Monday, September 12, 2016

The Stars Never Rise

The Stars Never Rise. Rachel Vincent. 2015. 368 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: There's never a good time of day to cross town with a bag full of stolen goods, but of all the possibilities, five a.m. was the hour best suited to that particular sin.

Premise/plot: Nina Kane, the heroine, is contemplating pledging herself to the Church--the Unified Church when the novel opens. But a few things get in her way of making that commitment. First, her fifteen year old sister, Mellie, rebels and flees a school required assembly, second, comes the big reveal that Mellie is PREGNANT. Since pregnancy requires a license and the full permission of the church beforehand, that's a BIG one. Third, the WAY their mom reacts to the news that she's going to be a grandma turns Nina's world upside down and then some.

Things you should know:
It's a dystopian novel (YA, of course) with a very urban setting for the most part.
There is NOT a love triangle, but, there is a romantic twist.
You should forget everything--and I do mean EVERYTHING--you know about "the church." This futuristic UNIFIED CHURCH should not in any way be connected to the actual Christian church of this or any age.
The book is all ACTION, ACTION, DRAMA.
What is predictable, in a way, is that the heroine comes into her own and gains an ability--an advantage--for surviving in the crazy world she lives in.
The world-building is great for the most part. There is some info-dumping squeezed into the novel early on. Nina is quizzing kindergartners on some fairly basic material....material that the author definitely wants readers to know.

My thoughts: If you look at the bare facts of the premise, there would be no reason in the world for me to like it--or love it even. It's PARANORMAL. There are demons and exorcists. And even zombies, though they are not called such. The church instead of standing for good, is a downright evil institution. And yet, I could not put this one down. I read it in one day. I read both books in the series over about a thirty hour period.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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