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Publisher's Summary

"A thrilling tale of abduction and escape in North Korea....highly entertaining." (The Washington Post)

A propulsive and ambitious thriller about a woman trying to rescue her twin sister from captivity in North Korea, and the North Korean citizens with whom she forms an unlikely alliance

Star of the North opens in 1998, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twelve years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her, and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her - including undertaking a daring mission into the heart of the regime. 

Her story is masterfully braided together with two other narrative threads. In one, a North Korean peasant woman finds a forbidden international aid balloon and uses the valuables inside to launch a dangerously lucrative black-market business. In the other, a high-ranking North Korean official discovers, to his horror, that he may be descended from a traitor, a fact that could mean his death if it is revealed. As the novel progresses, these narrative strands converge and connect in surprising ways, ultimately building to an explosive and unforgettable climax.

©2018 D. B. John (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Extraordinary...smart, sophisticated, suspenseful - and important. If you try one new thing this year, make it Star of the North." (Lee Child)

"A thrilling tale of abduction and escape in North Korea....highly entertaining." (The Washington Post)

"[A] multistranded espionage thriller...told with drama and flair." (Wall Street Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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On the edge of my seat!

This was an amazing book. I loved the details and could almost picture myself actually watching some of the scenes in the book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating, Thrilling and Terrifying Fiction?

I loved this novel, maybe because N Korea is on the front pages regularly at this moment... but mostly because the story is a masterful weave of intrigue and family drama. The performance was just delightful.

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Narration ruins the book

This isn't the worst narration I have slogged through but almost! Really diminishes the author's work.

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The real North Korea

An incredible fact-based, fictional story which reveals a N. Korea that few know.
The story is fast paced, the characters are remarkable, and the darkness of the country comes to life.
I am inspired to know more. The author provides references at the end, as well as what in the story is actual.

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Fascinating particularly at this time of US North Korea summit

By a bizarre coincidence I finished this book on the day the US Both Korea summit is opening. No guess as to outcome at this point. A clear picture of life in North Korea is painted.
I remain fascinated by the amount being invested there by Russia.
Clearly some real politics going on.