Book Review

The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent || Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and Happy New Year to each and every one of you! I hope this year will be ebullient for you and your reading experience will surpass and enhance its focus on the good books instead of the bad.

As for today, we shall review a book called ‘The Stars Never Rise’ By Rachel Vincent and I pretty much enjoyed the process of reading this novel. So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review! 

WAIT!

There is an announcement in which I would like to make. The reviews that I will be hosting from now onwards might differ from the ones that I did last year as I would like to manufacture a discrete style for my blog posts and reviews. Therefore, if you have grown accustomed to my older reviews and blog posts style, I would like to make an apology here for transmuting it.

In that case, here is what is to be expected for my later posts:

  • Book-related Discussions 
  • Different type of reviewing style
  • More ‘blogging’ my experience with a book
  • and more…

Thus, let us commence!

Disclaimers:

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

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Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

My Introspection:

This novel was marketed as a Young Adult, Paranormal Romance and those elements were definitely ensconced in this novel but the genre that had a blind drawn to it was the dystopia ambience. Let us take a look at the society that the characters were existing in:

“Of course blasphemy is a sin. A lesser infraction than fornication and heresy, but grievous offense a strict matron like Sister Camilla would never let slide. Even in a five-year-old.

Especially a five-year-old who’d already demonstrated a precocious gift for profanity.

Sister Camilla dragged Matthew onto the stone dais in the center of the courtyard, then forced him to kneel. She was still scolding him while she flipped a curved piece of metal over each of his legs, just above his calves, then snapped the locks in place, confining the five-year-old to his knees in the freezing rain.”

In what world would you allow a child to freeze to his death in the rain? I can comprehend that it is not right to sacrilege but to punish a child this way is basically child-abuse. Moreover, this is a society controlled by the church itself because the world was overrun by demons and only the church could produce exorcists by training people to fight against them and send them back to Hell. Either way, it is still child-abuse to say the least.

In this book, we follow two sisters as they struggled to survive from the society and their mother who neglected them. Due to the lack of dime, they journeyed around their neighbourhood and the stores around that perimeter to steal items in which they found useful for the either school or living purposes. 

School, which was again, jurisdiction by the Church determined whether or not a boy or a girl gets to keep their sexual organs and they will inspect in detail on a boy’s sperm count or a girl’s ability to bear children or their genetic features, if they failed to receive the appropriate measurements, their sexual organs will ultimately, undergo the final process: sterilization.

Those declared fit would be given a second assessment before marriage, and a third when they applied for a parenting license.

Those declared unfit would be scheduled for sterilization. Immediately.

And, unfortunately, it was the year where Nina’s (protagonist) sister- Millie will be going through the test and that’s where the story starts because Nina’s sister was pregnant and Millie ran away from her designed position as fornication was a sin and thus, resulting in a thousand thoughts through Nina’s mind.

One day, the year I was nine, Clare had refused to  kneel for worship. They gave her three chances. Brother Philip said refusing to recognize the Church’s authority was the first sign of possession. He called in an exorcist, and two hours later, Clare was sentenced. The exorcist said that since her possession was recent, her souls could be returned to the well of souls- if it were purified by fire.

They forced her to her knees on the dais, closed the steel cuffs above her calves, then burned her alive in front of the entire school.

She was seventeen years old.

What if they thought Melanie was possessed?

Now, I would like to talk about the pacing of the novel. I read this novel in the course of two days due to the jam-packed action sequences, the suspense and ultimately, the atmosphere of the novel. Moreover, the information that was given throughout the novel did not fall into the prey of ‘dump-n-go’ instead, it came by smoothly and allowed us to understand what’s actually going on before leaving for its goal. So, if you are a fast reader, this book will most likely take a day for you to finish. If you are a slow reader, at most 4 days. 

The world-building and the writing style were what I liked most about this novel. The style of writing was lyrical and it ran as lustrous as a silk word after word and because of its sleek state, it had contributed a huge factor to the world building of this book due to the descriptions that were punctured around the protagonist’s line of vision and the explanation adjoined to the system of its world and what had made it the way it was since a century or more ago. From the useful information to the tectonic writing style, it is hard to dislike this novel.

The complex family dynamics in this story were portrayed realistically and it offered a glimpse at what it was like before and what it was like now, how drastically different can a relationship be from a young age to an older age:

Since she’d stopped eating, talking, and coming out of her room even to yell at us. Over the past year, her angry, resentful tirades had faded into listless neglect as my mother retreated into her own head, into her room, and into nights spent out and days spent sleeping. Or unconscious. Or both.

The function of a demon was being explained in length and unlike other novels which usually just brush off the abilities of a demon or what will happen if a demon overtakes your body, this novel explains it in detail:

Disembodied demons have to find someone who’s sick or hurt or under some sort of chemical influence. Or even just someone sleeping. If the demon finds a body before he’s sucked back into hell… ta da! You have a newly possessed citizen, which means the ‘exorcists’ have failed.

I know I had already said my ‘favorite’ part of the novel but I have one more to share with you guys before we move into the dislikes that I had with this book. And that is: The characters! All of them are so likable and I had such a great time reading about how they team up to kick some demon ass. Take Nina as an example: She is a strong female lead with much independence and had a headstrong personality that dared people to contradict her beliefs. 

I wanted to be as straightforward and bold as he was, because he deserved that, but I had no experience with being straight forward and bold. I had experienced lying, and clothing myself in the darkness if in nothing else, and stealing, and paying high price for the things Mellie and I couldn’t survive without.

The team consists of: Finn, Maddock, Reese, Grayson and Devi. All of them had vastly different personalities and I would note on Devi, most of all. She was the most stubborn girl in the group and she, kind of or may, enjoy contradicting Nina which most of the time exploded in up rage. 

Well, on to my dislikes:

The freaking insta-love. I cherished the characters and how they handled the situations that they were positioned in but with the two of them that had barely known each other, was together for less than 24 hours and the mutual attraction mostly comes from Finn’s eye colour and Nina’s looks, it was pretty quixotic. If only they had known each other before all of these were pushed forward… If only the romance comes a little later in the novel, the story would get 95% from me. 

Another one of my dislikes was the fact that towards the end of the novel, the plot points started running thin and it was easy to discern as the author started stretching out certain scenes and it resulted in a slope on the hill for me. In other words, it fell flat. If only the ending was a little more epic, the story will be extremely fantastic.

And those are my only complaints.

In conclusion, I shall award this novel a 70%. I enjoyed almost everything that was presented in this novel and it is confirmed that I will be reading the next book in this duology because I need to know how it ends. So, I highly encourage you to give this wondrous novel a try!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

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