Bethany Jacobs

Bethany Jacobs is a former college instructor of writing and science fiction, who made the leap to education technology and now teaches tech heads how to write. She lives in Buffalo, New York with her wife and her dog and her books. These Burning Stars is her debut novel.


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    These Burning Stars (#1)
    Bethany Jacobs



These Burning Stars (#1)
"Readers who love smart thrillers and explosive sf won’t want to miss this book. For fans of Everina Maxwell, Arkady Martine, and Becky Chambers."

Booklist, STARRED Review!

"An exciting start from a fresh talent, offering emotional and political complexity plus plenty of interplanetary action."

Kirkus, STARRED Review!

"The protagonists are carefully crafted, with their layers slowly built to impressive complexity. This buildup pays off as the chase escalates across planets and comes to a stunning conclusion on one of the original generation ships. VERDICT Full of political intrigue and impressive worldbuilding, Jacobs’s superb debut launches this space opera trilogy."

Library Journal, STARRED review!

"[I]ntricately plotted and tightly paced with a satisfying ending that sets the stage nicely for the next installment. Space opera fans will eat this up."

Publishers Weekly

"These Burning Stars is plotted like a chess match, confident and surprising as Jacobs moves each piece thoughtfully across her board. All four main characters are extremely fun to follow, and this reviewer will be thinking about them long after closing the book. Esek in particular stands out: a brilliant, haughty, rule-bending and gregarious sociopath who is as unpredictable as she is determined."

BookPage, STARRED Review!

"Interesting and ambitious[...]Jacobs has the confidence to go big, and the control to bring her debut to a satisfying conclusion.[...]It’s got verve."


"This is high adventure but also written with subtle observations of each character. I found it gripping all the way to its powerful ending."

Sci Fi Mind

"[E]asily one of the best books I’ve read this year, and one of the best sci-fi books I’ve ever read, and I cannot recommend it highly enough."

The Quaint Book Nook

"[A] brutal story with a truly wild ending. I feel like I’ve failed to capture just how good it is in this review; the plotting is meticulous and intricate and yet its execution seems effortless."

Realms of My Mind

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many good examples of 'the long game' played out in a book, but there are several here that were brilliantly conceived. This is your chance to get in on the ground floor of what promises to be an epic SF series, don’t miss it!"

Books, Bones, & Buffy

"If you’re looking for an edge-of-your-seat science fiction novel rife with multiple strong, morally gray female characters, revenge, queer characters and romance, plus political and religious intrigue, and brewing rebellions, look no further than These Burning Stars. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in this series as soon as humanly possible and I’ll also be on the lookout for any and all future books written by author Bethany Jacobs."

Blogging with Dragons

"Immersive and epic; a sprawling space opera perfect for fans of A Memory Called Empire and Too Like The Lightning."

Kameron Hurley, Hugo Award­­-winning author of The Stars Are Legion

“Like every good revenge story, These Burning Stars is baroque, intense, inventive, vivid, violent, and visceral: an impressive debut.”

Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun

“A richly imagined space opera packed with intricate worldbuilding, compelling prose, and twisty politics, artfully woven together and delivered through a cast of fallible, endearing characters. An incredible debut perfect for fans of Ann Leckie, Kate Elliott, and Scalzi’s Interdependency series.”

J. S. Dewes, author of The Last Watch

“A sizzling political space opera exploring the borders of passion and monstrosity, hunter and hunted, obsession and devotion. Jacobs is an exciting new author to watch.”

Essa Hansen, author of Nophek Gloss

"Obsession, arrogance, wrath, and bliss. These Burning Stars is terrifying and fascinating. Filled to the brim with devotion akin to hate, hate akin to love, and love akin to a blade between the ribs. It's a debut you won't want to miss."

Marina J. Lostetter, author of The Helm of Midnight

“If I were to say that this was the best debut novel I've read in a long time, I would be doing it a disservice. It's more than that—it's one of the best SF books I've read period. It has it all: jump off the page action, wild twists, superb world building. And the characters! It's rare that an author can make you care about so many different characters the way that Jacobs does. Go ahead and pencil her in for your Astounding Award ballot for best new author.”

Michael Mammay, author of Planetside

"I love a book that makes me pay attention and rewards me for it. I love even more a book with complicated, messy politics. But really, I'm here for the characters, and Jacobs ' are compelling, flawed, tragic and hopeful at the same time. What's that? There's a sequel? I can't wait."

K. Eason, author of How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

“With a cast of deliciously dangerous characters and a gloriously executed plot that twists like a knife, this propulsive debut heralds the start of a sweeping space opera saga in the vein of Ann Leckie and Alastair Reynolds. Bethany Jacobs is an ingenious worldbuilder and a stunning new voice to look out for in sci-fi.”

Ren Hutchings, author of Under Fortunate Stars

“The vivid characters and ratcheting plot tension kept me racing through the book. And as soon as I hit the last page, I immediately wanted to turn right back and read it all over again just to savor the elegance with which it builds to its explosive conclusion. Jacobs' trilogy is destined to be the space opera of the decade and I can't wait to have the next one in my hands!”

Rebecca Fraimow, author of The Iron Children