Shadows of Stars by Kimberly Vale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Why are we here? Because we're here.
Roll the bones, roll the bones.
Why does it happen? Because it happens.
Roll the bones..."
My latest SwoonReads discovery (it's also available on Wattpad, friends!), Shadows of Stars is a pretty epic unofficially-published entry in the YA fantasy world, effortlessly combining high fantasy, urban fantasy, and dystopian into a thrilling, whirlwind adventure. Sure, it often plays out like a game of Guess What Influenced This One - Red Queen for X-Men-style powers and mixed magic and technology; The Young Elites for a world with considerable anti-magic prejudice; Six of Crows for crime-drama elements; Harry Potter because look at that Fantastic Beasts-looking cover!; etc. etc. But for me, of course, that's all part of the fun.
It wasn't exactly perfect for me only because of one of the three main POV characters, Adira, feeling less interesting and harder to connect to than Marina or Soren. But the book's twisty plot, unique use of celestial and elemental magic, and explosive action - particularly in the final third - more than make up for that.
All in all, Shadows of Stars is a relatively short, but very, very sweet, beginning to what promises to be your next big YA fantasy hit.
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