Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent


The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent // VBC ReviewThe Stars Never Rise (Stars Never Rise #1)
Rachel Vincent
Published: June 9, 2015 (Delacorte Press)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: Library

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

In The Stars Never Rise the country has been decimated by demons. While demons have not been completely annihilated, anyone who managed to survive live in cities behind walls­­—cities that are controlled in large part by the Church who stepped up during the war and are still stepping up in varying conflicts with demons that continue to pop up. Because the population took such a hit, the well of souls (the soul that a baby receives upon birth) is low. The Church has taken it upon itself to be very regulatory in regards to who can and can’t have children.

Any crime against the Church is punishable to the extreme. Nina Kane works hard to keep the Church’s attention away from her home life. Her mother is a checked-out drug addict and her younger sister is just a little too wild sometimes. When that wildness threatens their carefully kept family, Nina needs to decide how far her faith in the Church extends. Along the way, she’ll come to rely on a group whose opposition to the Church calls into question everything Nina’s has ever been taught or believed in.

While I wasn’t champing at the bit to read The Stars Never Rise, when an opportunity arose to review the book, I took it because with everything I’ve read by Rachel Vincent, she’s never let me down, and with Stars I can add one more to that list.

The dystopian aspect immediately called to mind Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series in that I imagine the landscape outside of these walled-in cities to be quite desolate and reaming with Degenerates (human’s that once housed demons and have now turned zombie-like). Whereas Kagawa takes her characters outside of those walls within the first story, Vincent keeps Nina and her new allies inside. The Stars Never Rise really takes its time to develop the world. Within this first book we learn of the essential misconceptions that people have been living under for hundreds of years.

None of these misconceptions are more apparent than through our narrator Nina’s eyes. She’s extremely strong-willed and street smart, yet she’s pretty much taken the Church’s word as gospel (and she’s not the only one). While this book, I suppose, is considered young adult, it really has a dark and very adult side to it that surprised me while reading. Nina doesnt make apologies or feel shamed for what she has to do to survive, and I couldnt help but really like and appreciate that in her character.

The obligatory romance also has a refreshing twist. I’m not sure if I’m one hundred percent committed to it as a reader yet, but I liked that Vincent tried something that I’d never encountered before in all my readings. I think it will (and did actually) pose some very interesting conflicts down the line. I think it’s one of those where it can go hokey very easily, but in Rachel Vincent’s hands, I’m confident things will turn out well.

As far as first-book-in-a-series goes, The Stars Never Rise hits the ground running. Don’t be worried about cliffhangers. I think Vincent ends this one on a pretty solid note, while still leaving enough story threads open that now I’m champing at the bit for the next book and what’s to come.

Sexual content: kissing, references to sex

2 Responses to “Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent”

  1. OOoh nice! I still need to read this one as well, but I love Rachel Vincent’s books entirely, so I am sure to love this once I do read it! Glad to hear it was an exceptional read!! Great review!

  2. I love Rachel Vincent, but I haven’t tried any of her YA books, only the adult series. This does sound interesting. I’ll have to give it a try.

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