Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Release Day Review: Sing Down the Stars by Laura Hatton

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads
When the aliens came, they didn’t attack—they just hung in the sky. After a year of human hysteria, they left and the rains began. Ever since, some girls have been born with unusual abilities. The fifth daughter of Magnus Roma, creator of the extraordinary circus called The Show, Penn was born a Celestine: she can call down the stars. Her newborn cries brought burning hail that killed her twin brother. For sixteen years Penn has hidden her power by assuming the life of her twin, just as her four older sisters (who can manipulate the elements) have hidden from the Wardens’ Commission in plain sight as circus performers.
Then, one explosive night, Penn loses everything. The wardens want to protect Earth from anything alien. Her sisters are taken, and The Show is destroyed. To save her family, Penn must do the unthinkable and use the power she’s been taught to suppress. She’ll travel to the very heart of her world’s darkness and discover the truth about her terrifying gift.

Well, this was a pleasant surprise!
Action packed, interesting, well-written, and fairly original to boot!
And to say I wasn't expecting much out of this one would be an understatement. I read the blurb on NetGalley and requested it pretty quickly. But once I got a good look at that cover, my insides froze up & my fingers refused to slide it open on my Kindle. I should know (better than most!) not to judge a book by its cover, but...

Yes, that sounds snobby and awful, but I wanna cry every time a good book gets lost in the Cover Wars. And this was a good book! It shouldn't be hidden behind a cover that makes readers squeamish.
Question: Does anyone else tend to pass on fantasy or sci-fi books with covers that are drawn?
Maybe it's just me, but I have this weird aversion to them. In my mind, they represent the b-movies of literature, and I can't quite move past my prejudice. So, if anyone out there knows of a good therapist...

Just me? Fine.
The only real problem I had with the writing was that I couldn't quite tell what was happening sometimes. Now, this didn't happen enough to really bother me, but, occasionally, the descriptions of what was going on were sort of hazy. Kind of like the author didn't know how to describe what was going through her mind, or maybe was so caught up in the story she was telling, she just assumed we could see the vibrant picture as well as she could. And that's honestly a compliment. I've never read a story that combined these elements in this way. Sure, aliens visit & some people get special powers has been done before, but this book mixed it up enough that I was pretty impressed. It had this sci-fi/steampunk/magical feel to it with the circus thrown in for good measure. It was just...creative.

As far as Penn's character goes, there were times I wanted to shake her for being stupidly stubborn. There's a time to be defiant, and there's a time to wait for your opportunity to be defiant. Apparently, she didn't know the difference between the two, and it annoyed me. If you're greatly overpowered, there's no shame in backing down for a bit, and maybe taking inventory of your options. If you don't, you'll just end up getting your ass kicked AND looking like an idiot.

However, it wasn't a deal-breaker, because the story itself was interesting enough on its own to hold my attention. Plus, after a while, I started to admire the kid's spunk. Sorta.
Ok, I'm botching this review, because it looks like I'm doing nothing but complaining about a book I gave 4 stars.
Let me try this again...
This was fun to read, at no point was I bored, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one!
Better, right?
Anyway, if you've been on the fence about Sing Down the Stars, I'd encourage you to give it a shot.


Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Huh. The cover wouldn't have called my attention. But the book does sound very good. Thanks for sharing about it.

Anne Hannah said...

:) Hope you enjoy, Melissa!

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