Review: The Astrologer’s Daughter – Rebecca Lim

The Astrologer's Daughter
Book cover: Avicenna looks through a magnifying glass, lying upside down.

I chose to read The Astrologer’s Daughter because I was looking for a book with a multiracial main character for Asian Lit Bingo. This book promised a mix of astrology and mystery, so I was quite excited about reading it.

Avicenna’s mother is missing. While juggling school, searching for her mother, and her mother’s clients, Avicenna starts to learn more about astrology, a subject that she ignored for most of her life.

Avicenna is biracial (white Australian and Chinese Australian). I thought that the representation was quite good, because I realised that I’ve had similar thoughts experiences to her (Disclaimer: I’m multiracial, but don’t have the same ethnicities as she did). She’s a strong girl, who has been shaped by her life experiences as finds it difficult to relate to children her age. Simon Thorn was the character that I found most interesting. I hated him in the beginning but through the story found out that there is more to him than meets the eye. I enjoyed reading the scenes where they supported each other through difficult times.

The two main characters were so focussed on perfect grammar and spelling, which kind of ruined the book for me, as I felt like they were looking down on people who don’t have perfect grammar and spelling. It’s insinuated that the love interest broke up with his former girlfriend because she couldn’t spell. This focus on perfect language wasn’t discussed as something rude, it was seen as something positive.

The word “retarded” is used once, which was absolutely not necessary and ableist. I would have liked it if Avicenna had reflected on her usage here.

There’s an obscure Sound of Music reference, which I found really cute! It’s one of my favourite scenes from the movie, so I was totally fangirling when it was referenced here.

The scenes about the side-mystery were the most fun to read about. The side-mystery was intriguing and I loved how her ability to use astrology helped her to find out who the perpetrators were.

I don’t usually hate open endings but this one irritated me because the main mystery wasn’t solved. This really annoyed me because I was really invested in the story and I wanted to know what had happened.

The Astrologer’s Daughter is a nice story but it didn’t wow me. You might like it if you’re interested in stories that combine astrology with crime-solving, and enjoy open endings in mysteries.

3 stars

Have you read The Astrologer’s Daughter? What did you think of it?


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