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.
I first discovered Rachel Vincent's books in 2013 and haven't looked back since. She is hands down one of my most favourite authors because she writes such incredible stories, and her female characters are always capable of kicking butt - you won't find any 'Mary Sue' characters in her books I can promise you that.
I've been excited for The Stars Never Rise since it had the working title 'Anathema', so to say I was delighted to receive an advanced readers copy courtesy of Mira UK is an understatement. This book blends dystopia with paranormal, and the result is something new, exciting and fresh - pretty impressive considering the novel is essentially a hybrid of two the most popular genres out there right now.
The pacing of this story is very brisk, the world building and history of New Temperance didn't hold us back in any way, and I found myself devouring the book very quickly. (Perhaps devouring isn't the best word considering the topic of soul consuming demons- or maybe it is?)
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The characters in this book are well thought out, exciting to be around - and it was so refreshing to see a YA paranormal/dystopian book that has a strong sense of both family and friendship in addition to the romance. The romance was a slow burn, and didn't overshadow the plot in any way - my favourite kind of read. There was a lot of twists in this book and I didn't spot a single one them, each twist left me wanting more and I stayed up until the early hours of the morning to finish Nina's story.
I had a lot of sympathy for Nina, she had been dealt a harsh hand in life but she never complained or whined, she just got on with what she had to do to keep her sister safe, and that was a quality I really admired in her.
Religious extremism, a bleak future, demons, souls, the boy with the deep green eyes - you may think you have read this before, but I can assure you this book is anything but ordinary. It's deliciously dark, exciting, and everything I have come to expect from Rachel Vincent.
Am I excited for the sequel The Flame Never Dies? Hell yes.
*This book was kindly given to me as an advanced reader copy, but the views are entirely my own.