjoyed the book very much. It gave a little insight into the restricted society of North Korea, and made us appreciate our own democratic society.
All members enjoyed this book.
CULV 001
The group found this challenging at times and learnt a great deal about North Korea, but it was very well-written by the author who had resided there at some stage. Unbelievable that a country such as this is not so far from New Zealand!
RICH 007
Everyone in the group found this book fascinating and informative. None of us knew much about North Korea and although fiction, the author had done extensive research so events that happened in the story were based on factual evidence. A very worthwhile read.
CHCH 539
Our whole group loved this book. Fantastic discussion on the political repression and restrictions of human rights. Intricate storyline. An extremely well-written novel.
ROTO 006
Everyone in the group loved this book as shown in our rating. There was such a lively discussion that we did not have time for all the questions!
TWIZ 003
We enjoyed this. Although a bit graphic in parts was very educational.
Eye-opening about the regime of North Korea.
RAUM 003
Everyone really enjoyed the book - even two husbands! Very revealing - created a lot of discussion with few gaps. Great book and well-written.
NELS 040
Very interesting and informative. A chilling observation of life in North Korea. Read with interest by all in our group.
Considered the best read this year. Beautifully crafted. Members were shocked and felt they had learnt from the author's clever narration through all the characters. The 'Author's Note' was particularly enlightening and gave authenticity.
WELL 041
This was a stunning and gripping book. At first we all thought we were reading fiction, but it soon became apparent that this book was based on fact. North Korea, dominated by Kim Jong-Il, and the people kept in servitude and severe hunger. The 'outside' world is unknown to them and they revere their dictator. We see both sides of the story and were quite horrified at the cruelty that erupted throughout the book. It certainly opened our eyes to North Korea. Only one member did not read the book.
I missed the meeting where this was discussed, I was sorry about that as I thoroughly enjoyed the book, as did my husband. I gave it a 5 - so did some other members. Apparently a good discussion.
Nice descriptive writing style. The ending was possibly a bit far-fetched and unreal. It was informative and enlightening, and the factual add on at the end added to the whole. We all really enjoyed the book and felt lucky to be living in N.Z.
Not a book to 'enjoy'. Most felt the writing was light and the ending abrupt.
A most enjoyable read made better for having read 'Dear Leader' which provided additional context and background. Very good character descriptions which made the book even more interesting and enjoyable.
CHCH 037`
An interesting, easy read. You are propelled through the book by the 3 main characters' stories and rewarded with a fascinating look into North Korea, its totalitarian regime and its resilient people.
AUCK 014
A lot of discussion during the meeting. All of us found it gripping and page turning, with the mix of non-fiction with fiction adding a disturbing dimension to the narrative.
I was told this was a book about North Korea and having read a few already I wasn't sure if I was ready for another dose of this surreal depressive dystopia. However, a few pages in and it soon becomes obvious that this is a common-or-garden thriller that uses North Korea as the backdrop for a tale about 2 sisters separated when young. If you read it as a thriller you will not be disappointed.
The book created a lot of discussion. Overall nobody enjoyed the book. Some of the comments included 'not well-written, could have been better edited, didn't pick up any sense of humour, all over the place, no structure, difficult to work out relationships with no names'. It was an eye opener for most people.
THAM 002
Great insight into the appalling conditions in North Korea - abysmal lack of human rights and semi-starvation lives. However despite the horrors, the book was an easy to read and gripping thriller. And very topical.
WELL 042
We learned a lot about North Korea and enjoyed the book - thought the ending was a bit too tidy!
AUCK 166
Very gripping read. Brilliantly written, disturbing subject matter. Very well developed characters, all three protagonists were engaging. The author obviously feels a great connection to Korea, and this is evident.
CHCH 534
Our men's group quickly finished this book. The narrative is exciting and easy to read, and has a number of twists and turns. As you read you are constantly amazed at the deceptions and the survival abilities necessary just to allow the characters to keep on living. After reading we were keen to find out more about the real stories out of North Korea.