Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Publication Date: June 18th 2015
Publisher: Harlequin UK/Mira Ink
Length: 368 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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.

I adored Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series, but when I tried her Bound series I found them a little too dark and tough to fully enjoy so I was a little hesitant coming into this one as to what I should expect – something like the Soul Screamers or something more adult?
What I got was a brilliant mix of the two. All of the elements that I loved about the Soul Screamers series but ever so slightly darker and more twisted.

‘The Stars Never Rise’ is a terrifying and action packed book filled with wonderful characters, an intriguing premise and a story that will have you racing through the pages. Once I’d started reading I could not put the book down, I was hooked. I remembered all over again just how much I loved the Soul Screamers series and why. This had all the elements that I loved but Rachel has gifted readers with a much darker and more terrifying world with this story.

Nina made a fantastic heroine. The lengths that she was willing to go to to protect her sister were incredible. She is determined, unfailingly loyal, tough and flawed. I love believable heroines that I can get behind and root for, and Nina is definitely one of those. She is surrounded by a brilliant cast of characters each of whom were interesting in their own right and none of them simply ‘there’ in the background to provide a group. I was interested in each of them and wanted to know more – Rachel has created a really fantastic group that worked well together. I cannot wait to find out more about each of them in future books. There is just enough about each character to give you an idea of who they are and how they work together without giving too much away. The plot was so fast paced that there wasn’t really time for any more than that, but it was enough to get me invested.

Rachel is also brilliant when it comes to romance. There will always be romance but it won’t be how you expect. She puts unique and genius spins on it creating characters and situations that you won’t have seen before and makes them compelling and brilliant. I loved Nina and Finn, I loved the complications and the softer moments. They are a pair that I cannot wait to see more of, I am definitely on team Fina? Ninn? Regardless, I cannot wait to see how their relationship develops over future books.

Like I said the plot is non-stop. I barely had time to breathe as I raced towards the conclusion. It was nail biting and had so many brilliant twists and turns that I was kept on my toes and never quite sure what might happen next. It also felt must darker than the Soul Screamers books, it never felt like there was a truly light moment, everything was dark and hushed and paranoid which I think if the book had been any longer might have felt too much, but as it was it really worked.

My only issue that stopped it from being a five star read was that the length did prevent some relationships fully forming. I didn’t feel the relationship between Mellie and Nina quite thoroughly enough, I wanted to see more of them and to really be on Mellie’s side as well as Nina’s. As it was I definitely felt for her but I wasn’t quite as invested in her as I was with Nina. Something that I’m sure will be remedied with more time spent with the character.

On the whole though this was a fantastic read. I stormed through it and can’t wait for more from this series. It reminded me of all the reasons why I loved the Soul Screamers and made me desperate to go back for a re-read. Fans of Rachel Vincent will not be disappointed by this start to a new series, and new readers who love a dark and thrilling ride will quickly become converts to Vincent’s brilliant storytelling style.

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