As soon I heard about this book I was intrigued! The cover for Tarnished Are the Stars definitely helped with that. So when I heard about the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for this YA science-fiction story I grabbed my change. And today is my stop on the blog tour! So let’s dive in.
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.
Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Published by Scholastic Press on 15/10/2019
I received this book for free from FFBC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Tarnished Are the Stars is a science fiction standalone story with three perspectives. We follow Anna, Nathaniel, and Eliza on ‘Earth Adjacent’. Anna is a wanted criminal, she’s ‘The Technician’ and deals in blackmarket technology. She also has a clockwork device as a heart, which is also super illegal. This element makes this a bit of a steampunk story in my opinion, not too much since we are in the future, but technology is hardly allowed, and her heart works on a clockwork like device. Anna was an interesting character to read about, but I think she could’ve used a bit more development. I don’t think the Anna of the start of the book was that different from the Anna we ended the story with.
Nathaniel is the son of the Commissioner, he starts off as a really meek character who would do anything for his father’s approval. He’s always been told he isn’t good enough and he believes that as well. But as he tries to capture the Technician, he’s learns more about the world, his father, and himself. Nathaniel goes through quite the development during this story and I really enjoyed it. He grows into a very likable character and I was rooting for him to find himself.
Eliza is the Eyes of the Queen and comes to Earth Adjacent to learn the secrets the Commissioner is keeping. She was quite the badass and seemed super calm and collected. I really enjoyed her character, she was looking for power and status and did everything she could to get what she wanted. Eliza is very devoted to the Queen and would jump of the highest tower for her. She also grows as a person during this story, not quite as much as Nathaniel but enough to make a real difference.
Tarnished Are the Stars is a standalone novel, something I highly appreciated. We don’t get that many standalone books in fantasy & science fiction, but it’s just so nice to have read a completed story in one book. With only 384 pages I do think the story and the world could’ve used a bit more development. Since we’re only getting one book, I expect to know as much as possible about the world but I don’t think I could tell you that much about it. I couldn’t describe the tower at all and a lot of elements remain a bit vague.
The story was very enjoyable and I do think this is a great novel to get into science fiction if you haven’t read that much sci-fi yet. It’s a very easy story to start with, and I read it super fast. While the book lacks some world building, it is super easy to understand and you don’t have to worry about too many details.
I also adored the asexual representation, I’m pretty sure this one is own voices for the ace and aro rep and while I’m not a part of that community it read like great representation. Nathaniel and Eliza have a conversation about their queerness and I highlighted the whole convo. It was super interested to see how they discovered and described their feelings and I felt it was really well done. Apart from the ace and aro rep, we also have lesbian rep and a cute sapphic romance!
For me this was a very enjoyable story, a fast read, and a nice change from all the series I’m reading. I really loved the representation and would definitely pick up another book by Rosiee Thor. If you want to get into science fiction, or if you want a quick and easy adventure this is the book for you!
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.
As always, I’m not the only stop on the tour. So you can find the whole tour schedule here!
This was my stop on the blogtour for Tarnished Are the Stars! A YA sci-fi I would recommend, especially if you want to get into sci-fi but are a bit intimidated. I will for sure pick up the next book by Rosiee Thor. Do you plan on reading this one? Or did you read it already? Come talk to me in the comments!