Verdict: A STAR CALLED LUCKY is an unusually thoughtful and relatable work in a genre not known for intelligent, textured female protagonists.
A formerly successful businesswoman turned investigator for the New York State Department of Corrections becomes involved in a search for a legendary miracle cure in India.
As a part time yoga instructor for prisoners, a mother, and a woman with the ability to track down virtually anyone on the planet from a single photograph, 3o-year-old Lucky Boyce isn’t exactly wondering what to do with her free time. On a train ride, Lucky identifies an ex-con on her computer after they strike up a conversation. She ignores text messages from her convenient boyfriend Amay as she prepares herself for a presentation attended by Clevis Coleman, the director of the U.S. Global Wellness Council based in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, she’s able to dig up more information on Coleman than he bargained for, especially the fact that he’s having an affair with his neighbor’s wife. Before Lucky has a chance to take a deep breath, she’s involved in a top-secret hunt for “the ice mushroom,” a miracle cure that so rare as to seemingly exist only in rumor. She’ll have to give up her privacy and return to India, where the failures of her former business and relationships await her.
Written in a concise, engaging style, A STAR CALLED LUCKY is the pulse-pounding sequel to Jain’s LUCKY EVERYDAY. Lucky is a strong, funny, and nuanced lead protagonist, and her reflections on the world and people around her are fascinating. The book’s only flaw is the reliance on somewhat clichéd thriller tropes (the hacked computer! the unexpected killer on the doorstep! the murky government official!), which feel more suited to a James Bond film than a book with a truly engaging lead character.
A STAR CALLED LUCKY is an unusually thoughtful and relatable work in a genre not known for intelligent, textured female protagonists.