Review: The Stars are Dying by Chloe C. Peñaranda

Category:

Fantasy

Rating:

Introduction:

In a world abandoned by the celestial guardians and left to suffer a tyrant king’s reign, all Astraea knows is safety in seclusion. With fragmented memories of only five years of her life, she’s determined to discover more about her past, even if that means fleeing the cruel arms that hold her safe from the wicked vampires rumored to roam the land.

But when Astraea stumbles upon the mysterious Nyte, she soon realizes determination alone isn’t enough to guard her heart. He lingers like the darkness that expands between the stars, and soon she discovers her captor’s wicked means of control weren’t based on a lie to keep her under locks after all. In her desperation, Astraea accepts Nyte’s help before she can decide if she might have sold her allegiance to one of the bloodthirsty beings the people of her world fear.

Once their bargain is struck, Astraea’s chance to escape comes in the form of accompanying her best friend Cassia to the King’s Central. There on royal territory it’s the centenary of the Libertatem, a succession of trials hosted by the king in which five human lands compete for a cycle of safety from the vampires seeking blood, claiming souls, and savaging after dark. So when tragedy strikes, Astraea must decide if taking the place of a murdered participant for the safety of her kingdom is a ruse is worth dying for, or if protection—and the answers to her past—really are her strongest desires.

Review:

Reviewed by Nethra Deckland

Well, to begin with, The Stars are Dying has a lot of potential as a story. The storyline was great and the characters were amazing. The plot was complicated and had a lot of suspense. Action scenes and the puzzles during the trials were written nicely. The romance between Astraea and Nyte was heartwarming. I mean what idiot doesn’t want someone to encourage them and to be there for them, when one is at their lowest and feeling down in the dumps, even if that someone is a mere shadow or an unexplainable presence?

However, I had this nagging feeling that I was reading an early arc instead of a published novel throughout the book because I really felt the book should have gone through another few rounds of editing. There was a story climax and I seriously thought the book would end there because that point of the story had a great cliffhanger and the suspense to know what would happen next could easily be poured into the next book. Yet, the author carried on for a couple more chapters which made my reading experience somewhat lackluster. Those chapters were like an after thought, really, full of info dumps (although mostly in conversational form), as if the author wanted to make sure she solidified the storyline somehow, instead of including them into the story itself.

Astraea’s character started out great. A young woman without memory hanging on to an cruel and abusive man because he was the first one to show her any semblance of kindness when she was feeling lost and helpless. However, as the story went on, her character development became vague. She kind of became too powerful with no explanation, especially when it came to her combat skills. Although it was explained away in the aforementioned later chapters, as I was reading, it was confusing.

I honestly hate when I have only bad things to say about female lead characters when it comes to romance novels. I believe this is a common pitfalls of dark romance authors, who pay attention to every minute detail of their male lead as their audience is female who are drooling for a too good to be true alpha male with a heart of gold. Nyte, indeed was one of them. Brutal and beyond powerful yet with a heart of gold that was ready to lay down the world at Astraea’s feet.

The supporting characters were great though. Rose, Dawina, Drystan and Zath were really good addition to the story. There were some plot holes when it came to their contribution to the story progression but I loved their interactions with the main character as the story went on.

The Stars are Dying isn’t a bad book at all. It has a good story and great characters. I feel it just needed more attention with it’s editing and the story separations when it came to installments.

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