Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: The Stars Never Rise

The Stars Never Rise #1
Rachel Vincent
Paranormal Young Adult
368 pages
Delacorte Press
Available Now
Source: ALA Midwinter

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.

The Stars Never Rise paints a horrifying picture of a world we can only hope never finds its way from the pages of fiction into reality, with demons and demon possession driving humanity’s every thought and action. While the paranormal elements are terrifying, we do have the safety net of reality to fall back on, taking comfort in the fact that we can escape this world easily enough if we need a quick break. The far more disturbing element–and one we can’t escape–is the fanatacism that accompanies the teachings of this world’s Church, humanity’s willingness to blindly believe what their told resulting in innocent lives being snuffed out with the strike of a match.

Nina is a voice of reason we easily latch onto amidst the ordered chaos of a literal hell on Earth, forcing herself to play by the rules despite the fact that she doesn’t entirely buy into the Church’s propaganda. Because she’s not one hundred percent dedicated to them from the beginning, there are no blinders to rip from her eyes once her home life takes a turn for the worse, only knowledge which she readily accepts without putting up a token struggle. She doesn’t waste time denying the many revelations she’s faced with, and instead picks up her new cause with impressive gusto and does her best to fight for her sister and anyone else she can save along the way.

A romance does come into play amidst the horror of an impending demon invasion, and while we can’t help but be grateful there’s only one romantic interest instead of two, the relationship between Nina and Finn stays at surface level throughout. There are a number of sweet moments, but the emotional connection we have to the two of them as a couple isn’t as strong as the overwhelming urge to see them and their group of exorcist misfits survive against nearly impossible odds. Perhaps their relationship will grow stronger in future books and our investment in them as a couple along with it, but the story itself is strong enough–and the world nightmare-inducing enough–that it’s easy to move past that minor drawback and look forward to what is to come as the series continues.

Rating: 3.5-4/5 (I couldn't quite pin my thoughts down enough to come up with a single rating, so a range it is ;-)

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.


  1. Hmmm, I have liked her books, but her YA series was not for me, so now I wonder, is this one...

  2. Sounds like the world is incredibly realistic enough to scare us, which sounds like an interesting premise! Lovely review Jenny.

  3. This sounds pretty interesting. I'd like to find it and read it. Great review! :)

    Aeriko @

  4. Nice review! I love Rachel Vincent since the very early days of it all! Excited that she has two new series this year! This one definitely sounds intense and different than her bean sidhe one! Looking forward to reading it once time allows! Again, nice review!

  5. Really glad to hear you liked this one enough, even if you aren't sure how to rate it!
    And a world building that makes you need to take a break and eager to face reality sounds amazing! So glad that I have this one on my Kindle already!
    Great review Jenny!

  6. OK so I think blogger may have eaten my comment. I'm so glad you liked this one, Jenny. I really enjoyed the darkness to it too. I have to agree with you on the romance, although I'm glad it wasn't too rushed or anything. I'm curious to see how things will work out for them with that thing about Finn.
    Wonderful review, Jenny! :)

  7. I was curious about this one when I heard about it. I liked a few books about the author and I know I have some in my wishlist too, I need to go back to them one day and try her new ones after that.

  8. I think I would actually love that this was so realistic and plausible Jenny! I'm a chicken but I do like my creepy reads. I loved her YA series so I really think I will like this too.
    Wonderful thoughtful review!

  9. I've never read Vincent's books, but this one sounds interesting. I'm glad there's no love triangle and that the worldbuilding is very solid.

  10. I love the premise of this book, Jenny! I haven't read anything by this author so I'm very curious. While the romance doesn't seem as strong, I actually think I like how it's in the background. I'm curious to read this one.

  11. I was hoping this one would be terrific as fell hopelessly behind on Soul Screamers and I wanted to jump on board with a new series. I think I will like the darkness and I am glad the romance is minimal. I think I am going to have to check this out. It sounds like the world building is excellent.

  12. This sounds a lot like Supernatural what with the demons invading and all, so it does hold a lot of appeal. Wonderful review, Jenny.

  13. I REALLY want to read this, my library must hurry up! :) I can't imagine having to worry about demonic possessions and invasions. Your priorities completely change!


  14. Hmm, well on one hand you have me curious and on the other hand I want to hold off to see where you stand on book two. I do like some of the darker aspects

  15. This sounds like a pulse-pounding read. It's been a while since I've read a rachel vincent novel. I kinda miss it. :)

  16. I've heard mostly positive ratings for this one so I'm glad you enjoyed it, despite a few qualms. I haven't read a book by Rachel Vincent before so I'm curious to try her out. Thanks for your honest review, Jenny! :)

  17. I didn't know this was a series. I really want to read this one and I love that you said it was dark.

  18. Great review, Jenny! I’m intrigued by this world. Sorry romance wasn’t a total winner though.

  19. Sounds like your thoughts were a bit mixed when ti comes to this one, but than in general it was a pretty great book even if it was a bit dark in places, especially with the general make up of the world. I have seen this one around a bit more, but not entirely sure if I am going to pick it up yet or now. We'll have to see on this one.