**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****
Written by: Rosiee Thor
Published: October 15, 2019 by Scholastic Press
Synopsis: The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.
A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws.
Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner's son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father's respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father's elusive affection is worth chasing at all.
Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner's secrets at any cost -- even if it means betraying her own heart.
When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic -- before the Commissioner ends them first.
There needs to be more standalone science fiction novels and I was really excited to read this one. It seemed like it was totally up my alley so I was glad to be a part of the blog tour for it. It was an engaging story with great characters and an interesting world.
My favorite thing about this book was the characters and character development. This is one of those books which alternates perspectives. Those can be incredibly tricky because often I like one character more than others, and feel like the multiple narrators make things complex. But that was not the case with Tarnished Are The Stars. Each character added to the story and offered a unique perspective. I never felt like a section was unnecessary or that I wanted to go back to someone else. However, I did have a favorite character. While I liked Anna and Nathaniel, it was Eliza who I loved. She was a kickass female who is trying and often succeeding at being the smartest person in the room. I found myself rooting for her and loved her development throughout the book as she discovered who she wanted to be and then became that person. But that was the case for each of the characters. They were all easy to root for and had great development.
One of the other things I liked about these characters was the LGBTQIA representation. Because seriously, this book is super queer. Not only is there a good f/f relationship that develops throughout the book but we also had asexual and aromantic representation. I firmly believe there needs to be more ark and ace rep in books. I’m constantly feeling like a romance is unnecessary and having a character who states on the page that they are not only not interested in a relationship but not even attracted to anyone was so amazing. Having Nathaniel come to terms with his own identity was part of what I liked about him and the book.
I also liked the world of this book. It is one of those books that reminds you that dystopia is a subgenre of science fiction. It had subtle sci-if vibes with the use of technology to impact the lives of the people, but it also had dystopia feels with a new planet being colonized because of the fact that earth was negatively affected years ago. There was also that ever present shady government adding to the drama and a disease impacting the you people like our main characters. However, as interesting as the world was, I did feel like we weren’t given a lot of information about it. I felt like some of the big reveals were not as impactful as they could have been because there was so much going on and the pacing was so fast. If it had scaled back a little bit and given more information I think I would have liked the world even more.
But my biggest frustration with this book was with the fact that it was so fast paced. I usually like a quick read that moves quickly from element to elements but here it was just jarring. I had no sense of how much time had passed and things just moved on with or without me. Instead of what I assumed was the desired effect of keeping me connected to the story, it actually pulled me out. I kept wondering to myself how much time had passed and whether they had actually spent time making this plan or if they were just winging it. And it even affected the character development at times because I was asking myself how they had gone from enemies to friends so quickly. This is about average length for a YA novel but I honestly wish it had been a little bit longer and was fleshed out a bit more. It was a very engaging story with tons of twists and turns but that was negatively impacted by the breakneck speed.
On the whole, Tarnished Are the Stars was an interesting read and a good debut novel. It had great characters, an interesting world, a fat-paced plot. But I wish the story had been fleshed out a little more.
I give Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor 7 out of 10 stars
Have you read Tarnished Are the Stars? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stooping by and HAPPY READING!
"A good weapon, she found, needn't draw blood to be effective. A controlled target was better than a dead one."
"Murder comes in many shapes... You don't always have to look someone in the eye and watch them die to be their killer."
"But that was the thing about loss: Death could rip love from life, but those memories stayed behind, burning a hole through the heart."
"I don't give much credence to regret. I can't go back and change what's done. All I can do is take what I learned and do better next time."
"It matters because this is who you are - but it is not all you are. It does not make you weak, nor does it make you strong. You make yourself one or the other through the choices that you make."
"Power is not the same as strength... Some days strength is control, and some days strength is release. Perhaps today strength is understanding that being like your father isn't inherently bad, and two men can be alike and still make different choices."
Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding that her mother listen as Rosiee told bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and four complete sets of Harry Potter, which she loves so much, she once moved her mattress into the closet and slept there until she came out as queer.
Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook
GIVEAWAY Prize: Win a signed hardcopy of TARNISHED ARE THE STARS by Rosiee Thor (US Only) Stars: 15th October 2019 Ends: 29th October 2019