Review: Supernova: Kesatria, Puteri, dan Bintang Jatuh

Supernova: Kesatria, Puteri, dan Bintang Jatuh
Supernova: Kesatria, Puteri, dan Bintang Jatuh by Dewi ‘Dee’ Lestari
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This feels weird… writing a review in English when I’ve read the book in Bahasa Indonesia… This book has also been translated to English, Supernova: The Knight, The Princess, and the Falling Star (Supernova #1).

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for nearly 3 years and have to admit that I couldn’t quite remember the premise of the book when I started reading early this week. Noting the ‘top shelves’ on Goodreads included ‘fantasy’ and ‘science-fiction’, I expected something along that line of genre but… it’s not! I guess there is a bit of a fantasy touch to it but it isn’t ‘fantasy’ as we think of the genre. I’d classify this to be closer to magical realism than fantasy.

The opening of the novel was surprising; set 10 years prior where our 2 main protagonists met and in crossing boundaries and prejudices, fell in love. Oh, did I mention that they’re gay? This fact alone, noting minority of minorities in Indonesia, is a surprising choice of the author (as it is also bantered about in the novel). They made a pact that in 10 years’ time, they will collaborate in writing a single masterpiece. Dimas is a writer whilst Rueben is a scientist so their literature masterpiece will be primarily written by Dimas with Rueben’s input in the background.

The novel progressed with alternate chapters which then became alternate perspectives within chapters between the Creators (Dimas & Reuben) and the Created (The Knight, The Princess, and the Falling Star). Therefore, this is a story within a story type of novel where there is a blur in the end of what’s what. Their masterpiece is to be a retelling of a fairy tale (The Knight, The Princess, and the Falling Star) in contemporary setting but with a twist (the fairy tale did not end with HEA) however, the ending also took the Creators by surprise…

I have really enjoyed this alternate perspectives especially getting ‘in’ on the writers’ writing process. I understand each writer will have own ways of expressing / searching for their creative juices but this was still an exciting part of the novel for me. I really liked the banters between the couple who have understood each other very well, are very much in love, and comfortable in their skin in being able to banter about their existence as minority (being homosexual). Their masterpiece as it was, I only really liked because I felt involved in the creation of it; of witnessing the masterpiece being breathed into life.

On the other hand, Reuben’s inputs almost always have something to do with some scientific theories. There are so very many of them (I didn’t count but there were too much for me) and as I’m not of scientific mind (plus my deteriorating Bahasa Indonesia), I found these very very difficult to understand. I may have done slightly better in English but I doubt it.

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