Trouble in the Stars by Sarah Prineas

Trouble in the Stars by Sarah Prineas

Author:Sarah Prineas [Prineas, Sarah]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Published: 2021-04-27T00:00:00+00:00

* * *

I know, I know. I told the captain that I would go straight back to my room. Instead I head to the mess-room so I can look up shapeshifters on the screen, just as Reetha told me to do.

The mess-room is quiet and dark. Electra is lying on the couch, asleep.

I sneak across to a locker and get the remote, and then I drag Amby’s nest-chair into the middle of the room. After climbing into it, I push the button on the remote, scrolling through until I find the information I’m looking for displayed in big pictures on the screen.

It turns out that humans, at least, have things called legends and myths about shapeshifters. There are stories about humans who can change into animals, or about demons—evil creatures—that can change into just about anything and do things like eat hearts and livers and drown humans and drink their blood.

The nāga is sometimes a snake that has the face of a human, and sometimes a human with snakes growing out of their neck.

As I’m watching a picture of a nāga on the screen, I realize that Electra is awake and sitting up on the couch. She doesn’t say anything as the next shapeshifter appears. It’s a selkie, which is a mammal called a seal that can become human if they take off their seal skin. I can’t quite figure out how they manage this. It must be messy.

Electra and I keep on watching. The kitsune, we learn, is a fox that can turn into a human. The legends say that the kitsune is always hungry and eats a lot. Hmmm.

Another kind of shapeshifter is a human person called a prince who is turned into a frog and then back again by a kiss.

Did you already know about kissing? It’s when humans, for emotional reasons, touch their lips to another human’s lips. I keep thinking I’ve found out the weirdest thing about humans, and then there’s something even weirder.

The screen goes dark. I turn it off and get to my feet.

Electra, on the couch, stays quiet.

There wasn’t all that much information about shapeshifters, but suddenly I feel sure that if the captain is sneaky enough and The Knowledge is helpful enough and if we can stay ahead of Peacemaker and not get arrested by General Smag and put on trial by the StarLeague and tossed into a secret class-four military prison . . .

. . . we are going to find them.


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