Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: And All the Stars

And All the Stars
And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Come for the apocalypse, stay for the cupcakes, die for love". With this premise, I was as attracted to this book as a moth to the light (I know, random reference, but so appropriate for this book hehe). It's such a refreshing standalone story, I wished there was a sequel.

Madeleine is a very talented artist, a socially awkward girl who is very introverted. She doesn't seem to have friend, or any interactions with other people beside her family members. She is going to her cousin's apartment to paint his portrait in the hopes to enter into a very prestigious artist prize. However, something terrible happens once she is leaving the subway. She is left inside a partially ruined station, following an explosion that has created a cloud of purple dust. A huge Spire, dark and full of stars is impossible rotted from the station and upwards towering at the park above the station. This makes Madeline wonder, what has she encounter? as it looks as it was delivered straight from a nightmare.

All these events occur in the opening pages of this story, giving the reader little time to 1) experience Sydney, 2) digest the intrusion of Spires and 3) worry enough for Madeleine. Rest assured, as this will unroll deliciously and carefully once this story starts unfolding.

Sydney becomes one main character, as the events occur there. The space and the locality the story's characters and experience bring a joyful glance of this city. I've never visited it, but I'm sure, once I go, I'll most likely take my time in walking around St James Station and the fountain at Hyde Park.

Madeleine is rough on the edges, but easy to care for. I enjoyed being able to glimpse into her mind. I found all the sweet romance refreshing and sincere.

The secondary characters are brilliant. With enough strength, wit and resolve to be amazing, but with healthy doses of believable behaviour. Seeking the best solutions when trying to survive in a broken, unknown world.

I loved the pace, the quality of the writing, the emotions the author stirred inside my heart and brain, but most of all the original plot and its Machiavellian twist. I also welcome all mentions and references to The Lord of the Rings and this book was full of these, plus a high dose of Alexander Dumas.
It is not a simple sci-fi book, but it is perhaps the most real one I can imagine.
This is as much as I can say without giving any spoilers. And the way the story is, I recommended diving into it without any knowledge of it's plot. Seriously, the thrill of discovering with the characters what is happening is worth it. I wished for more cupcakes!

Dear Andrea K. Höst if it wasn't for Netgalley I would have missed on your wonderfully clever book. Thank you for giving me the chance to meet Madeleine :-)

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