David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas meets Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series, as acclaimed author Monica Byrne (The Girl in the Road) crafts an unforgettable piece of speculative fiction about where humanity came from, where we are now, and where we’re going—and how, in every age, the same forces that drive us apart also bind us together. "A stone-cold masterpiece."—New Scientist The Actual Star takes readers on a journey over two millennia and six continents—telling three powerful tales a thousand years apart, all of them converging in the same cave in the Belizean jungle. Braided together are the stories of a pair of teenage twins who ascend the throne of a Maya kingdom; a young American woman on a trip of self-discovery in Belize; and two dangerous charismatics vying for the leadership of a new religion, racing toward a confrontation that will determine the fate of the few humans left on Earth after massive climate change. In each era, a reincarnated trinity of souls navigates the entanglements of tradition and progress, sister and stranger, and love and hate—until all of their age-old questions about the nature of existence converge deep underground, where only in complete darkness can they truly see.